Commission on the Status of Women and Girls holds public hearing


Committee members Kelly Otte and Gina Giacomo listen to economic security issues.

Women from around the community gathered at Jack McLean as the Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls hosted a public meeting to discuss economic security.

The topics included child care, education, sexual violence, affordable housing and transportation.

 Community members were invited to the Friday evening event to address concerns and give suggestions about each issue.

Committee members in attendance were vice chair Andrea Jones, Gina Giacomo, Elizabeth Jakubowski and Kelly Otte.

Attendees shared ideas on solving economic security problems in the community. Otte said were ways to get women higher-paying jobs.

“Research to see what are the highest paying jobs that have the least number of women in them that are vocational based,” said Otte. “Try to figure out how to recruit women into those positions.” 

The public meeting provided women the opportunity to share trials on reaching economic security.

The feedback from the hearing will be sent to the commission for suggestions to provide to the county commission.

Tallahassee residents expressed their concerns about teaching women how to come out of poverty.

Otte said people don’t understand what living in poverty is all about.

“They have an idea of what it is, but they don’t know really what it is. One of the best things we could do is to put people in a room who can talk about it from a very factual way and educate the people that are making the decisions,” said Otte.

Comments about having a poverty stimulation, which shows what it is like to live in poverty, was suggested in the meeting. Elizabeth Jakubowski, a committee member, recalled having a simulation in past years.

“In 2014, we did a poverty simulation. It turned out very well,” said Jakubowski.

During the meeting, a survey was issued to each woman to collect feedback on the state of women in the community.

Vice chair Jones said the information presented in the meeting was helpful and will be used.

The panel’s next two meetings will be held in August.