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 November 2016

One of my top priorities is maintaining our excellent quality of life for citizens, guests and our future generations of Orange County citizens. The County's services, programs and our long-term initiatives make an enormous difference in the strength of our community and our cherished quality of life. 

To create the infrastructure and resources necessary for our sustainable future, the Orange County Board of County Commissioner's recently adopted a countywide $3.7 billion budget for fiscal year 2016-2017 that provides the necessary funding for the important services and programs to meet the needs of our growing community, while maintaining a low tax impact on our citizens. 

The budget - which I created to leverage our countywide INVEST in Our Home for Life initiatives - provides a clear roadmap for the continuation of our investment in the future. The budget is balanced, and leverages natural growth in revenue sources to avoid raising the countywide tax rate for the 27th year in a row. For more information and to download our new budget, visit http://bit.ly/OCBudget2017.

In addition to our quality of life, Orange County's strong and prosperous economy continues to play a significant role in maintaining one of the strongest job-growth rates in the nation. Examples in our region include extended warranties provider SquareTrade, human resource and payroll software developer ADP and CVS Health - in total adding almost 2,500 new jobs alone in Orange County within the last six months. 

Our economic strength continues to generate national attention, with Forbes ranking the metropolitan statistical area No. 3 on its list of The Best Big Cities for Jobs in 2016 and also naming Orlando one of the Top 10 Cities Americans Are Moving to Right Now. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report named Orlando one of the Top 100 Places to Live in the nation.  

Now nicknamed the "Soccer Capital of the South," Orange County has also emerged as a top sports destination, thanks to Orlando City Soccer, Orlando Pride and numerous soccer matches hosted at Camping World Stadium. In 2017, we look forward to welcoming more sports enthusiasts to Camping World Stadium as we host several world-class sporting events, including the NFL Pro Bowl in January and WrestleMania 33 in April. 

As announced earlier this year, greater Orange County has maintained its standing as the nation's most-visited destination with more than 66 million guests visiting our region. The Orange County Convention Center continues to be a significant draw for visitors and a strong economic engine for our thriving hospitality sector, welcoming 1.4 million attendees and contributing more than $2 billion to the local economy. 

Through strong fiscal management and the delivery of superior services by dedicated professionals, Orange County is creating the best place to live, work and raise a family - truly, Our Home for Life.  

I invite you to join us as we continue to build the future of Orange County by attending the 2016 Oath of Office Ceremony, when Commissioners from Districts One, Three and Five will be sworn in to serve their communities. 

The ceremony will be held at the Orange County Convention Center on Tuesday, December 6, at 10 a.m. To RSVP, visit www.ocfl.net/oathofoffice2016.  

As always, thank you for making our community a place that welcomes everyone, and where culture, diversity and opportunity are treasured. It is because of you that Orange County continues to thrive as a region.  


Teresa Jacobs 
Orange County Mayor

Orange County's Regional Affordable Housing Summit Highlights Creative Housing Solutions
[L-R] Orange County Planning Manager Alberto A. Vargas,  Duany 
Plater-Zyberk Co-Founder Andres Duany, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Former State Representative and Chair of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness Dick Batchelor and  Orange County Housing and Community Development Manager Mitchell Glasser gather for the Regional Affordable Housing Summit on October 20  at the Orange County Convention Center.

On October 20, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs hosted the Regional Affordable Housing Summit at the Orange County Convention Center. Planners, developers and local government leaders from across the region gathered to explore affordable housing solutions for Central Florida, including strategies, tools and best practices being implemented throughout Florida and across the country. The goal of the summit was to utilize the community's collective experience and knowledge to create a regional approach to address affordable housing needs. 

The Summit featured the State of Regional Housing Outlook, two panel discussions and a keynote address by renowned urban planner Andrés Duany. The speakers included housing-industry experts from Atlantic Housing Partners, Florida Housing Coalition, Florida Housing Finance Corporation, Pinnacle Housing Group, Palm Beach County's Planning Division, RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness and the University of Florida Shimberg Center for Housing Studies.  

The Regional Affordable Housing Summit is one of the first steps toward finding affordable housing options for the region's growing population. To increase the production and availability of affordable housing, subsequent implementation workshops will explore regulatory mechanisms, possible development or infill locations and available marketplace incentives. Summit attendees, community leaders, elected officials, housing and planning experts, developers and citizens will be invited to attend the implementation workshops in 2017.
For details on this story, visit Orange County's online Newsroom

Join the Season of Giving Through Mayor Jacobs' Holiday Heroes Toy Drive
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs bonds with a recipient who has benefitted from the Holiday Heroes Toy Drive.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs invites Orange County employees and the extended community to help make the holiday season brighter for children who may otherwise go without by joining the 2016 Holiday Heroes Toy Drive. 

Now in its sixth year, Mayor Teresa Jacobs' Holiday Toy Drive begins on November 15 and collection ends on December 14. Since the Toy Drive's inception, more than 17,250 toys have been distributed to local children through the Holiday Heroes Toy Drive. 

The Toy Drive unites citizens and Orange County employees in assisting families during this annual season of giving by providing new, unwrapped toys for infants, children and teens in need. Last year, Orange County employees and the community collected more than 5,100 toys for local children. 

Toy donations are provided to local families and children experiencing hardships through Orange County's Neighborhood Centers for Families, the Orange County Public Schools' Homeless Program, Wraparound Orange and United Against Poverty (formerly known as the Community Food and Outreach Center). 

This annual tradition began in 2011 and has truly evolved into Orange County's signature holiday initiative. Suggested donations include basketballs, soccer balls, model cars and trucks, sporting equipment, craft kits, junior board games, dolls, Barbie sets, LEGOs, action figures, skateboards, helmets and tea sets. For teens and preteens, recommended items include electronics, accessories, custom jewelry and gift cards. For more information on drop-off locations, please visit www.ocfl.net/HolidayHeroes. 

Additionally, Mayor Jacobs invites neighborhood groups, businesses and non-profits to show their appreciation for Orange County Fire Rescue professionals by adopting a local fire station this holiday season. Through the Adopt a Fire Station program, groups can show their appreciation by helping provide holiday meals at their local Fire Station. 
To register and participate, contact Tiana Davis of the Orange County Neighborhood and Revitalization Division at 407-836-5531 or Tiana.Davis@ocfl.net. The Adopt a Fire Station sign up deadline is December 16.

Orange County Celebrates LGBTQ Pride and Unity
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer as a Grand Marshal for the 2016 Orlando Come Out with Pride Festival on November 12, 2016.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer as a Grand Marshal for the Orlando Come Out With Pride Festival and Parade, celebrating the LGBTQ community and all those who stand united with Orlando. 
The parade was held on November 12, five months after the Pulse nightclub tragedy. Mayor Jacobs also presented a proclamation declaring November 12 as Come Out With Pride Orlando Day in Orange County. 

In October, the New Orleans LGBTQ Hospitality Alliance and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation presented Orange County's Regional History Center with a one-of-a-kind New Orleans fleur-de-lis sculpture honoring the victims and families of the Pulse Orlando nightclub tragedy. 
The five-foot monument, which displays personal messages of condolences and support from New Orleans citizens, was dedicated into the One Orlando Collection. The One Orlando Collection Initiative is a partnership between Orange County Government and the City of Orlando. Following the Pulse tragedy, Orange County's Regional History Center became the repository and caretaker of Pulse tribute items, and has photographed, catalogued and preserved thousands of Pulse mementos and remembrances. 

For more details on the Coming Out With Pride Parade and the memorial fleur-de-lis presentation, visit Orange County's online Newsroom.

Orange County Farm Bureau Hosts 2016 Membership Dinner
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs is joined by the Future Farmers of America Organization members from Wolf Lake Middle School at the 2016 Orange County Farm Bureau Membership Dinner.

The Orange County Farm Bureau recently held its annual Membership Dinner at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. The event recognizes the contributions of local farmers and ranchers in the region. 

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orange County District 1 Commissioner S. Scott Boyd, Orange County District 2 Commissioner Bryan Nelson, Congressman John L. Mica and other elected officials attended the event to show their longstanding support for the region's agricultural community.  

The Orange County Farm Bureau assists in upholding the state's reputation as a national leader in the agriculture and farming sector and is a part of the Florida Farm Bureau Federation (FFBF). The FFBF was founded to promote and protect the agricultural interests of farmers and ranchers as they work to responsibly provide an abundant food supply using Florida's natural resources. 

As of 2015, more than 155,000 jobs in Orange County are related to agriculture, according to a study by the University of Florida. Studies show that nearly 18 percent of Orange County residents work in an agriculture-related field, including those producing and processing food goods. 
Orange County, specifically West Orange County, is a citrus industry leader. For decades, West Orange County's viable and robust agricultural sector has propelled Orange County forward as an industry leader in agriculture. Today, Orange County's citrus industry is ranked number 19 in the state, and its nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod industry is ranked second in the state and fifth in the nation.
For more details on the Orange County Farm Bureau Membership Dinner, visit Orange County's online Newsroom.

Hurricane Matthew Veers East Sparing Orange County
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs joined Orange County Fire Rescue crews in east Orange County to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew impacted Orange County and the greater Orlando area during the early morning hours of Friday, October 7, 2016. The Category 3 hurricane was the first major storm to impact Central Florida since 2004 when the state experienced four back-to-back hurricanes - Ivan, Charley, Frances and Jeanne. 
The Orange County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated on Thursday, October 6, to mobilize rapid response teams from partner agencies, local municipalities, utilities, roads, drainage, fire and rescue and law enforcement to monitor and assess Hurricane Matthew. 

One of the key functions of the EOC was communicating life-saving information to residents across the County. Through multiple platforms - including web updates, social media, live broadcasts of media briefings by Orange TV and continuous updates pushed through Orange County's emergency notification and information smartphone apps - OCFL Alert and OCFL News, Orange County provided critical information before, during and after the storm. 

More than 1,400 citizens took refuge in Orange County shelters, including 80 citizens with special needs. These shelters opened with the support and coordination of Orange County Public Schools and the American Red Cross of Greater Orlando. 

To help prevent damage caused by stormwater, Orange County Public Works began distributing sandbags to residents on Wednesday, October 5. By Thursday afternoon, Public Works had distributed more than 78,000 sandbags to area residents. 

Orange County began damage assessment Friday afternoon and deployed teams to evaluate the overnight impact of Hurricane Matthew. After assessing roadways and evaluating safety concerns, Mayor Jacobs lifted the curfew for Orange County citizens at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 7. 

For more details on the effects and response to Hurricane Matthew, visit Orange County's online Newsroom.

News Worth Noting...

- Join Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs as she hosts the 2017 Economic Summit on January 18 at the Orange County Convention Center to discuss the expanding economy, international trade and business-related programs. The event is free and open to the public, although seating is limited.

- Orange County and the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Greater Orange County recently hosted the fourth annual Orange Fiesta in the Park at Jay Blanchard Park in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. This family-friendly event included live Latin music, salsa dancing, food, information booths and games. Orange Fiesta in the Park also hosted the championship games of the second annual Orange County Mayor's Cup soccer tournament. Mayor Jacobs provided a warm welcome and presented awards to the winners of the annual poster art contest and the Mayor's Cup soccer tournament.

-  Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs hosted a diverse group of leaders from area chambers of commerce and economic development organizations for coffee and conversation on October 14. The goal of the informal meeting was to gather local business leaders to connect and to strengthen relationships with one another.

- In honor of the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Orange County Fire Rescue held its fourth annual 343 Hero Challenge fitness competition on September 17 at Orange County Fire Rescue's Training Facility, also known as the Fit Pit. The charitable event brought together firefighters, athletes, vendors and spectators in honor of the 343 fallen firefighters of 9/11.

Orange County firefighters reunited recently with a burn patient that they treated in July 2012. Following a violent accident that resulted in a car fire, Nam-Hai Le made it his mission to locate the crew who tended to his injuries at the scene and thank them for their care and extraordinary efforts that saved his life.

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Mayor Teresa Jacobs
201 S. Rosalind Ave.
Orlando, FL 32801