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Jacksonville Mayor Celebrates One Year In Office With Neighborhood Walk

Pressly Pratt


Mayor Lenny Curry celebrated a year since he was sworn into office Friday with a walk and lunch with residents in a Northwest Jacksonville neighborhood.

Protesters critical of the mayor’s response to police-involved shootings also showed up to meet him.  


At Curry’s inauguration last year, Jacksonville was introduced to Curry’s slogan ”One City, One Jacksonville.”

That day, he highlighted areas he wanted to help improve.

”Our city has faced, over the last few years, a spike in violent crime and murder,” he said. “The city’s finances have not honored the hardworking taxpayers. We face unfunded pension liabilities that could cripple our city.”

One year later, he said he’s addressing those problems. He’s worked with Sheriff Mike Williams to add additional police officers and overtime hours. In August, voters will decide whether to extend a 1/2-cent sales tax to pay off $2.6 billion of pension debt.


Credit Pressly Pratt / WJCT News
Mayor Lenny Curry celebrates a year playing basketball with kids in a Northwest Jacksonville neighborhood Friday.

“I’m not here today to celebrate,” Curry said Friday. “I’m here today to say that it’s been a year of hard work and action and will continue to be a year of hard work and action.”

During Curry’s first year in office he held three community conversations surrounding whether lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender protections should be added to the city’s human rights ordinance.

In January, Curry issued a city order prohibiting discrimination against the hiring of LGBT city employees, but said updating the HRO wouldn't be “prudent.

“I have done formal community conversations and engaged in the community informally. There are a number of walks that I do where there are no press announcements and cameras so I can get feedback,” he said. “I’ve taken that feedback and I’ve made decisions.”

He spent his anniversary walking a Northwest Jacksonville neighborhood near the Fairfax neighborhood, playing basketball with kids at Grunthal Park. He said these walks are helping him develop relationships with the community.

Credit Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News
Kemetic Empire human rights activist, Diallo-Sekou makes plans with Curry to meet and talk. Councilwoman Katrina Brown introduced the two Friday.

Among the walkers was human rights activist, Diallo Sekou. He’s part of the Kemetic Empire, the group known for shutting down the Hart bridge two years ago and holding protests over police-involved shootings. He said he wanted to see what the walk was all about and meet Curry.

“Walks are great,” he said. “It’s the legislation. It’s the preventative measures. It’s creating economic security for the poor and depressed in the city. Those are the only things I’m concerned with. I liked the walk. I got a chance to actually meet him for the first time.”

Sekou said Curry agreed to meet with him one on one to talk about what he’s doing to help poorer areas of the city.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.