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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

4/4/2018: Matt Schellenberg; Equal Pay Day; Jax Poetry Fest


Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with Jacksonville City Councilman Matt Schellenberg about his support of looking into the possibility of privatizing JEA (01:01).

We heard about next week’s Equal Pay Day with Patricia DeWitt, the Public Policy Director for the American Association of University Women. Co Chair of Equal Pay Day Jax Donna Kuldau also joined us (33:15).

Ahead of this year’s Jax Poetry Fest kickoff Wednesday night at the Jacksonville Art Walk we spoke with Executive Director of Hope at Hand Steffani Fletcher (46:00).    


Matt Schellenberg

For years he’s been one of few voices in city leadership who said Jacksonville should look into selling off JEA and for years the proposal didn’t go very far.

Councilman Matt Schellenberg has promoted the possible sale of the public utility, since before he was first elected in 2011.

Now that the City Council has formed a special committee looking into the possible privatization of the utility it has sparked a debate to learn just how much of a financial windfall Jacksonville could gain with the sale.

Equal Pay Day

Tuesday, April 10, is a day set aside to symbolize how far into the calendar year women have to work to earn what men in similar jobs earned the previous year. Women working full-time still only make - on average - 80% of what men earn.

Several local businesses are supporting Equal Pay Day with signage and discounts to women on April 10.

Intuition Ale Works is having Unhappy Hour from 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m. with live music and food trucks while Bold City Brewing Company is offering a discount to women.

At Moxie Kitchen women will receive 20% off their orders as well from 4 to 7 p.m..

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if employed women in Florida were paid the same as comparable men, their poverty rate would be reduced by more than half and poverty among employed single mothers would also drop by more than half.

Jax Poetry Fest

The poetry festival kicks off with readings at Hemming Park. There will also be free poetry session at MOCA April 5 -7.

The hope is to inspire others to create poetry through demonstrations of readings, poetry slams, contests and workshops.  

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.