About Me

I’m a committed Labour Party campaigner, a charity-sector leader and most of all, a very proud Teessider.
My name is Jessie Jacobs. For nearly half my life, since meeting a 15 year old girl who was selling her bodies on the streets of Stockton on Tees, I have been committed to making a difference in peoples lives, in communities and across the North East. I’m a passionate champion of Teesside, interested in the rights and voices of women, young people and children, place regeneration, social enterprise, community empowerment and development, and social change. I was brought up by my grandparents and was the first in my family to go to University.

Most people know me from the 12 years of running the award-winning local charity A Way Out. I was the Chief Executive Office there until 2014, making a difference in thousands of lives across the Tees Valley. I’ve always felt that a society is judged on the way that it treats its most vulnerable. That’s what still drives me in my current role as director of a charity consortium, representing four major charities that deliver services to 100,000 people across the North East and Yorkshire, many of whom face multiple complex needs such as homelessness, exclusion, mental ill-health, and addiction

My Passion
I am angered and heart broken when I look at what has happened to this region, from the deindustrialisation of the 80’s, the rise in insecure and precarious work, growing powerlessness in our communities, the slow decline of the high streets, increasing drug use, suicide and inequality and the almost out of control, climate catastrophe.
I passionately believe we can see the Tees Valley changed transformed but it will need Labour in power and it will need people to take the lead. I am passionate about in community development, place regeneration and ensuring people have a voice. I set up the cultural project I Love Stockton Me and have been involved in high street regeneration, being a catalyst for big conversations about how we develop and celebrate Stockton. I started a peoples’ media project “We Are Our Media” which created the citizen newspaper The Eclipse, giving ordinary people the skills and support to tell their stories and create their own news. I have been part of developing creative hubs in partnerships between civic society and higher education institutions. I am a communicator and writer, having wrote articles for various publications.
Alongside politics I surf, walk my dog and am learning to box.

My Vision
My vision is to transform the Tees Valley together with others who want to see this area transformed. Get behind local projects & local business, prepare us for the future, putting technology & green industry at the heart of an industrial strategy, to create more and better jobs, to address the deep inequalities in terms of gender, geography and class and give young people a hope and a future.
In standing to be Mayor of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, I’m focused on increasing democracy across our region. When I say democracy, I don’t just mean voting. For me, democracy means involving people in the process of shaping policies about things that matter to them. My intention, therefore, is to present a broad policy direction with lots of room for individuals, community groups, businesses and others to add greater detail.

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