JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA — Melanin levels and bedroom partners could impact the odds of landing a job at City Hall in Jacksonville these days.
Mayor Donna Deegan championed the darker skin color and sexual preferences of her new staff on Thursday, highlighting how she has hired fewer straight, white staffers than her predecessor.
Speaking at a press conference, Deegan celebrated the fact that her new appointments are: 26 percent African American, 9 percent Asian American, 6 percent “Other Ethnicities,” 3 percent Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 9 percent “members of the LGBTQ+ Community.” While Deegan touted how 5 percent of all city employees are Hispanic, she also vowed to hire more residents with a Latin American heritage.
“One of the goals of my administration is to make City Hall look more like Jacksonville,” Deegan wrote on Twitter.
In addition to sharing the ethnic demographics of the new tax-payer funded employees, Deegan announced six new appointments. The following bios were listed in the press release.
Randy DeFoor will serve as the next General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville. Randy is a 5th generation Jacksonville native, who has served our community with distinction, most recently on City Council. Her legal career includes serving as counsel to two of our city’s Fortune 500 companies. She has sat ex-officio on the boards of JEA and the JAA while on City Council.
Nina Sickler will be the new Director of Public Works. She is a registered Professional Engineer with more than 30 years of design, management, and leadership experience delivering infrastructure programs for government agencies, including the Emerald Trail and more than 200 additional projects in Jacksonville. She will be the first woman to ever serve as Director of Public Works in Jacksonville.
Alex Alston will serve as the Chief of Sports & Entertainment. He is the Managing Director of Sports and Entertainment at FIS and previously managed sales and marketing for Jacksonville’s sports and entertainment venues as a Director at ASM Global. Alex also was an executive at the Sports Commissions in Gainesville, FL and Tulsa, OK. He is the Jacksonville Police Athletic League Board President and a Board Member of Visit Jacksonville.
Dr. Rudy Jamison, Jr. will serve as the Executive Director of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission (JHRC). He was a Director and Professor at the University of North Florida where he focused on race relations, urban education, community partnerships, and leadership development. Rudy also serves on a number of local non-profit boards.
Jimmy Midyette will serve as the Diversity Manager for the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission (JHRC). A staunch human rights advocate for over 20 years, he has provided legal expertise and advocacy support for the American Civil Liberties Union, Equality Florida Institute, Jacksonville Coalition for Equality, and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.
Gregory Grant will serve as the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Businesses (JSEB) Administrator. He is the Assistant Director of UNF’s Small Business Development Center and an Adjunct Professor at UNF, FSCJ, and Trinity Baptist College. Gregory also brings experience as an entrepreneur, small business owner, and proud Army veteran.
Bill Delaney will serve as a Council Liaison. He is the University of North Florida’s Director of Strategy and Project Management. In addition to his higher education experience, he writes about Jacksonville culture, history, and public policy as the co-owner and editor of The Jaxson, Modern Cities, and Edible Northeast Florida.