Jennifer Jenkins

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Every candidate is given the opportunity to answer our candidate questionnaire. Below are the answers to the question this candidate chose to answer as submitted.

Jennifer Jenkins (Provided Photo)

Political Party: Nonpartisan Race

Education: B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies Arts and Humanities, Florida Atlantic University 2009; M.A. Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Florida 2014

Office Running For: School Board District 3

Email: Jennifer@JenkinsforSchoolBoard.com

Current Employment: Speech Language Pathologist at Brevard Public Schools

Where are you from: Staten Island, NY

Why are you running: Throughout my experience working with Brevard Public Schools, I have met educators who pour every ounce of their being into their profession for the betterment of their students. They give relentlessly, more time in their day than their contracted hours and money out of their own pockets. I have also witnessed the steady decline of their spirit. Teachers, who have dedicated decades of service to this district, feeling their value diminished, their concerns disregarded. I want to serve as an advocate for both the invaluable colleagues I have been privileged to work with and the children in which we are thankful to serve.

What are your top three priorities if you are elected:

Ensuring our children are safe with evidence based facility security improvements and maintaining armed personnel are only those who’s primary responsibility is security.
Recreating an environment in which our educators know they are valued, demonstrated by a prioritization of improving work conditions.
Improving access to mental health services with community partnerships, to address the health crises of suicide and substance abuse.

What do you think is the number 1 problem in your district related to the office you are running for:

Our school board appears to be a stepping stone to enhance future political aspirations. Though I appreciate ambition for public service, this results in decisions being made that are not always representative of the people in which they were elected to serve. Brevard County residents are entitled to a school board member whose primary concern is ensuring access to quality education. Someone who is influenced only by the best interest of the students in which we serve.

How will you involve your constituents in your decision making: When speaking with community members, a common theme amongst the concerns is the lack of transparency from and accountability of the district. Educators are frustrated about the spread of misinformation about budgetary conditions. Parents are frustrated by the lack of urgency and follow through by the district about school specific related incidents. Each vote by the school board directly impacts the residents of Brevard County and they have a right to be heard. As I have done since the beginning of this campaign, and will continue to do throughout, I will encourage an environment in which community members feel their representative is accessible, willing to listen, and communicates accurate information.

Do you plan to run for a higher office: No

How will you address infrastructure in your district: Our school buildings are declining at a rapid rate. Inadequate funding and a lack of planning to prepare for simultaneous aging infrastructure has resulted in a continuous state of dysfunction. The half cent sales tax intended to rectify this dilemma. However, as the tax nears its sunset, it is evident more revenue is needed to continue to address these issues.

Why are you a better choice than your opponents: My opponent campaigned on promises to increase teacher morale and recruitment. Over the three years in her role, there is little evidence to indicate that this was a priority, and more to prove the contrary. My experience working side by side with educators, affords me the ability to truly understand how every decision by our school board directly impacts our working conditions and our livelihood. I understand the importance of cultivating respectful discourse with our teachers to sustain regard of their profession by the members of their community. I too will make campaign promises that may be met with road blocks, however, I will ensure that I continue to demonstrate advocacy for them every day.

What is your past political experience:

None

Opponents and the media research public records, police reports, credit information and do other background checks in an effort to discover tax liens, lawsuits, arrest records and other unfortunate things. Are there any issues your opponent could use against you that you wish to disclose:

No

Please list any websites or social media links to your campaign if you have any:

Facebook: @JenkinsForSchoolBoard

Website: www.JenkinsForSchoolBoard.com (under construction)