In 2019, Orlando was a finalist for the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award for its Digital Service Academy. The award elevates city-led strategies that most successfully engage citizens to help create and implement solutions to pressing local problems. To ensure residents had access to essential city services online, city staff integrated the public’s feedback into new and existing digital services and online forms, making them more user-friendly and improving the city’s ability to respond to residents. The city also launched the Digital Service Academy to teach city staff how to create and test user-centered digital services by putting citizen needs first.
Orlando Cares, Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Cities of Service Initiative, addresses two key community challenges: improving youth literacy and increasing community safety. The Mayor’s Office will tackle these challenges through six Impact Volunteering programs under Mayor Buddy Dyer’s Cities of Service Initiative: Mayor Buddy’s Book club improves literacy; Preschool Ambassadors engages families in early literacy activities; The Garden provides a safe space to connect with nature; Path Finders develops a path toward a successful future; Third Grade Reads increases third grade reading levels; and Take Heart Orlando is a community-wide CPR initiative. Through a collaborative process, the community helped design Orlando Cares.
Orlando has been a member of the Cities of Service coalition since 2010, when Mayor Buddy Dyer signed the Declaration of Service .
Mayor Buddy Dyer
Mayor Buddy Dyer has been instrumental in the success of Orlando’s citizen engagement initiatives. Since his first day in office, Mayor Dyer has strived to increase cooperation and partnership between Central Florida’s many governments, its business and civic communities, and its residents.
Chief Service Officer Marcia Hope Goodwin
Marcia Hope Goodwin is the City of Orlando's first Chief Service Officer and the Director of the Office of Community Affairs and Human Relations. In 2010, Mayor Buddy Dyer appointed Marcia to lead Orlando’s Cities of Service Initiative, Orlando Cares, which engages volunteers to increase youth literacy and improve community safety. Orlando Cares has engaged nearly 3,000 citizen volunteers and served more than 6,000 youth since March 2011.