Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, directly under the control of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has caused controversy by eliminating all diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in Walt Disney World. The district claims that these programs, which aimed to promote equal opportunities for Americans of all genders and races, have been discriminatory and have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
The district administrator, Glenton Gilzean, argues that these initiatives are not only illegal but also un-American. As a result, the DEI committee has been dissolved, and all job duties relating to DEI have been eliminated for district employees.
However, it is important to note that this change does not affect the companies operating within the district, such as Disney. Despite the district’s decision, Disney has maintained its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and its own internal DEI programs remain intact.
In a surprising turn of events, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which oversees infrastructure and operations in the area, has been accused of wasting taxpayer dollars on contracts that prioritize racial and gender goals. Furthermore, it has been accused of aggressively monitoring contractors’ practices in this regard. To address these concerns, Governor DeSantis recently signed a bill granting the state greater oversight over the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
In response to the district’s actions, Disney has taken legal action against the board and Governor DeSantis, asserting that the elimination of DEI programs is a form of retaliation for exercising their First Amendment rights. However, a recent ruling by a Florida judge rejected Disney’s request to dismiss the case, meaning that the lawsuit will proceed.
These developments have sparked an intense debate in Central Florida, particularly regarding the boundaries between governmental control and the preservation of diversity and inclusion. As the story continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the legal battle between Disney and the district will impact the future of DEI programs in the region. Jala News will closely follow this story and provide updates as they become available.
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