Monday, residents filled the A&B Program Room at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library and delivered their concerns about the problems hindering them from economic security to Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
The commission was in attendance with two goals in mind: convey policy makers to create a solution and to collect the residents input and data for their annual report.
The main concerns from the residents were public transportation, pay equality, childcare, racism and how the system fails to prepare girls and women from having economic stability.
Huberta Jackson-Lowman, a FAMU Psychology Professor and a volunteer on the Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and girls, said, “We need to do work in terms of those systems to make them really serve us.”
Jessica Lowe-Minor, the new commission chair, said this year the group shifted its focus because they notice the common thread of the many issues women and girls faced— access to health care and being in domestic violence relationships— were all impacted by their finances.
“That was something we noticed. It was very prevalent throughout our reports was that many indicators of wellbeing for women and girls are impacting by the economic well-being,” said Lowe-Minor.
Two representatives from Pace Center for Girls attended the public hearing.
Kelly Parker, a Social Service Coordinator at Pace Center for girls, said it was important for her to come to the event to engage in dialogue.
Parker hopes to see more women have more opportunities overcome poverty.
Kelly Otte, the Executive Director at Pace, mentioned to her discussion group that the majority of girls recommended for expulsion are black.
Otte said changing community dialogue on racism will help focus on the bigger issue, finding a way to intervene before the girl gets in trouble.
The first public hearing was held in Woodville, Florida, about eight miles south of Tallahassee.
Lowe-Minor, who was the moderator, said their biggest issue was also the lack of public transportation to get into town.
Lowe-Minor says the commission’s next step will be complying all of the reports from this hearing and the two prior in order to make recommendations for the community, city and county commission.