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'Hate is never welcome' Orange mayor says DEI is part of the county

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings updated the Orlando City Council on the county's transportation initiative on Monday. Image: Orlando via YouTube
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says the community embraces diversity, equality, and inclusion.

The statement came in response to another organization, the NAACP, now urging people not to travel to Florida.

Demings tweeted Monday that “Hate is not welcome here” and invited the NAACP to work with him in reassuring the organization that Orange County welcomes all people.

"Our community values diversity and embraces inclusion. Hate is never welcome here," Demings tweeted. "We look forward to working with the NAACP to reassure them and others that Orange County is a caring, compassionate, and welcoming community."

Over the weekend, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for Florida warning potential tourists that recent Florida laws are “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.”

Previously, the League of United Latin American Citizens and Equality Florida also issued similar advisories.

The NAACP's travel advisory comes a week after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that bans the state's public colleges and universities from spending money on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Demings' tweet followed Tampa Mayor Jane Crastor’s Sunday tweet, where she offered assurances to anyone and everyone with plans to visit or move to Tampa.

"As Mayor of Tampa, I can absolutely assure anyone and everyone considering a visit or move to Tampa that they will be welcomed with open arms," Castor tweeted. "Diversity and inclusion are central to what makes Tampa one of America's greatest and friendliest cities. That will never change, regardless of what happens in Tallahassee."

Originally from South Florida, Joe Mario came to Orlando to attend the University of Central Florida where he graduated with degrees in Radio & Television Production, Film, and Psychology. He worked several beats and covered multimedia at The Villages Daily Sun but returned to the City Beautiful as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel where he covered crime, hurricanes, and viral news. Joe Mario has too many interests and not enough time but tries to focus on his love for strange stories in comic books and horror movies. When he's not writing he loves to run in his spare time.
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