Delaware Public Media

Gov. Carney highlights the state's efforts to combat discrimination

Nov 25, 2017

Gov. John Carney is trying to address diversity issues in some Delaware executive branch agencies.


Carney said he’s been working to create a uniform anti-discrimination policy for state government employees.

This past summer he signed legislation creating the new Human Resources Department and named Sandy Johnson, previously director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, to lead it.

The moves come after civil rights activists and religious leaders raised issues of racism and discrimination in state government under former Gov. Jack Markell.

Problems have rocked the Delaware Department of Labor and the Department of Transportation.

Carney said he supports Labor Secretary Patrice Gilliam-Johnson and DelDOT Director Jennifer Cohan, both holdovers from the Markell administration.

“Acting Secretary Johnson has a lot on her plate in hiring a diversity and inclusion officer, in working on discrimination policy, which we created a standard one across agencies,” he said.

Carney says some state agencies like DelDOT have in the past not prioritized the inclusion of women and people of color. He commends current DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan for addressing that.

“Secretary Cohan proactively went out and got a consultant to come in and look at these particular areas and they’re already starting to address some of those issues," he said. "So, I’ve been pleased with the progress there and with Secretary Cohan’s leadership.”

DelDOT released a consultant’s report earlier this year that found there’s no people of color in management positions.