Tuesday, December 17, 2019 was not only a historic day for Orange County residents, but for all of Central Florida. Since taking office one year ago, I have worked to lead efforts to address housing affordability, transportation challenges, and income disparities.
The Orange County Board of County Commissioners accepted the recommendations of the Housing for All Task Force and passed resolutions in support of the Osceola Parkway and Kirkman Road Extension that will improve regional mobility.
As a native of Orlando, I was motivated to lead these efforts because of my own experiences and my concern for the plight of all people. I am the proud son of blue-collar workers. My father was a taxi driver and my mother was a maid. As a teenager, I worked as a dishwasher and service worker at a local theme park while working my way through college. Many of my friends and family members did the same. So I know what it means to take a pathway upward to the middle class and I value that for everyone. My administration will continue to fight for the poor and disenfranchised to ensure that they are given opportunities to thrive.
I do not see any losers in the actions taken yesterday by Orange County, but only winners. Our families will benefit as economist Dr. Sean Snaith suggested during public testimony at the Commission meeting. Thousands of jobs will be created by the Universal expansion that will have a multi-billion dollar impact on Central Florida. We should also see a positive impact on our entrepreneurial ecosystem as existing and new business opportunities flourish exponentially from the robust construction activity.
It is this type of comprehensive thinking that will lead to broad-based prosperity. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands during moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”