Representation improves on Nashville boards
The racial diversity of Metro board appointments by Mayor John Cooper is improving, according to a demographic report provided to the Metro Council on Friday.
- Cooper also continued to round out his administration, announcing five new hires.
Why it matters: Boards and commissions are volunteer positions, but they play a vital role in overseeing government operations such as parks, sports facilities and the electric service.
Flashback: Cooper's administration has been dogged by high turnover, including among top advisers. Due in part to office vacancies, the administration missed a glut of deadlines and fell drastically behind on board appointments a year ago.
- The administration has also been pressed by council members to improve representation on boards. The issue was front-and-center as Cooper and Shulman struggled to get approval for appointments to the Fair Board.
By the numbers: The percentage of African American appointments to boards and commissions grew from 24.2% a year ago to 28.1% this year, according to the report.
- The percentage of Hispanic board members more than tripled from a paltry 1.6% last year to 4.9% this year.
- City board members are 49% white and closely split for those identifying male or female.
What's happening: The new hires are deputy press secretary Jessica Davis, strategic community engagement liaison Linda Harper, outreach liaison Tiara Thomas, community impact manager Breanna Tillman and associate director of housing and human services Karin Fielder Weaver.
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