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Florida League of Cities Elects New Officers for 2020-2021

City of Lakeland Commissioner Phillip Walker Elected 1st Vice President 

Headshot - Commissioner Phillip WalkerTALLAHASSEE, FL (August 17, 2020) | The Florida League of Cities, the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments, today announced the election of its officers for the 2020-2021 term. The officers were elected and installed during the association’s annual business meeting held virtually this afternoon.

City of Orlando Commissioner Antonio “Tony” Ortiz was elected president of the Florida League of Cities, comprised of 411 municipalities in the state. Commissioner Ortiz will serve a one-year term. During his inaugural address, he announced his presidential priority for the coming year, “Building Stronger Cities: Organizing, Empowering & Delivering.” 

“Knowledge is not just power. Knowledge changes paths, creates vision and opportunities, transcends limitations, saves lives and promotes integrity. Knowledge is the foundation with which, as the new president of the Florida League of Cities, I intend to pave the way for our state to Build Stronger Cities,” said Ortiz. “This is the year for every resident of the state of Florida to learn the ways of government. It is time to develop a new generation of well-informed Floridians, that will know exactly what to expect from our legislators, that will hold them accountable, and keep them committed to the needs of the community. This is the year to bring the power of government back to the people.” 

The “Building Stronger Cities” initiative will include engaging workshops, videos, a dedicated website for residents, printable and digital materials available in multiple languages and more.

Ortiz will join an impressive list of Florida leaders serving as officers with the Florida League of Cities for the 2020-21 term including:

  • Florida League of Cities 1st Vice President: Phillip Walker, commissioner, City of Lakeland
  • Florida League of Cities 2nd Vice President: Jolien Caraballo, councilwoman, City of Port St. Lucie

Ortiz has been a dedicated public servant most of his life, beginning with his enlistment into the United States Marine Corps in 1984. He was first elected to the Orlando City Commission in 2008. Since his election, Ortiz has been involved in various successful projects and programs including, opening the first Seniors vs. Crime Office in Orlando, organizing the community through the creation of neighborhood and business councils, developing the main gate to the city from the Orlando International Airport,  the creation of the Central Florida Public Service Career & College Readiness Program in Orange County, the creation of a government academy, and championing the efforts that led to the implementation of the City of Orlando Trust Act policy, among others. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Florida League of Cities, has been a member of several of the League’s legislative policy committees, is the president of the Tri-County League of Cities, sits on numerous local boards and has been a member of several local organizations. Before his election to the city council, Ortiz was also an officer with the Orlando Police Department for 14 years.

About Commissioner Phillip Walker

Phillip Walker graduated from Kathleen High School and has a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice from Rollins College. Prior to his retirement as owner and agency principal of a Lakeland Allstate Insurance agency for over 26 years, Mr. Walker was a Lakeland Police Officer. He presently serves on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army, the Board of Directors for Chapters Health System, Christ Community Christian Center Church, the Board of Trustees for McKeel Schools of Technology and is a member of other organizations. He is also Founder and Board Member of the Lakeland/Polk County Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 2015 he was inducted into the Kathleen High School Hall of Fame. 

As a City Commissioner, Mr. Walker serves on the following committees: Legislative Committee, Utility Committee, Finance Committee, Real Estate and Transportation, and the Transportation Planning Organization. He serves on the Florida League of Cities Advocacy Committee, being a part of the Ridge League of Cities Regional Advocacy Team serving on the Board for the Ridge League of Cities. He also serves on the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust Board and is President of the Florida Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials.

Mr. Walker is married to Cappie D. Cooke and they have three children, Janelle, Jaela, and Christian Phillip, and one granddaughter, Zoë. There are also two other young men who are a part of his immediate family, Tony and John Eric.  


Brittni Johnsen
Florida League of Cities

Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third-largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.