In wake of Kamala Harris visit to Jacksonville, Donna Deegan says she’s not interested in ‘national politics’
Image via City of Jacksonville.

Deegan Harris
'National politics should not play a role in local politics.'

Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan isn’t interested in conflating local politics with “national politics,” despite her meeting with Kamala Harris during her recent visit to Jacksonville, in which the Vice President pilloried the state’s new standards for teaching Black history f

During an interview on WJCT’sFirst Coast Connect,” the recently inaugurated Democrat explained her position, even as she backed VP Harris’ take on Florida’s newly adopted approach implemented by rom the Ron DeSantis administration in teaching subjects ranging from slavery to massacres of the state’s Black citizens in the past.

“My message has been and will continue to be: National politics should not play a role in local politics. It’s about customer service,” Deegan said. “It’s about roads and bridges and sidewalks and potholes and making sure that people in Jacksonville have what they need to be successful.”

The Mayor stressed the importance of working to “build relationships with people,” saying that’s what she’s worked to do in her first weeks in office.

“I think you saw in this last election really a repudiation of the type of politics that is just zero sum … totally focused on destruction of the other person. And people said, ‘You know what, we want our city government to get along with each other and we need to get things done.’ There’s too much potential in this city to continue to have a food fight over politics when really it shouldn’t play a role.”

Despite Deegan’s assertion people want to move beyond national politics, she endorsed Harris’ speech criticizing the DeSantis administration for imposing standards that include teaching middle school students “enslaved people benefited from slavery” and high school students that the victims of racially motivated massacres were somehow also perpetrators.

“It’s not a political issue. This is an issue of recognizing people’s humanity and we’re going to continue to do that in Jacksonville. It doesn’t make any sense to me that we would educate our children in a way that is not honest to the history of slavery. And I think as with any issue, you look at that and you say, how does that impact students in Jacksonville and you have to speak out about it,” Deegan said.

She added that she believes a Mayor should “lift those issues that are very important.”

“At the end of the day, we’ll see what happens in terms of what the federal government will do and how people around the state react to that,” Deegan said.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


15 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    July 24, 2023 at 10:09 am

    That’s a shame that Deegan is not interested in national politics.

    If Florida ran her for President, Florida’s candidate might have a real chance of getting elected in Nov 2024.

    Rhonda, Francis and Defelonious Javina = no chance.

  • Thomas Sims

    July 24, 2023 at 9:58 pm

    How does Mayor Deegan and writer Gamcatski explain the FACT that Dr. William B. Allen, noted African American academic authority, former Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights and a member of the State of Florida Education Committee which wrote the discussed new guidelines has very emphatically stated that V-P Harriss was “categorically false” when she states the guidelines teach “ Enslaved people benefited from slavery”? I am all for the new approach Donna Deegan is suggesting, but don’t mis roads and bridges with Vice President Harriss and her outright lies.

    • You stand corrected

      July 24, 2023 at 10:52 pm

      The standard in question for grades 6-8 has the following “benchmark clarification”: “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” Thus the Veep’s statement is totally on point. (And her last name is Harris, BTW.)

    • My Take

      July 25, 2023 at 12:08 am

      [Some?] [Many?] [All?] Enslaved people benefited from slavery”
      ======
      English is a contextual language.*
      There is often uncertàinty in an isolated literal take.
      *I have read that this in part is why treaties in Euŕope were for long in French.

    • Dont Say FLA

      July 25, 2023 at 7:25 am

      He gets free yacht rides from Harlan Crowe

    • Danielson

      July 25, 2023 at 10:59 am

      Exactly!! The author of this article is propagating proven baseless false info and hate from Kamala Harris

    • Margaret

      August 2, 2023 at 5:58 pm

      It was Ron DeSantis who said that. She may have been quoting him. Listen more carefully.

  • MH/Duuuval

    July 25, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    Deegan has many goals, no doubt. But one important one is severing national partisan politics from local politics. Locals too often vote for the party, and not the person. So, for example, we get five at-large council members who are GOP just because of their party affiliation. (This is a classic case of vote dilution.) Or, in a district election when one party dominates registration, the lesser party cedes the office without a serious contest.

    • Simon

      August 2, 2023 at 1:02 pm

      Yes if only we could cure the rest of the gerrymandered state and local districts.

  • Ken Noon

    July 25, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    If Donna will drop the monica democrat maybe she could stay for the full eight years

    • Simon

      August 2, 2023 at 1:03 pm

      Maybe the local GOP needs to find brighter candidates to run!

  • Ken Noon

    July 25, 2023 at 1:40 pm

    If Donna will drop the monica democrat maybe she could stay for the full eight years

  • Igary salters

    July 25, 2023 at 3:29 pm

    I had my nose and voted for donna deegan because i knew that black issue had no chance of being address by the gop candidate for her to she have no interest in national polictics is not going to fly because the current feild of gop candidate for president are pushing racist policies anti women policies anti lgbtq+ ploicies anti voting and anti affirmative action policines and education policies that will white wash history saying that black people don’t excist taking us back to jim crow days

  • Bev

    July 26, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    We all know what an IDIOT she is ,she is just trying to devide the Races ,I live in Florida,and I raised my Children to not see Color they had Black and white friends ,when I came home from work I always had a bunch of kids playing in my back yard because we had a Basket Ball court in my back yard and I alway knew where my Boys were!!!!

  • Igary salters

    July 26, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    IT IS NOT THE VICE PRESIDENT TO IS TRYING TO DIVIDE THE RACES IT IS THE GOP WHO IS THE PERSON WHO HAVE SAID THAT AP BLACK AMERICAN HISTORY CAN NOY BE TAUGHT HERE IN THE STATE FLORIDA WHO IS THE PERSON WHO SAID CRT IS BEING TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOL WHEN IT IS ONLY INTRODUCE IN COLLEGE EDUCATION AND BY THE WAY REMEBER IT WAS A ALL BLACK FIGHTER GROUP IN WW2 THAT PROTECTED AND SAVED MORE WHITE BOMBERS CREWS THE 99TH FIGHTERS GROUP THE RED TAILS THIS IS BUT ONE HISTORICS TOPIC THAT RON THE RACIST DESANTIS DON’T WANT TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS BECAUSE HE IS SCARED OF THE TRUTH

Comments are closed.


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