By Roger Caldwell
ORLANDO, FL — Over 150 friends, supporters, family members and financial sponsors were on hand as African American Commissioner Samuel B. Ings officially launched on Thursday 3-15-2019, at I Drive Nascar, his campaign to be the next Mayor of Orlando. To many in the city, and the attendees in the room, Ings announcing his candidacy was a big surprise. Mayor Dyer was expected to win his 5th term with no formidable candidate, and his machine would keep rolling.
In the past elections, only 30% of the residents in the city have voted because there was no voice willing to listen and speak without fear and boldness about issues in the city. Some call it progress and others call it gentrification, but two decades ago, there were around 20,000 African Americans living in Parramore, and now there are only 8,000. During Mayor Dyer’s time in office, many of the downtown residents have been pushed out for economic development.
With over 70 million tourists in 2018 coming to Orlando, crime and safety is on everyone’s mind. At the kick off, Commissioner Ings laid out his 5 point platform that answered many of the questions that are on the minds of ma residents and his supporters.
On the top of the list was the first platform point, crime prevention and public safety, and the commissioner has served 30 years with the Orlando Police Department, retiring as a captain. He wants to increase the number of police sub-stations,and improve the relationships with police in the different communities. The second platform point is economic development, where he proposes positive opportunities for small and large businesses, entrepreneurs, and non- profit organizations to partner, which will help create jobs for the entire city. The third platform point is improvement of roads and infrastructure. There is a crisis with the infrastructure system, and roads need to be repaved, sewer lines need repair, and roads must be re-designed for safety.
The fourth platform point is affordable housing. “Mayor Dyer knows it is morally wrong to displace families who have lived in Orlando for many years. Orlando has been rated as one of the worst cities for affordable housing, and this must stop,” says Commissioner Ings. Finally the fifth platform point is an inclusive Orlando, regardless of your race, sex, religion, economic status or gender, ”If an issue is important to you, it is important to me.”
At Commissioner Ings’ kick off, the supporters were excited and engaged, and there was an abundance of passion and fire. “There is a lack of public safety, a lack of public infrastructure, a lack of green spaces, a lack of inclusion, a lack of affordable housing, a lack of regard for the will of the people, and a new era of leadership is needed in our city,” says the Commissioner.
The event was hosted by Alejandro Pezzini, CEO of AMP Group and Pablo Rosenberg, Founder, Partner of AMP Group. Siad Lufti, President of Lufti Investments and Vacation Lodge also spoke on the program, as well as highlighting the character and transparency of Ings’ leadership.
Ings ended his speech exclaiming,” This is my city, your city, our city. I promise with my leadership there will be a better Orlando for everyone.”
Visit www.ingsformayor.com and follow his campaign on all social media platforms regarding his vision for the city beautiful.