Scoop: 2 Fair Board nominees tapped
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.
- Two other nominees, both Black women, were rejected by Metro Council this year amid cries for Hispanic representation on the Fair Board.
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 appointments have heightened significance because the Fair Board will soon consider a fairgrounds racetrack renovation plan.
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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