Your Voice, Your Vote: Jamie Scott of North Little Rock

By Lydia McAllister on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Rett Peek

Rep. Jamie Scott

Arkansas State Representative for District 37 | Executive Director for Pulaski County Youth Services |

North Little Rock native Jamie Scott is the youngest African American female elected in the history to the Arkansas State Legislature, representing District 37. She discovered her love for politics after completing her master’s degree in criminal justice at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and being recruited to work on Hillary Clinton’s first presidential race in 2007. Since then, Jamie has dedicated her career to public service and to fighting for equal rights and fair opportunities for all.

My main job responsibilities: My job responsibilities include reading and understanding the impact of legislation, bringing forth legislation to help solve problems, working with my colleagues to amend legislation and voting on legislation in committees and in the House chamber. As director of youth services, I am responsible for overseeing the funding, programs and functions of community services for youth in Pulaski County.

Best career moment so far: In 2018, I was elected as the youngest woman of color in the history of the Arkansas State Legislature. It was flooring to experience the sense of progress that meant for our state and inspired hope in me to create even more.

The one thing I wish people knew about my field: We don’t fight like the politicians you might see from time to time in D.C. I’ve been able to create some great friendships and work across the aisle to help pass meaningful legislation that will make this state a better place for years to come. We have a lot more in common that you would expect.

Biggest challenge as a state representative: Finding the strength to know the power of voices in politics. That means knowing that our democracy is better when there are differing opinions in the mix and those differences are both considered and respected. This gives me the courage to speak up when I think my voice adds value to a debate or discussion, and the patience to listen to others when they do the same.

What keeps me coming back to my job every day: I know there is still more work to be done to make my community stronger. I plan to be a huge advocate and champion for juvenile justice reform. It’s important that you find your purpose in life. I strongly believe my purpose is being the voice for our youth.

An Arkansas politician I look up to is: State Senator Joyce Elliott. Not only has she been my mentor for the past 10 years, but she is a beacon of change and hope for many in our state. Over the years, she has helped better our education system and promote equality for every person in Arkansas.

“It’s important that you find your purpose in life. I strongly believe my purpose is being the voice for our youth.” – Jamie


Hometown: North Little Rock
Political platform in three words: Juvenile Justice Reform
A surprising aspect about my job: The amount of reading that’s required.
Cool thing I've accomplished: Pass bipartisan legislation addressing punitive solitary confinement in our juvenile detention centers and state prison for juveniles.
Advice for first-time voters: Local elections have a much greater impact than your vote for president. For example, many judge seats are open in central Arkansas. Those elected will be part of determining the individual fates of thousands who walk through their doors. These elections matter, too.

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