Jae Passmore was born in our nation’s capital at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Army parents. She relocated to the Tampa Bay area as a small child, where she attended local public schools; B.C. Graham Elementary, Madison Middle School, Hillsborough High School, and Howard W. Blake High School of Performing Arts. Throughout high school she played basketball and soccer, and found a passion for music as part of Blake High’s Marching Yellow Jackets.
At age 18, following in her parents and older sibling’s footsteps, Jae enlisted in the Florida Army National Guard to serve her state and country. She is a combat veteran having served overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn (2010) and Operation Enduring Freedom (2015). She has also been mobilized with her unit to assist the state of Florida in the aftermath of both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
Jae is currently employed by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) as a bus driver for Hillsborough County. She is a member of the Amalgamated Transport Union. With a passion for community improvement and interaction with Hillsborough County residents daily as a bus driver, Jae hears first hand from local residents about her community, and the challenges we face. Jae understands the importance of community support. As the single mother of a two year old daughter, she is grateful for the help of her own village of supporters with our community.
"This campaign is not just for me, it belongs to everyone in Hillsborough County who is eager for change."
Jae has an extensive background in community organizing. She was essential in facilitating a voter registration campaign last year that was responsible for registering thousands of Hillsborough County voters. She was also a key community activist as part of the Hillsborough County Protection Coalition, involved in demanding the current County Commissioners vote on the motion to remove the Confederate monument located in front of the Hillsborough County Courthouse in downtown Tampa. Jae's outreach efforts with the communities within Hillsborough County along with direct input given to pro-removal commissioners proved invaluable and led to the direct success of having the monument removed. She is currently one of many spearheading the Rights Restoration Campaign to help establish a ballot initiative that would allow convicted felons to regain their right to vote.
While Jae is passionate about grassroots activism outside of the political spectrum, she is frustrated by career politicians in Hillsborough County who seem to care more about keeping their jobs, than they are about making meaningful efforts towards caring for the residents they have been elected to serve. Jae is a progressive Democrat and wants to set the trend of having elected officials who truly represent and serve the community. That’s why she’s building her campaign on the pillars of Unity, Diversity, and Progress.
In Her Own Words
“Hillsborough County needs to be unified, and for that to happen we cannot leave any residents behind, including our houseless community. I plan to address the houseless community issues in Hillsborough by creating real solutions and recognizing that housing, counseling, employment services, and other resources are vital. People are houseless for many reasons, whether economic or due to illness. There is also a sizeable population of houseless veterans. We need to take a holistic approach to providing viable solutions for our houseless community in Hillsborough County.
One of the strongest aspects about Hillsborough County is its diversity. It is far past due to have the Board of County Commissioners reflect and represent the diversity within the county. When we do that, we take a step towards recognizing the groups in our community that are often overlooked. I plan on improving our public transit system by approaching its current issues with diversity in mind. Particularly, how different communities rely on public transportation, so that it is a more accessible resource to people who need it most. I believe this is crucial in moving our county forward.
Hillsborough County needs to make progress, and I believe the number one way we can do that is by having real discussions about climate change. Climate change should be at the forefront of every conversation about the future of Hillsborough County because it affects everything. It is both an environmental issue and an economic one. Marginalized communities are the most adversely affected by climate change. We can see that currently as we still deal with the aftereffects of Hurricane Irma that devastated parts of Florida and the USVI along with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. We need to have practical ways to face climate change, including: improving our infrastructure, decreasing our carbon footprint, improving our air quality, and many more mitigation tactics to help create a better environment for our community to live in, while also preparing for the damage that has already been done.
My vision for Hillsborough County is a dynamic county where we foster resources for those who need it in order to improve quality of life for everyone who resides in the county. This campaign is not just for me, it belongs to everyone in Hillsborough County who is eager for change.”