Dec 21, 2021 - Politics

Scoop: 2 Fair Board nominees tapped

Drivers at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway speed past the camera on July 17, 2021.

Drivers at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on July 17, 2021. Photo: Dylan Buell/SRX via Getty Images

Mario Avila and Jasper Hendricks will be nominated this week to fill the Metro Fair Board's two vacant seats, possibly bringing an end to a hot-button issue.

Why it matters: Avila and Hendricks will be nominated as soon as today, putting them on track to be considered for confirmation by the council next month, Mayor Cooper's administration confirmed to Axios.

The details: Avila, who is Hispanic, works as the director of the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures and is an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt.

  • Hendricks, who is Black, works as a public policy and political consultant.
  • Diversity among city boards and commissions has increased since Cooper took office, according to a report provided to the council in September. Minority participation rose from 28% to 46%, according to the report.

Driving the news: One of the Fair Board appointments fell to Vice Mayor Jim Shulman after Cooper's administration missed a deadline, which has happened several times this year.

  • Cooper and Shulman collaborated on identifying nominees for the vacant seats, Cooper spokesperson Ben Eagles said.
  • "These are two highly qualified candidates that will bring valuable perspectives to the Fair Board and we look forward to their consideration by Metro Council," Eagles tells Axios.

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