Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls host Public Hearing

Residents filled the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library A&B Program Room to deliver their concerns about problems hindering 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 residents were public transportation, pay equality, childcare and racism.  As well as preparing girls and women to become economically stable.

Huberta Jackson-Lowman, a Florida A&M University 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,” Lowe-Minor said.

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 women have more opportunities to overcome poverty.

Kelly Otte, the executive director at Pace, mentioned to her discussion group that the majority of girls recommended for expulsion are African American.

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, Fla., about eight miles south of Tallahassee.

Moderator Lowe-Minor said their biggest issue was also the lack of public transportation to get into town.

Lowe-Minor said 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.