Recently, we had the pleasure of featuring Maria Mark, City Commissioner in Atlantic Beach, as a Straight Ally after she advocated for the passage of a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance in her city. During the photo shoot, she was joined by several advocates who have joined the growing chorus, calling for the passage of a comprehensive Human Rights Ordinance in our city.
A little more about each of the people you see in the image above (from left to right, top to bottom):
Ramon Day, Community Leader
Ramon Day is a fifth generation Floridian and native of Madison, Florida. He grew up in Jacksonville and graduated from Jacksonville University, then went on to earn his MBA in Finance from the University of Florida. His unique career experience spans the private and public sectors. Currently, he works an account manager at Allstate Insurance. Ramon learned the details of government and the highest standards of public service when he served as Chief of Staff to the late Congressman Charles E. Bennett in Washington, D.C. Ramon and his wife, Mary, have four wonderful children. They are well established residents of the Southside and are active members of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church. Ramon believes God created all of us equality and supports an HRO.
Maria Mark, City Commissioner of Atlantic Beach
Maria has been a community advocate for many years and was elected to the City of Atlantic Beach City Commission in 2011. She helped draft and sponsor the Human Rights Ordinance that recently passed (4-0) on August 11, 2014. She was awarded the “2014 Voice for Equality Award” at Equality Florida’s Jacksonville Annual Gala for her dedication to equal rights for the LGBT community in Atlantic Beach. Read more about Maria HERE.
Ju’Coby Pittman, President and CEO of the Clara White Mission
Ju’Coby is a native Jacksonville-resident who graduated from Englewood High School, and then went on to pursue the Edward Waters College C.L.I.M.B. Program. Additionally, she was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by Jones College. As the CEO/President of the Clara White Mission, her primary focus of feeding and meeting the needs of Jacksonville’s homeless population has been advanced by the implementation of a “Drop-in Day Center”, providing customized services for veterans. Community engagement has kept her at the forefront of Jacksonville’s progression as Ju’Coby has served on the transition team(s) of Jacksonville’s three prior mayor’s: John Delaney, John Peyton, and current Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. Ju’Coby believes that an HRO makes for more inclusion in our community.
Jesse Wilson, Advocate, Author and Motivational Speaker
Jesse is a Jacksonville native who has become a major advocate for issues surrounding children, LGBT equality, civic engagement, downtown development, and human rights. A survivor of the state’s foster care system, Jesse has spent an immeasurable amount of time in Tallahassee rallying the charge for laws related to children and has been influential in assuring many great pieces of legislation become law. He is also an avid writer and was first published at the age of 16 in his book of poetry titled The Storm Rolling In . He currently works for Family Support Services of North Florida and is a contributing writer for Void Magazine. Jesse was recently named the #1 writer in the 904 by Void Magazine, a top 30 Under 30 by Buzz Magazine, and the Best Local Author & Best Local Righteous Crusader by Folio Weekly readers. Check out his video statement HERE!