The legacy of Representative Kristin Jacobs
By now most of us have heard of the tragic loss of State House Rep. Kristin Jacobs on April 11, 2020, from colon cancer. The red-haired, firebrand, representative was just 60 years old and despite the fact that she spent the last years of her life suffering through both chemo and radiation treatments she has been an active member of the Florida legislature since 2014.
Who was Representative Kristin Jacobs? She was a lot of things to a lot of people. She was a native Californian, born in San Diego. She was a mother of three children and a Grandmother of three grandchildren. She was a dear friend to many, including her ex-husband, who had this to say about her “I said, if we’re going to get divorced, you’ll just be my favorite relative,” he recalls. “And that’s what she was, my favorite relative.” And a companion, to life partner Steven Vancore who said of her passing “You can look at it one of two ways — that I found this woman, the love of my life, and I lost her. Or I found her just in the nick of time. That’s how I feel. I found her just in the nick of time.”
To most of us, however, she was one of the most effective elected officials of her time. She began her political career in 1998, when she ran for and won the District 2 Broward County Commission seat. She served there for more than 10 years during which time she introduced Broward County’s Human Rights Act and Living Wage Ordinance. testified before Congress on the Clean Water Act and the Senate on climate change. This led to President Barack Obama appointing Kristin to two task forces one on climate the other on Ocean policy.
After terming out of her County Commission seat in 2014 she ran and won a seat in the Florida House of Representatives for District 96. While at the Florida House she gained a reputation for reaching across the aisle and building coalitions to help advance common-sense legislation. This includes the last bill she passed “the shark fin bill” written to stem the flow of shark fin trade, which condones bad actors to cut off shark fins while leaving the shark to die.
A group of Ruth’s List Florida executives that includes Emma Collum, Marika Lynch, Burnadette Norris-Weeks, former Congresswoman Gwen Graham, and President/Ceo Pamela Goodman, have come together to start the Representative Kristin Jacobs Annual Legacy Fund. Each has donated $200 in memory of Representative Jacobs, and we are asking you to make a $200 match. The fund will be specifically targeted to help provide monetary support for female candidates who are pursuing environmental justice. Please join us in honoring the memory of this great legislator and even greater person by donating below. Your gift will enable Ruth’s List to support the next Representative Jacobs who needs our help to ensure her space at the legislature is secured so that she can fight to save this planet.
Today is Earth Day, a day dedicated to environmental sustainability, we believe Kristin would love nothing more than to help like-minded Democratic women get elected. We are asking you to please consider a donation to celebrate the legacy of the Honorable Kristin Jacobs. If you knew her, loved her, or even if you didn’t, we are asking you to help us keep her legacy going.
Rest with power and in peace Kristin. We will make sure your work is not forgotten!