Jacksonville and the 2012 Municipal Equality Index

December 5, 2012 11 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

A nationwide evaluation of municipal law and policy was recently released by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Victory, and the Equality Federation Institute. Cities that received a 100% score were Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach, Boston, Cambridge (MA), St. Louis, New York City, Portland (OR), Philadelphia, and Seattle. See where Jacksonville ranks!

Map by MPI's Zara Matheson; Data from report


137 cities across the country were evaluated and ranked on a scale of 100 being the best and 0 being the worst.  Eleven Florida cities were included with Orlando (77 out of 100) coming out on top and Jacksonville (15) at the bottom.

77 - Orlando

72 - Miami

66 - Tampa

62 - Fort Lauderdale

62 - Wilton Manors

54 - Oakland Park

46 - St. Petersburg

46 - Tallahassee

36 - Hollywood

34 - Miami Shores

15 - Jacksonville

The results of the Municipal Equality Index are, in some ways, predictable:  cities in the Northeast tended to do better than cities in the Midwest, Southwest, or South.  Cities in states with some state-wide relationship recognition substantially outperformed cities in states where no such protections exist.  In states won by President Obama in 2012 the average city score was 28 points higher than the average score from cities in the states that he lost.

For the Jacksonville apologist, our score of 15 wasn't alone.  Burgeoning meccas of economic prowless such as Montgomery (0), Baton Rouge (2), Jackson (8), Juneau (14), Wichita (15), Helena (15), Topeka (16), Bismark (17), and Little Rock (17) are there to keep us company.

Does this mean anything in terms of Jacksonville's ability to compete for economic development opportunities across the country?  

Full report and detailed rankings: http://www.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/2012_HRC_MEI.pdf