City of Jacksonville

Gwen Yates
District 8

Former Council Member Gwen Yates 7/1/1999-6/30/2003

Gwen Yates, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville's Northside, was elected to the City Council on July 1, 1999 as the District 8 representative and re-elected for a second term in 2003. She was a recipient of the 2002-2003 Charles D. Webb Award, the Council's most pretigious internal award.

After 26 years of employment with the City of Jacksonville, Yates retired from her position as administrative program manager with the Community Development Division in February 1999 to run for City Council. During her tenure with the city, she spent 10 years as chief of the Adult Services Division, appointed by Mayors Godbold, Hazouri and Austin. She also served as project director for the Jacksonville Senior Services Program, caseworker/juvenile counselor with the Child Services Division and was founder and the first director of what is now the Youth Crisis Center.

Yates has an outstanding record of public service and community involvement. This service includes:

  • Immediate Past President and a member of the board of trustees of the Florida Council on Aging
  • Charter member and past president of the Jacksonville Area Chapter of the Florida Council on Aging
  • A member of the board of directors of Healthy Families Jacksonville
  • A member of the Diocesan board of directors, Catholic Charities Bureau
  • A study group member of Jacksonville Council on Citizen Involvement, Inc. (JCCI)
  • An alumna of Leadership Jacksonville, Class of 1990
  • A former board member of Youth Leadership Jacksonville
  • A former member of the Board of Directors of Life Care Pastoral Services (Vicar's Landing, Ponte Vedra)
  • St. Vincent's Foundation board of trustees.

Yates recieved the 2006 National Conference for Community and Justice Humanitarian Award. Her other awards and achievements include being named as a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging (1981 and 1995); 'Black Women of Distinction' honoree (1992); 'Boss of the Year' (1984); Eve Award/employment category runner-up (1977); and a CBS '60 Minutes' segment on the Youth Crisis Center (1975). She was the recipient of the City Council's Charles D. Webb Award for 2002-2003, recognition given to the outstanding council member for that year.


Yates graduated from Stanton High School and holds a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Edward Waters College. She has also completed various management seminars at Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida.


Yates enjoys entertaining family and friends, interior design/decorating, playing her guitar and is a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church. She and her husband, retired Lieutenant Colonel Alton W. Yates, (USAF), have two adult children, Alton W. Yates II and Toni Yates-Fennell, and three grandchildren, Sarah, Alexis and Gabriel.