Let's Make Orlando
Families: We have an influx of families and individuals that moved to Central Florida from Puerto Rico due to the hurricane. In addition, there are also local individuals and families that just fell on hard times. I plan to work with leaders to provide solutions, short and long-term homes for the homeless.
Veterans: Our men and women in uniform deserve better. They fought for our country with honor, courage, and commitment. As a 4th-generation veteran, I have a first hand idea of how much veterans and families contribute to our country and our community. My grandfather served in the Army during WWI, my uncle in WWII, my brother served for 17 years, and now my only son serves in the Navy.
“As your Mayor, I will do all I can so to support, individuals and their families, especially homeless veterans. No one should serve our country and come to the City Beautiful and be homeless- we owe them the best.”
Community & Economic Development
Community Development : I would like to see more for-profit businesses that will commit to collaborate and adopt small nonprofit organizations to help with social issues in Central Florida (homelessness, childhood obesity, mental health, etc). The nonprofits want to do the job, and the for-profits may have financial resources and volunteers to want to help; I just think we need to bridge the gap better. I do understand that we have some great partnerships, but we can do better! As a former grant writer, I want to make sure Orlando is the first one to get federal dollars.
Economic Development: For decades Orlando has been #1 for tourism, but we are facing increasing pressure from competition locally and globally, and we must increase wages, and provide better opportunities for more businesses to relocate to Orlando.
We see how the United States is going through a crisis which trickles down to the state and local levels. We love the fact that Orlando is a tourist destination but our trust cannot be in – new development, or a new theme park. Our city can only prosper if the PEOPLE prosper. People prosper when they have higher wages, decent health care, jobs, and a place to call home.
As Mayor, ''I would focus on creating pathways to careers, not just jobs. We need to empower the workforce of tomorrow with skills in emerging fields of businesses.''
I spent two years as a Military Police on a Naval Base, immediately after the 9/11 attacks, guarding civilian families, protecting personal property, military personnel, and Nuclear Weapons. I took my job very seriously and understood the responsibility that law enforcement have to protect and serve. I support our law enforcement officers, and first responders. I know from being serving as a military police, they have a tough job keeping us safe.
''As your Mayor, my duty will be to help in building public trust on both sides civilian and law enforcement. I will work with schools, community leaders, clergy, and law enforcement to help make our city safer.''
Millions visit Orlando every year. Those of us who live here would agree that although we may come from different neighborhoods and different backgrounds, we are united by the desire to improve to have better transportation. Lynx is the largest transportation system we have in Orlando; however, Lynx does not have the manpower to run 24 hours a day so that men and women can obtain jobs that require late hours (after midnight).
With over 50 million visitors coming to Orlando annually, we need to be the first to obtain funding from the government to make Orlando's highways, and transportation equal to major cities like Houston/Dallas so that we do not miss out on opportunities for major companies desiring to move to Orlando, but refuse to because we do not have a mass transport system.
I am a Christian who believes in a God of Grace, and that grace means that no one should be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or religion. I have family members and friends who are members of the LGBT community. Frankly I don't know who does not. I believe a leader should believe in equal rights for all in our community.
We must prevent bullying of children and adults, and give equal opportunity by “Treating others the way we want to be treated.”
Paid for by Aretha Simons for City of Orlando Mayor