Jenn Powell

Jenn Powell
Office Manager/Bookkeeper for Car Keys, LLC.

Please describe your current occupation and what some of your responsibilities are.

My day job is office manager/bookkeeper for Car Keys, LLC., but I volunteer during all of my free time. I’m the president of Alachua County Revolution, a grassroots affiliate of the former Bernie Sanders campaign, and I am very active with the local Democratic party and the Alachua Labor Coalition. I am trying to “Be the Change”.

 What are some of your strengths and how have you learned to identify them?  

Resilience, empathy and unyielding optimism.  Resilience is my super power, you can’t dwell on the bad moments; you live and you learn.  I’ve taught my kids to roll with the punches too.  Life is going to knock you down sometimes, but you don’t have to stay down.  Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep moving forward.  Empathy allows me to see things from another perspective. My unyielding optimism keeps me fighting for what I believe in no matter what.

How have your weaknesses and setbacks made you stronger?  

I’ve been a single mom most of my adult life.  We may not have had everything, but we always had each other, and that was enough.  Life is hard when you’re forced to play the role of two parents, but my kids are the proof that I’m doing something right.  My youngest is almost 3, my oldest is almost 20. They are the reason I do what I do. 

Any specific stories or anecdotes?

I saw a picture on Facebook a few years ago. It said, “I always wondered why someone didn’t do something about that … then I realized, I am somebody.”  That picture spoke to me.  I decided to be that somebody.

How do you want to make an impact through your career?  

I am going to run for public office again.  I hope to inspire others to take that leap as well.  I’ve always told people who complained about their elected officials, if you don’t like the candidates, be one.  You don’t need lots of money if your platform speaks to the people.  People don’t care about the drama they see on TV; they care about the issues that affect their families.  

Running for a local government position includes a certain level of scrutiny. How do you handle criticism and build a tough skin?  

You always have to bring it back to the issues.  Everyone isn’t going to like you, and that’s O.K.  The people who know me know where I come from; they know where my heart is.  I’m not perfect, and I’m not a politician; I just want to serve the public.  I’m not trying to pave the way for my future in politics. I’m trying to pave the way for our children’s futures in general.

What are your passions and why?  

My passions are to improve the lives of my children and my community – to level the playing field so everyone has a chance to make it.

What motivates you?  

Knowing I’m not alone in the struggle.  

How do you define what it means to be a fierce woman?  

A fierce woman speaks up and speaks out for those still struggling to find their voice. To be fierce is to keep moving forward in spite of the obstacles and distractions life throws at you.  To stand up for yourself and follow your dreams, to be authentic.