TOURISM, REAL ESTATE, HEALTHCARE
Safety Builds the Economy
CRIME IS BAD FOR BUSINESS
A Great Place to Be
Orange and Osceola Counties are the epicenter of the tourism and hospitality industries for the entire world. While 2 million people call this area home (5 million for all of Central Florida), the Orlando International Airport is the 7th busiest in both the U.S. and the world! More than 75 million people visit the greater Orlando area each year. We need to make sure that our community remains the safe and enjoyable place that it has always been. People began visiting Florida attractions like Silver Springs glass bottom boats in 1924, Weeki Wachee mermaids in 1947, Gatorland in 1949, Kennedy Space Center in 1963, Walt Disney World in 1971, and Universal Studios in 1990.
Our economic strength is dependent on our reputation as a wonderful place to visit, move, build homes, start families and create businesses. If that reputation is tarnished due to rising crime, it can have a devastating impact on many industries that the entire State of Florida depends on. Every metropolitan area, whether it is Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa/St. Pete, or Miami must remain vigilant in order to maintain the great reputation our State has built over the past 100+ years. Just look at what overly lenient drug and theft prosecutions have done to the reputations of cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, OR. Now known first and foremost for crime and homelessness.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2020 and 2021 were some of the worst years in Orange County for murders and aggravated assaults since the housing crisis of 2008. While the COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of stress on everyone, these statistics are terrifying not only for our residents and visitors safety concerns, but also for our state's financial future. When out of town guests of our neighbors visit, we want them to go home with stories of how great Central Florida was, not only how they enjoyed the attractions, but also how Orlando can compete with any world-class city. Major American cities are judged by their walkable city-centers. Visitors must not only feel comfortable walking around downtown Winter Park, Kissimmee, Winter Garden, St. Cloud or Maitland, they need to be able to enjoy downtown Orlando and leave with a glowing impression of our largest city. Downtown Orlando has been deteriorating and it can be felt.
Our population has grown 50% in the last 20 years, and we have become a global leading workforce. Healthcare, entertainment, aviation, construction, hospitality, education, and STEM fields all are industries pushing our economy forward. Orange and Osceola Counties must have a State Attorney who is known to fight for the overall safety of our community so this economic engine can thrive. We deserve as much.