With a SunRail train as a backdrop in downtown Orlando, Mayor Buddy Dyer on Thursday delivered his annual State of the City address, highlighting the future of the City Beautiful.
Dyer opened the speech with a moment of silence for the families affected by a crash into an Orange County day care in which a 4-year-old girl was killed and more than a dozen others were injured.
Dyer discussed the years-long process of making commuter rail in Central Florida a reality.
"When SunRail begins operating in a few days it won't be the end of the story, rather, it's the beginning of a whole new era in transit in Central Florida." Dyer said.
Dyer also touched on the success of the downtown venues, from the Amway Center to the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, which is set to open this year, and a soccer-only stadium for Orlando City.
"With these venues set to open, we're going to be able to host more games and events that will uplift our economy," Dyer said.
Dyer added that the city has room to grow, including establishing a technology association and striving to expand as a tech hub.
The mayor said diversity will continue to be a priority, pointing out that Orlando was one of the first cities in the state to establish a domestic partnership registry for same-sex couples, 1,200 of which have signed up.
"And I hope that one day we are the city that hosts the state's first same-sex wedding," Dyer said.
Dyer said the city's biggest challenge is its homeless population, adding that the city has to yet to come up with a long-term solution.