St. Petersburg establishes ‘Chief Equity Officer’ position
Equity Diversity Inclusion Fairness Equality Words 3d Illustration

Equity Diversity Inclusion Fairness Equality Words 3d Illustrati
'An accountable and responsive government is only possible when our commitment to equity is shown, not just through words, but through action.'

The city of St. Petersburg is creating a new position, a Chief Equity Officer, to support the Mayor Ken Welch administration’s focus on inclusive progress and in response to findings from the 2021 structural racism study.

“Intentional equity and inclusive progress are foundational to my administration,” Welch said.

“The Chief Equity Officer will be a key member of my leadership team who will ensure that equity and inclusion are fully integrated into city government policies, procedures and practices. An accountable and responsive government is only possible when our commitment to equity is shown, not just through words, but through action.”

The new hire will be a member of the Mayor’s Cabinet and will report to Chief of Staff Jordan “Doyle” Walsh.

According to the city, the Chief Equity Officer will have “oversight and direction over the city’s efforts to advance racial equity and inclusion within city government in collaboration with community stakeholders.”

Creating the position was one of five recommendations from the structural racism study commissioned in 2021, during the Rick Kriseman administration. The City Council approved those findings in December 2021, just before Welch’s inauguration, and has since committed nearly $320,000 from the city budget for a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) office.

However, Welch didn’t immediately create the Chief Equity Officer position to lead the office, citing the need for additional information on how that leader would report the office’s work.

The job posting lists qualifications for the position, which will pay up to $198,121, including an undergraduate degree with major course work in public administration, business administration or a related field; four years of experience in DEI or social justice programs; at least one year of supervisory experience; research skills; report, presentation and communication skills; and the ability to communicate orally and in writing to the city administration, City Council, members of the community and other stakeholders.

Preference would be given to those with a master’s degree in a related field, considerable knowledge of public administration at the municipal government level and a prior work history in grant management, grant writing and/or securing grants.

The other four recommendations from the structural racism study include continuing the work begun with the commissioning of the study; creating an accountability strategy; advancing the creation of an African American Quality of Life Sunshine Committee to be established as a permanent resident race equity board or commission; and evaluating the possibility of a reparations approach to addressing disparities related to structural and systemic racism.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


3 comments

  • PeterH

    May 9, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Every American should watch: A Man Called Otto” streaming now on Amazon Prime. It’s a timely movie about an American neighborhood coming together to solve problems.

  • Richard Bruce

    May 9, 2023 at 9:44 am

    Items that must be corrected by a new Chief Equity Officer. Why isn’t the staff of City Hall 40% conservative? That’s how many voted for the Republican candidate last election. Aren’t we all equal or are some more equal than others?

    What isn’t the City spending money on whey they are spending $320k on this staff and all the other future monies spent on their projects?

  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    May 9, 2023 at 10:41 am

    “Why isn’t the staff of City Hall 40% conservative?”

    Because your personal politics are personal and only insufferable d-bags go around flaunting that, and putting “Lets go Brandon” stickers on their car.

    It’s a lot harder to hide your race or gender.

    It’s also illegal to hire or fire based on political party.

Comments are closed.


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