Emily Bonilla
District 5 Commissioner

Commissioner Emily Bonilla was elected in November 2016 and re-elected in 2020 to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners. She obtained an Associate’s Degree in Film from Valencia, a Bachelor’s in English from UCF and Masters in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. She has extensive private sector experience in film, photography, marketing and creative writing. She promotes conservation of Orange County’s natural and economic resources.

She has been a proud Floridian since 1998, with her husband and two sons. She is honored to serve her district as she has the opportunity to improve the lives of residents by focusing on smart growth, economic development, protecting the environment, supporting local organizations, and being an advocate for the people.


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Phone: 407-836-7350


Board of County Commissioners
Commissioner Emily Bonilla
P.O. Box 1393
Orlando, FL 32802-1393

All e-mail sent to this address becomes part of Orange County public record. Comments received by our e-mail subsystem can be read by anyone who requests that privilege. In compliance with "Government in the Sunshine" laws, Orange County Government must make available, at request, any and all information not deemed a threat to the security of law enforcement agencies and personnel.


  • 2020 Oath of Office Ceremony: “As elected officials, we must take action and make decisions with care. One bold action from a community member can make such a positive impact in other people’s lives. I consider myself an introvert … and not one you would typically consider to run for public office. However, through my journey I have encouraged all of you to talk to your neighbors and get involved in your local government. Everyone can make a difference.” — District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla
  • Speed hump installed along Minnesota Avenue after 100% support from neighbors: "That’s exactly what the neighborhood did. They only needed a 2/3 consensus for the speed hump but received 100% approval from neighbors. Commissioner Emily Bonilla covered the $4,500 cost through her own funding."
  • Orange County officials: Developers need to pay more for transportation: “The developers have had it really good,” Commissioner Emily Bonilla said, unpersuaded by the pleas. “The developers, they’re out having a good time on their million-dollar-plus yachts while our working poor [are] struggling because our government has been giving away discounts...So it’s about time we start charging them 100% of the transportation impact fee.”
  • Orange County raise transportation-impact fees, but keeps discounts: Commissioner Emily Bonilla cast the lone vote against the discounted impact-fee plan. Her district includes rural east Orange where urban-style projects led residents in 2016 to band together to oppose two mega-developments in their community.
    “A vote to discount the developers' impact fees is a vote to increase taxes of everyone else," Bonilla said. "Someone has to pay [for roads]...If they don’t pay their fair share for the impact they put on the roads, then the burden falls to other taxpayers.”
  • Orange County approves plan to use $20M in CARES Act money to fund eviction diversion program - “What are people going to do to feed their families? That’s another thing I’ve been concerned about because they’re losing their income,” Bonilla said.
  • Tourism, development donors help finance 2 Orange County commissioners’ races, but steer clear of 3rd "records show that billboard giant Clear Channel, concrete manufacturer Cemex, liquor retailer ABC and amusement park operator SeaWorld have all given money to Commissioner Betsy VanderLey, who is running for re-election in Orange County’s District 1, and Commissioner Mayra Uribe, who is running for a second term in District 3.But none have contributed to any of the candidates in the county’s District 5, where Commissioner Emily Bonilla is up for re-election."
  • Orange County commissioners reject proposal to freeze rent hikes: "Commissioner Emily Bonilla, who floated the plan, expressed her frustration to fellow commissioners and the mayor, who did not want to explore a freeze on rent rates for the next year."
  • A proposal to freeze rent in Orange County for a year failed Tuesday at the Orange County Commission: But only two members of the board voted in favor of the rent control hearing. Here’s Bonilla: “We were already in a housing emergency prior to this, and it has been increased significantly due to a worldwide pandemic. I mean, if a worldwide pandemic isn’t enough to say we’re in a housing emergency, I don’t know what is.”
  • Tracking coronavirus: Florida adds another 6,000+ cases, 58 more deaths reported: As more counties across Florida add face mask mandates during the coronavirus pandemic, Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla is hosting a free face mask giveaway in Winter Park on Tuesday.
  • Malarkey flows as Orange County tries to justify another $700 million for convention center: Said Bonilla: “That was a very long time ago and a very different time than what we’re living in today.” That’s when I heard a retort so dopey I had to replay it five times to make sure I’d heard it correctly. In response to Bonilla’s contention that needs change over time, Commissioner Betsy VanderLey said: “We founded the country over 200 years ago, and that’s working out. So there’s that.” Um, yes, Commissioner, we did indeed found this country over 200 years ago. A few things have changed since then. Like slavery. And segregation. And denying women the right to vote. Bonilla’s point was that an enlightened society evolves. VanderLey’s attempt at snark was so sadly off-base that it actually bolstered Bonilla’s argument.
  • Visit Orlando handed out nearly $300,000 in extra pay as hotel taxes plummeted because of coronavirus: Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla said Visit Orlando should disclose more information — including the specific salary reduction for Visit Orlando’s highest-paid executive. “If you’re taking taxpayer money for something, then you have to have transparency and accountability,” Bonilla said.