Mayor-elect Jackie Biskupski released the following statement regarding her choice to lead the Office of Diversity & Human Rights:
Today, Salt Lake City Mayor-elect Jackie Biskupski announced she will retain and expand the role of Yolanda Francisco-Nez, currently the Coordinator for the Office of Diversity & Human Rights (ODHR). In her expanded role, Yolanda will continue to oversee ODHR, and will also serve as a policy advisor on issues of diversity and minority affairs to ensure greater equity and inclusion in city government, education, and economic development.
“In order to build a city with opportunity for all people, we must not only bring diverse voices to the table, but those voices must be in a position to help lead the conversation” said Mayor-elect Biskupski on her decision. “Throughout her career at City Hall, Yolanda has proven her commitment to Salt Lake City’s diverse communities. In speaking with her personally, and after hearing from a variety of interested parties, it is clear to me Yolanda is willing and able to do more to make Salt Lake City government responsive and reflective of all the people who live here.”
Yolanda Francisco-Nez has worked in various roles in the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office since 2000. In 2008 she was appointed as Coordinator of the Office of Diversity and Human Rights. In her current position, Yolanda helped facilitate the Salt Lake City ordinance protecting LGBTQ people in employment and housing, led the Complete Count Committee to ensure underrepresented populations were included in the 2010 Census, and developed award winning curriculum for refugee and immigrant populations addressing employment and housing discrimination, sexual violence, gang violence prevention, the justice court system, and the citizenship process. Yolanda currently serves as a Board Member of U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, and Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
“I am eager to continue my work and take on new challenges in a larger role with the Biskupski administration” said Yolanda Francisco-Nez on the announcement. “I have seen first-hand the continuing needs of Salt Lake City’s minority communities, and know city government can play a key role in addressing inequality in our society. With Mayor-elect Biskupski’s commitment to diversity, I am confident we can make a real impact in the years to come.”
Yolanda was born on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and moved to Salt Lake City as a child.