By Roger Caldwell
“Commissioner Sam Ings is a leader, who is not scared to stand up and do what he knows is right for the people,” says Attorney Ben Crump – Famous for fighting cases of discrimination and injustice. For over 40 years Commissioner Ings has quietly broke racists barriers in the Orlando Police Department, fighting the autocratic administration of Mayor Buddy Dyer. Commissioner Ings has filed grievances with the Federal Government against Orlando. His goal is to make the city transparent and inclusive.
Many residents are claiming that after 16 years, Mayor Dyer has been complacent and does not care about the different communities in the city. At the first debate, he and his team left the town hall meeting after he spoke. It was evident that he and his team were in a rush to get out of the Black community and get back to his gated community. There is something fundamentally wrong when the mayor does not have time to talk to the community, because he thinks he has already won the election.
In June 2019, Commissioner Ings wrote a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson to request the decision to demolish 6 apartment complexes be put on hold, and develop a viable solution to this problem. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition in Washington DC, Orlando ranks first in America for having the worst in affordable housing, and this HUD/Mayor Dyer decision would negatively impact 2,500 residents, and 1,022 units.
Since Mayor Dyer has taken office, the percentage of Black voters eligible to vote has dropped almost 50%, and where there were 20,000 residents in the Parramore area, now there is approximately only 6,0000. With the displacement of 14,000 residents, Black businesses have also closed up, and there appears to be a plan in the city to wipe out Black Orlando.
Commissioner Ings has requested the city put a police substation in Washington Shores for 10 years, to make the community safer. The Commissioner has been ignored by the mayor. Mayor Dyer chose to close the office of Human Relations while Ings fought hard to keep the office open. The office of Human Relations investigates cases of discrimination against Black and minorities. Eventually Mayor Dyer allowed the office to stay open with less staff and funding.
At the Town Hall Debate, Mayor Dyer commented that Commissioner Ings had sat next to him for 12 years, and he never heard him complain until he decided to run for mayor. This just goes to show the mayor has not paid attention to Ings and the Black community. Ings has fought against demolishing Tinker Field, and proudly fought against the Land Trust debacle.
Commissioner Ings has been a fighter for 40 years, and vows to foster stronger relationships between law enforcement and neighborhoods. He is promising transparency and accountability to awarding city contracts, improving transportation, paving roads, and fixing an aging water and sewer infrastructure. The Commissioner will focus on more affordable housing and building a diverse economy, where everyone has an equal opportunity.
It is time for a change in Orlando, and after 16 years there are many ethical and integrity questions with the Dyer administration. When the mayor is not concerned what District 6 residents and candidates think are important to them, it is time for a change.
Commissioner Ings is the right candidate for the time, with a high level of integrity, inclusion, and willing to represents all the diverse demographics and communities in Orlando. Vote Tuesday November 5, 2019…