Jacksonville is the largest American city that lacks human rights protections for LGBT people. By failing to stand against discrimination, we send an unintentional message that we condone it. That puts us at a disadvantage from a business and civic perspective. Modernizing and updating Jacksonville’s HRO creates a wide range of positive results for our community. Among them:
- It establishes Jacksonville as a city that values everyone, regardless of who they are and who they love.
- It helps local companies attract and retain talented top-tier candidates who would otherwise avoid relocating to any community that lacks fully inclusive HRO protections.
- It encourages outside businesses to relocate or expand here because it sends a clear message that all people are valued in our community.
- It encourages existing companies, workers and residents to stay here, put down roots and contribute to the community’s diverse social fabric.
- It levels the playing field for Jacksonville so it can compete more effectively with more modern and welcoming communities for talent and economic growth.
- It adds to Jacksonville’s overall quality of life by fostering diversity, inclusion and creativity.
- It aligns Jacksonville in law and fact with its claim to be a welcoming, inclusive community.
Modernizing Jacksonville’s HRO requires a variety of coordinated strategic initiatives, including:
- Legislative outreach: JCE members and allies meet with City Council members to educate, inform and persuade them of the urgent need for citywide protections in employment, housing and public accommodations.
- Community Outreach and Education: JCE members attend community events to engage and educate the community on the importance of protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents and visitors to Jacksonville.
- Neighboring initiatives: Cities surrounding Jacksonville are passing human rights ordinances because they know it’s good for business and it’s good for the community. HROs have recently passed in Atlantic Beach and nearby St. Augustine and are being considered elsewhere in Northeast Florida.
- Public Relations: JCE representatives engage with the local media to help tell our story and to provide the facts that support our efforts. In addition, JCE has become a resource for the local media as they seek to report on the HRO and other equality issues in Northeast Florida.