Jacksonville News

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo


Date ArticleType
4/18/2023 4:00:00 AM Member News

Women’s Giving Alliance and Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center to Host 2023 Jacksonville Candidate Forum

Nonpartisan forum invites eight run-off seats, including mayor and city council candidates, to discuss issues facing women and girls in Duval County

Jacksonville, Fla. — April 18, 2023 — The Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA) and the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center have partnered to host a nonpartisan 2023 Duval County General Election Candidate Forum on Monday, April 24 from 5:30-7 p.m. at WJCT Studios at 100 Festival Park Ave. Free and open to the public, the forum has invited all candidates for each of the eight city seats that will be on the General Election ballot – including mayoral and city council run-off election candidates – who will discuss important issues affecting women and girls in Duval County. Registration is required as seating is limited.


“Both of our organizations have been focused on enhancing the wellbeing of women and girls ever since we were founded, and we’ve both been committed to addressing obstacles and removing barriers that prevent them from achieving their fullest potential,” said Sheila Collier, President of WGA. “This forum is intended to give upcoming run-off election candidates the opportunity to discuss their perspective on policies and practices surrounding key issues that are disproportionately impacting women and girls in our community.”


Moderated by Vicky Basra, DSW, President and CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, the nonpartisan forum will allow candidates to respond to questions about affordable housing, childcare, safety, mental health, and related topics. Research and statistics have shown how women and girls in Florida and specifically Duval County experience alarmingly higher rates of assault, homelessness, and other socioeconomic risks than their male counterparts.


“To enact meaningful and positive policy and practice change, it is critical for our elected officials to understand the issues facing women and girls today. It is also important we, as a community, understand where candidates stand on the issues that affect our lives,” said Dr. Basra. “The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is honored to partner with the Women’s Giving Alliance in this forum where candidates and community members can gather for honest, insightful conversation. The WGA is such a powerful and respected group of women leaders and is the catalyst for such positive and meaningful change in our community. We value their support and partnership in this important work.”


The eight run-off election seats include Jacksonville mayor candidates; city council districts 2, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 14; and city council at-large group 5. During the debate, each attending candidate will receive the same questions and be allocated three minutes to respond. Each round of questions will begin with a different candidate so each has the opportunity to respond first to a question. Questions from the audience will not be permitted to provide an equal opportunity and experience for each candidate.


Forum questions will include:

  • What policy and practice changes need to occur so that Jacksonville’s single-parent families in need of affordable or attainable housing can be better supported?
  • Do you think there is anything additional we could do here locally to make sure all children have access to great early learning experiences, and parents have affordable childcare?
  • What policies and practices need to change so that girls know where they can seek help for themselves or their friends when it comes to preventing or reporting abuse?
  • What can city leadership do to make our schools and communities safer for all students?
  • What are some actions the city can take to better support the rising mental health needs of the women and girls in our community?
  • What other policies or practices do you plan to put in place that will directly uplift the lives of women and girls in Jacksonville?


About the Women’s Giving Alliance (WGA)

WGA, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, is a group of dynamic, diverse women who pool their philanthropic giving to make a lasting impact on the lives of women and girls in Northeast Florida. Since 2001, hundreds of women in the region have become WGA members and each makes an annual contribution of $1,500. With these contributions, WGA has made grants totaling more than $7.7 million to 68 non-profit organizations to support critical services for women and girls. WGA has also built an endowment of more than $5.9 million. For more information: www.wganefl.org.

About The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center 

The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is a bold leader in the juvenile justice reform movement for girls*. We use an innovative combination of advocacy, research & best practices, and model programming to improve girls’ safety and fair treatment. Our holistic, girl-centered approach is designed to disrupt the root causes of justice system involvement, reform harmful policies and practices, and advance the rights of girls. We must all strive to see every girl for who they are and who they can become—not their present circumstances.


Founded in 2013, the Policy Center has served to date more than 3,000 girls, trained more than 3,000 girl serving professionals, released 27 independent reports, and advocated for the passage of five Florida laws that improve the safety, fair treatment, and well-being of girls and women.


Learn more at www.seethegirl.org


*We recognize there are limitations to language and our use of “girl(s)”. By “girl(s)” we mean all young people who identify as female, women, femmes, non-confirming, and gender expansive individuals.


For more information, contact:




The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

Stephanie Garry Garfunkel, Vice President, Strategic Communications


(904) 356-4483


Women’s Giving Alliance

Sheila Collier, President