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Kristin Jacobs

Kristin Jacobs
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 96th district
Assumed office
November 18, 2014
Preceded by Jim Waldman
Personal details
Born (1959-10-17) October 17, 1959
San Diego, California
Political party Democratic
Children Richard, Lauren, Mitchell
Alma mater Southwestern College
Broward College
Profession Public policy professional
Religion Methodist

Kristin Jacobs (born October 17, 1959) is a Democratic politician who has served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives since 2014. She represents the 96th District, which includes Coconut Creek, Margate, Coral Springs and Parkland in northeastern Broward County.[1]


  • History 1
  • 2012 Congressional campaign 2
  • Florida House of Representatives 3
  • Environmental and transportation work 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Jacobs was born in San Diego, California, and attended Southwestern College before moving to the state of Florida, where she attended Broward College. She became active in community affairs, serving on the Broward County Board of Code and Zoning and the Community Action Agency Advisory Board, founding the Coalition of Unincorporated Broward Communities, and becoming president of the North Andrews Neighborhood Association.

In 1998, Jacobs ran for a seat on the Broward County Commission from District 2, challenging incumbent Commissioner Sylvia Poitier in the Democratic primary. Jacobs criticized Poitier for accepting campaign contributions from developers, allowing the construction of housing developments that threatened the Everglades, and for ethics violations,[2] and was endorsed by the Sun-Sentinel in her campaign, which called her "an articulate, energetic, well-informed challenger poised to invigorate the County Commission with new ideas, integrity and reform-minded leadership."[3] Jacobs was ultimately successful, defeating Poitier with 54% of the vote.[4] She faced former State Representative Bob Shelley, the Republican nominee, in the general election, whom she defeated easily, winning 65% of the vote.[5] She was re-elected easily in 2002, defeating Independent candidate Bob Hoffman with 82% of the vote,[6] and again in 2006, when she defeated Hoffman once again, winning 86% of the vote.[7] She was unopposed for re-election in 2010.[8]

In 2009, she successfully brought together four Southeast Florida counties. The counties signed a historic compact to speak with one voice to Federal and State government about the unique needs of the region. Building on that model, in 2013 she forged a second compact with Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, agreeing to work together to achieve common goals.[9]

In 2008, Jacobs was invited by

  • Florida House of Representatives - Kristin Jacobs
  • Kristin Jacobs for State Representative

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The combination of environmental and transportation projects sponsored by Jacobs have combined to place the Broward County Commission on target to reach its adopted goal to reduce CO2 emissions 20 percent by 2020.[28]

In addition, Jacobs also sponsored Broward’s Complete Streets program adding bicycle and pedestrian-friendly urban design to County roads.[25] In furtherance of this goal, she sponsored Broward’s B-Cycle, the first countywide bikeshare program in the United States.[26] She was the lead in bringing forward Broward County’s first streetcar project, the Wave, which received a line-item mention in President Obama’s 2014 proposed budget.[27]

In 2014 Jacobs continued to speak out nationally, as she was the only elected official in the United States asked to speak at the White House unveiling of its third update of the National Climate Assessment, which featured her work in Southeast Florida.[23] Also in 2014, the U.S. Senate twice invited Jacobs to testify in Senate hearings on climate change policy.[24]

In 2011, Jacobs was selected to serve as Chair of the White House National Ocean Council’s Governance Coordinating Committee, which advises President Climate Action Plan,[21] and that same year President Obama appointed her to the Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.[22]

Kristin’s environmental work has continued to play out on the national stage. In 2008, she was called to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives on challenges to the Clean Water Act.[18] In 2010, Jacobs was invited to participate in a press event with several Congressional members in Washington, D.C. to encourage Congress to pass the America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act, reaffirming our ability to protect our nation’s waters.[19]

In 2009, she was the lead official in the development of the four-county Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, creating a nonpartisan forum for the political leadership of 5.5 million residents to speak with one voice to Federal and State government about the unique needs of their region. This effort alone has propelled the collective advancement of regional and Broward-specific climate resiliency initiatives, now established as a national and international model.[17] Building on that model, in 2013 she forged a second compact expanding upon common interests with Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

In 2005, when Hurricane Wilma made landfall in Broward, it was Mayor Jacobs who led the County through its aftermath and helped residents get back on their feet.[16]

Environmental and transportation work

When incumbent State Representative Jim Waldman was unable to seek re-election in 2014 due to term limits, Jacobs, who was also prevented from seeking another term on the County Commission due to term limits, ran to succeed him in the 96th District. She faced former State Representative Steve Perman in the Democratic primary, and campaigned on her strong policymaking credentials, especially on climate change and water issues, saying, "I don't think South Florida has that many experts on the issue. I come armed with information. I'm looking forward to be being part of a statewide strategy on how we deal with water issues."[15] She defeated Perman comfortably, winning 76% of the vote to his 24%, and advanced to the general election. Jacobs only faced write-in opposition in the general election, and won nearly 100% of the vote.

Florida House of Representatives

On February 20, 2012, Jacobs announced that she would run for Congress in the newly-created 22nd Congressional District, which stretched along the coastline in Broward and Palm Beach counties. She campaigned as "a consensus builder" and emphasized her ability to work with others to enact public policy while still maintaining her core values of protecting reproductive rights and marriage equality. She criticized her opponent, Lois Frankel, the former Mayor of West Palm Beach and the former Minority Leader of the Florida House of Representatives, calling her a "divisive insider" and a "pay to play Tallahassee politician."[13] During the campaign, she earned the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union, which praised her for having a "proven record advocating for good family-sustaining jobs, improved public transportation and smart energy independence." She also was endorsed by The Palm Beach Post, which urged voters to "make Congress work" by electing people with Jacobs' "temperament," and complimented her "experience in local and regional issues that also need to be addressed knowledgeably in Washington."[14] Frankel defeated Jacobs by a wide margin, winning 61% of the vote to Jacobs's 39%.

2012 Congressional campaign

Jacobs is a longtime advocate of light rail and has successfully fought for the passage of Broward’s first streetcar, The WAVE, and Complete Streets, which adds bicycle and pedestrian-friendly urban design to county roads. Jacobs has worked to expand affordable housing, revitalize neighborhoods, encourage sustainable development and is an advocate for making solar energy a viable option for homeowners.[12]

Jacobs is an advocate for women and children and introduced Broward County’s Human Rights Act to prevent discrimination. She is known as the “mother” of Broward’s Living Wage Ordinance, now in place for 11 years, which guarantees a decent salary for County workers and contracted employees.[11]


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