Diversity Addressed at Council Worksession
Council Member Linda Gorton raised a few eyebrows at the August 25th LFUCG work session when she proposed to send back a mayoral appointment to the LexTran board, citing diversity issues as that board has no women on it.
She said, “it’s a mistake for us as a Council to approve boards which end up very skewed as far as diversity’s concerned.”
While several Council Members spoke on behalf of the qualifications of this particular proposed LexTran board member, Gorton insisted that this candidate wasn’t the issue—- that the larger issue of diversity has to be addressed by the Council when they consider the Mayor’s appointments.
Vice Mayor Gray pointed out that it isn’t just gender and race, recalling his suggestion that Lexington Downtown Development Authority would benefit from the inclusion of younger representation. (The DDA will meet on Monday, August 31, and their board composition is currently in transition. New appointments will be closely watched.)
Vice Mayor Gray cited as an example Dan Rowland’s recommendation of artist Alex Brooks for the Lexington DDA board.
Chief of staff Shaye Rabold responded that the appointment of Nathan Billings to the Board of Architectural Review was a good example of the representation of young people on Lexington boards.
CM Diane Lawless reminded Council Members that, while she applauded Billings’ appointment, diversity in age and the “creative class” could not always be represented solely by young professional men in coats and ties.
CM Julian Beard pronounced the diversity issue “a slippery slope.”
VM Jim Gray said, “I would agree with the Mayor, it’s not so much about filling out a matrix as it is ensuring there are differing points of view represented around the table.”