Kristin Jacobs first became interested in environmental issues as a child in Southern California, where she saw the harmful consequences of a new housing subdivision and freeway being built near her home. She has since devoted much of her long career in public services to taking on environmental problems.
In 1998 Jacobs won a seat on the Broward County Commission over a heavily funded incumbent, a position she would hold for 16 years. As a county commissioner, she worked with other officials on the development of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact, the only regional agreement of its kind in the country. “It really showed that the trust and respect that you build up in working with your neighboring governments is invaluable,” she says. She was later appointed to the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.
Jacobs calls herself a “pragmatic environmentalist,” emphasizing the need for responsible growth. She’s now taking her experience to the Florida House, where she plans to focus on water policy and allocating funding for conservation. As ranking member of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, she’s already in a good position to make a difference.