Donna Deegan describes ‘wonderful conversations’ with Joe Biden admin that may lead to more federal help

Mayor Deegan Emerald Trail image via X account
'It certainly does help to have a good relationship with the administration.'

In the wake of Jacksonville getting the biggest federal grant in its history for the Emerald Trail project, Mayor Donna Deegan says it comes down to “relationships.”

Asked on WJCT’s First Coast Connect if a Democrat working with a Democratic presidential administration is helpful in “getting those kinds of dollars,” the first-term Mayor suggested that indeed that’s the case.

“What do you think? You know, it certainly seems that way to me,” Deegan said.

“It certainly does help to have a good relationship with the administration, and we have had a number of wonderful conversations, both with Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the folks at Housing and Urban Development, and a lot of different people in the Joe Biden administration. They’ve been incredibly helpful to us.”

Jacksonville is in line for $147 million for the Emerald Trail project from the federal government. Deegan previously attributed the money to “fantastic collaboration with our partners JTA and Groundwork Jacksonville, the relationships we’ve built with the Joe Biden Administration, and the experienced team we hired to bring more federal tax dollars home.”

The network of bicycle and pedestrian trails will connect Downtown to 14 historic neighborhoods, 18 schools, two colleges and nearly 30 parks, notes, in writing about the City Council’s conceptual approval of the plan five years ago.

Her comments Thursday suggest that there is more to come.

Regarding the Emerald Trail project, the administration was late in messaging about the federal funding due to what they framed as an embargo on local announcements.

That apparently didn’t apply to a Republican Congressman representing the city. His office said “no embargo” applied to them.

“I’m excited to have worked with Congressman (John) Rutherford to help secure over $147 million in direct grant funding to support the City of Jacksonville and Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s master plan to transform 14 historic neighborhoods and downtown into the Emerald Trail,” said U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean earlier this month.

Jacksonville Mayors have had strong relationships with various White Houses before, such as the Lenny Curry dynamic with former President Donald Trump. It’s clear that this Mayor, and by extension the city, benefit from the current Democratic synergy, at least for a while longer.

A.G. Gancarski

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


  • the Truth

    March 21, 2024 at 5:42 pm

    Joe does not even know what day it is,,,

  • MH/Duuuval

    March 22, 2024 at 7:27 pm

    Emerald Trail ring a bell?

Comments are closed.


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