Jacksonville City Council President Michael Corrigan Welcomes African Delegation.

September 25, 2006  

City Council President Michael Corrigan welcomed a delegation of leaders from several African nations on Monday. The group is participating in the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program. The emphasis of the program is to increase mutual understanding through communication at the personal and professional levels. The seven member delegation is learning about the U.S. political process for newly elected leaders and will visit several U.S. cities during their three week tour. While in Jacksonville, the group is being hosted by the International Visitor Corps of Jacksonville, a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to promoting multi-cultural understanding by hosting short-term business and professional leaders from around the world.

Council Member Mia Jones joined Council President Corrigan in greeting the delegation which included leaders from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Liberia and South Africa. During the informal meeting in the Office of the City Council, the group was given a brief overview of Jacksonville's consolidated form of government, including the City Council's structure and governmental role.

'It was a tremendous opportunity to meet with elected officials from other countries,' said Council President Corrigan, of the gathering. 'Although we have all had very different cultural experiences, it was immediately clear how much we had in common, namely the desire to serve our constituents and make our cities and towns a better place to live.'

While in City Hall, the delegation also met with Rick Mullaney, General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville, and Carla Miller, the City's Ethics Officer, to learn about Jacksonville's Ethics Program for elected officials and Florida Sunshine Laws. The group also met with the Chamber of Commerce and plans to tour the governmental operations of the City of Atlantic Beach. During their visit to the First Coast, the delegation will attend a reception for Ambassador Johnnie Carson, visit the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. and hope to meet with Representative Corrine Brown, Senator Tony Hill and Mr. Isaiah Rumlin, President of NAACP Jacksonville, before journeying on to Minneapolis on the 28th.