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Jackie Smith positions herself as community-driven ahead of election

by Zach Wagner - Copy Editor
Tue, Oct 29th 2019 08:00 pm
County legislature candidate Jackie Smith spoke to students at The College at Brockport as part of the Understanding Monroe County series..
County legislature candidate Jackie Smith spoke to students at The College at Brockport as part of the Understanding Monroe County series..

The College at Brockport hosted County Legislator Candidate Jackie Smith on Monday, Oct. 28, in Seymour Union room 220. During this meeting, she explained her agenda, making her case to students regarding why she deserves to be chosen in the upcoming election.

Born and raised in the area and a graduate from Brockport High School in 1989, Smith put emphasis on making the surrounding area a better place to live for everyone involved in the community.

“[I’m] very passionate about my community, and I really want to be able to bring that passion to the county level and also be a voice for the west side,” Smith said.

Smith used her lifelong residency to build up her campaign. Having lived through the same things people in this district have, Smith believes her dedication to the community is a good reason why voters should mark her name on the ballots come November. She credits the college for being a big factor in community development.

“I’m very dedicated and passionate about our community and what we can do here for the people in this community,” Smith said. “SUNY Brockport has brought a lot to our community and I think our community has brought a lot to SUNY Brockport.” 

Smith never saw herself getting involved in the political field. She never studied political science in school but has been involved in different aspects of the community. She has always believed giving back to the community is important, starting with volunteering and eventually deciding to run for county legislator.

“Running for office was never part of any big plan; I never took any political science classes and I never really even thought about politics,” Smith said. “After I went to MCC, I married my high school sweetheart, we moved to Hamlin, where we started a family, and I started volunteering in many ways.” 

Smith believes volunteering in the community is what helps keep things evolving; participants are able to take something away while giving back to the place you live.

After being involved in the community for 29 years, residents saw the commitment from Smith, believing she would be a great fit for the Sweden/Clarkson Recreation Advisory Board.

“I was asked if I wanted to be part of the Sweden/Clarkson Rec Advisory Board,” Smith said. “My kids have been through the rec center and I felt like I had the expertise to sit as a parent and talk about ways we could improve our rec center.” 

After sitting on the Recreation Advisory Board for a year and a half, Smith decided to make a run for a town board position. Losing by only 22 votes, Smith had more ambition to continue and have a bigger impact on the community. She started attending town board meetings on a regular basis and served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for seven years. 

After gaining more experience, she ran for the position with a better idea of what needed to be done if she wanted to secure her spot on the board. With the resume she has built over the time spent in the community, Smith decided to take the next step by running for county legislature. Winning the election would allow Smith to enhance the power of her voice, taking her ideas to a higher level.

Graduate Assistant for Democratic Engagement Harry DeVoe was in charge of getting Smith to interact with some of the students on campus. Her involvement in the local community and her eagerness for change left a mark on DeVoe.

“Local government is really the entity that’s responsible for things that you and I and students take for granted — I don’t think we realize how much local government affects our daily lives, probably more so than state and federal,” DeVoe said. 

The Brockport Student Government (BSG) Vice President Sam Druzbik was inspired by the dedication and passion Smith shows for the surrounding community. Being involved in local government himself, Druzbik believes caring for her constituents can go much further than policies and political values at the local level.

“The dedication and passion she had is something that anyone can take away — being able to act on something you’re passionate about I think is something anyone can learn from,” Druzbik said.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. A shuttle will also be available in front of Rakov Center for early voting on Saturday, Nov. 2, and Sunday, Nov. 3, to transport voters to Ogden Town Hall.


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