Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Young Democrats' Focus Is on Action; LEADING THE WAY the Group's Goal Is to Stay Active with City Issues in between Election Seasons

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Young Democrats' Focus Is on Action; LEADING THE WAY the Group's Goal Is to Stay Active with City Issues in between Election Seasons

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID HUNT

Amid a leadership shake-up, Jacksonville Young Democrats' two most senior members say the group needs to keep its activist edge.

Elections to the executive board are scheduled for later this month. The need for new leadership was prompted largely by former president Justin Spiller's resignation in April. Spiller, a lawyer who works part time as a lobbyist, said he could not continue to grow his career amid the organization's activities.

The Jacksonville Young Democrats led a campaign to pressure the City Council to put a controversial landfill contract out to bid. Ultimately, the group did not win as City Hall settled with Waste Management to continue operating Trail Ridge Landfill with no bid competition on the contract.

External vice president Ryan Clarke and interim president Joey McKinnon said the group did the right thing in exposing the issue to the public - and that kind of work can't stop.

"Our focus is a positive call to action," McKinnon said.

Spiller resigned in the aftermath of the settlement, saying he did not authorize the group to target Councilman Ray Holt in an e-mail message highlighting the work the Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County did uncovering a $2,500 campaign donation he'd received from Waste Management. …

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