May 31, 2020
In The Public Interest

Bowman files new HRO bill

According to a story in the Florida Times-Union (Thursday, May 7), Councilman Aaron Bowman filed a bill yesterday to correct problems identified by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal that made Jacksonville’s existing Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) unenforceable.

Bowman co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Ordinance prohibiting discrimination against people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. That bill passed in February 2017 on a majority vote of 12-6.

Jaxlookout obtained a copy of the bill from Councilmember Bowman’s assistant, Carol Brock. In an email to Jaxlookout, Brock explained that the bill “mirrors the intent of the originally enacted 2017 HRO legislation, Ordinance 2017-15-E. This legislation will bring the Council’s former action on the Human Rights Ordinance into conformance with the First DCA’s recent interpretation of the law.”

This issue will be part of the City Council’s agenda when it meets on Tuesday, May 12 at 5pm. The public is encouraged to participate online through the City’s website at www.coj.net

Written by
Robert Arleigh White

Robert Arleigh White has many years of experience managing nonprofit arts organizations in North Florida where he has also been active in promoting a host of arts related initiatives. In recognition of over 20 years of successful legislative and community advocacy, the City of Jacksonville proclaimed August 12 as “Robert Arleigh White Day,” and Jacksonville’s City Council similarly authorized a resolution in his honor. Previously, Mr. White served as the executive and artistic director for Theatre Jacksonville where he led the organization from near fiscal insolvency to become one of the State of Florida’s most successful artistic venues. While there, he also was directly responsible for the artistic direction of fifty plays and worked to produce dozens more. Currently, Bob is the principal for Robert Arleigh White + Associates where he consults with nonprofits on development, infrastructure and organizational storytelling.

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Written by Robert Arleigh White

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