An update from U.S. Representative Val Demings

As part of the Federal Budget, I fought for ten community projects for Central Florida.

1: A new Water Storage Tank for Apopka to help with water needs and ensure that firefighters have what they need during emergencies. Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson said, “thanks to Congresswoman Demings, we have $1.5M in the budget for a 1.5-million-gallon storage tank that will help serve our area for the next 20 years.”

2: Funding for the Orlando Police Department’s Next Generation Enhanced Body Worn Cameras Project. Mayor Buddy Dyer told us that “this next generation of cameras will increase public transparency through improved technology and simplify use by our officers in critical situations.” OPD’s camera program has been a major success to reduce complaints against officers and use of force events. This funding will support a new generation of cameras that include auto-activation technology and more.

3: Funding for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s Culinary Workforce Training Program, which transforms lives of at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults by teaching career and life skills. They told us, “This is a win for Central Florida’s hospitality industry, workers and their families.”

One past graduate of the program shared her story: “I have experienced illness, homelessness, and unemployment…After graduating, I was able to secure full-time employment at a major restaurant chain. Now my life has done a 180. I now have…a new outlook on my future.”

4: Funding for the Town of Windermere’s “Safe Route to School” Project. Said Mayor James O’Brien, this program “will ensure that our children have a safe and healthy route to school daily. Additionally, the project benefits the entire West Orange Community.”

5: Funding for Eatonville’s sewer and wastewater project. Said former Mayor Eddie Cole, “This infrastructure is necessary to…progress the Town and improve living standards. We are honored that Congresswoman Demings supports our vision [for]…the economic development of Eatonville.”

6: Funding for the Wayne Densch Center Community Center in Orlando to help address Central Florida’s acute affordable housing crisis. Ability Housing, which runs the Center, told us “this Project is the culmination of a cross-sector partnership that has ended homelessness for hundreds of people.”

7: Funding for the City of Ocoee’s Lakefront Park Restroom/Concession Building. Ocoee’s Lakefront Park was a crucial step to revitalize the downtown, and Mayor Rusty Johnson says this funding “will allow the City to continue our efforts in implementing the Downtown Master Plan.”

8: Funding for Orange County’s Youth and Family Homeless Diversion. Youth in Orange County experience high rates of poverty and homelessness. This program’s targeted support has been used successfully in other communities & can be critical to provide children with a bright future. Regarding this new funding, Mayor Demings said, “with over 6,000 homeless students in Orange County Public Schools, we need to look at new interventions to prevent homelessness experienced by children and families. I am grateful for Congresswoman Demings’ advocacy on this critical issue in our community.”

9: Funding to allow the Dr. Phillips Center to fully operate its arts education programs without having to make budget cuts. Said the Center, “This federal appropriations funding will help more than 100,000 students enjoy incredible classes and programs.”

10: Funding for the Orlando Housing Authority to install emergency standby generators at two assisted housing sites that currently lack backup generators. Loss of power during disasters can be immediately life-threatening to seniors and persons with disabilities. Explained Orlando Housing Authority Board Chair Ed Carson, “These generators will allow elderly households to remain in their apartment complexes when there are power failures…Many residents need oxygen and/or portable air conditioners for medical reasons.”

As a reminder, my office is here to help you with any issue you may be having with a federal service. If you are working with a federal agency and are not receiving an answer in a timely fashion, or you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, our office may be able to assist you to resolve the problem or get more information.

Please reach out if you need help. You can contact us here.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve and represent you. Please continue to care for one another and stay safe. I know that we can get through this together.


U.S. Rep. Val Demings