Group was created to address transparency at JEA and in local government.
Five former JEA board chairs are among the charter members of OurJax, Inc., the nonprofit launched Jan. 9 to address transparency at JEA and in Northeast Florida government.
OurJax is led by three directors: Retired CSX Corp. CEO Michael Ward, Brightway Insurance Executive Chairman David Miller and former JEA board chair and lobbyist Mike Hightower.
The group says it was established in an effort to stop JEA’s now-abandoned invitation to negotiate process intended to lead to the sale of the utility.
“The initial support of OurJax.com has been incredible with hundreds signing up through the website in just a few short days. I believe that they share our goal of shining a light on JEA’s ITN process to ensure that this type of hurried, heavy-handed, secret deliberations never happen again,” Ward said in a news release. “We may not be able to change history, but we can make it.”
Charter members announced Jan. 13 include five unions:
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2358
- JEA Supervisors Association
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 429
- Professional Engineers Association
- Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 630
Nine individual charter members also were announced:
- Scott Cairns, attorney and mediator
- Kirsten Doolittle, attorney for JEA labor unions
- Ashton Hudson, former JEA board chair
- Ernie Isaac, former JEA board chair
- Sherry Magill, concerned citizen
- Audrey Moran, attorney
- Pastor James Sampson, First New Zion Missionary Baptist Church
- Bobby Stein, former JEA board chair
- Ron Townsend, former JEA board chair
“Members of our community deserve to know exactly what transpired over recent months before the JEA sale was abruptly ended. We support the Jacksonville City Council’s call for a full investigation. Our beloved City deserves nothing less,” Sampson said in the news release.
OurJax says its mission “is to promote transparency, integrity, accountability and local control in governmental and quasi-governmental entities in greater Northeast Florida, including the City of Jacksonville and its related governmental entities for the benefit of the general public. OurJax.com will work to promote public confidence and trust in government.”
OurJax is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization, which is allowed to lobby and seek legislation related to its goals.