Daytona gets mixed grades in Florida NAACP report card

BY ANDREAS BUTLER
DAYTONA TIMES

The City of Daytona Beach received an “A’’ for employment diversity but an overall grade of an F in a report card released this week by the Florida NAACP.

The 2017 Diversity Matters Report Card graded some private corporations, school districts and city governments across the state.

The NAACP Florida State Conference gave out grades in three areas, along with a final grade. The three areas are employment diversity; small, veteran and minority business spending; as well as small, veteran and minority advertising and marketing.

The City of Daytona Beach received an “F’’ in small, veteran and minority business spending as well as small, veteran and minority advertising and marketing.

Local NAACP responds
Cynthia Slater, president of the Volusia County/Daytona Beach NAACP, has mixed views about the report.

“I am unsure of who completed the survey for the City of Daytona Beach. However, the results of the report card for our city shows that there is much work that needs to be done as it relates to minority marketing, advertising and business spending,” she stated in an email to the Daytona Times.

“I was quite surprised to see the A in employment diversity; yet, I believe there continues to be a need for hiring in top level positions. The A simply means that the city is meeting the diversity and inclusion standards in employment diversity.”

The City of Daytona Beach did not respond for comment by the Times’ Wednesday night deadline.

Discrimination suits
The City of Daytona Beach has been under fire for diversity and equal opportunity practices in its workforce, which has resulted in discrimination lawsuits.

Most recent lawsuits include one from current employee Thomas Huger and fired employee Sonja Wiles.

Huger, a Black male, sued his employer for race and age discrimination after he was passed over for promotion to deputy public works director. The job was given to a younger White male.

Wiles, a White woman, who spent 23 years with the city, is suing the city for harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

The city recently issued a diversity memo showing improvements in regards to hiring and promoting minorities compared to a 2015 diversity in the workplace report it conducted.

How others fared
The only municipality to receive a good overall grade from the Florida NAACP was the City of Fort Walton Beach. It received a B grade.

Fort Walton Beach received an A in diversity employment diversity and small, veteran and minority marketing and advertising. However, it got an F for small, veteran and minority business spending.

Most cities and school districts rated received an overall F or D.

The cities of Palatka, Crestview, Hialeah, Sanford, Key West and Hollywood received F grades across the board.

Every city, school district and private corporation graded received an F for small, veteran and minority business spending.

All private corporations received an F in all categories.

‘A last priority’
The Florida NAACP examined records on employment, advertising and spending with minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. The NAACP Florida State Conference conducts this review annually, proposes recommendations and releases its findings to the public.

“Our Diversity Matters Report Card is an annual investigation reviewing workforce diversity, local contracting expenditures and advertising budgets in urban, rural and suburban areas,” said Torey Alston, who led this statewide effort on diversity and also serves as third vice president of the NAACP Florida State Conference.

“This year’s report card continues to show cities, counties, school districts and private companies have diversity and inclusion as the last priority. While there are some bright spots, there is still much work to be done ensuring diversity and inclusion is reflected in all aspects of government and the private sector.”

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