Name: Rachel Slocumb
Title/Company or main life pursuit: City of Ocala Water Resources Conservation Coordinator
What is your word and why did you choose it?
Responsibility. We all have a responsibility to start taking action in how we treat people and how we treat the environment. If we all make small changes, the collective impact will be noticeable. Start remembering to bring a reusable water bottle and actually use it. By making that one change, you won’t generate waste just to get a drink of water. Your municipal tap water is tested multiple times a day to ensure that it is safe to drink, far more than a bottle of water is ever tested. In the words of the Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Start asking questions when you find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. You will discover it is time for you to grow. It is not okay to say “this is the way things have always been.” Comfort leads to complacency; complacency gets you nowhere and can have disastrous outcomes.
What aspirations do you have for yourself in the next 40 years?
Be happy, be surrounded by some seriously rad people, and continue to be motivated to promote positive change in our community and environment.
Favorite way to give back to the community?
The past two years I have been the Junior League of Ocala Community Impact Chair, and seeing how our organization really gives back and makes a difference in our local schools is a feeling that cannot be beat. I now serve on the board as the Community VP. I am also extremely honored to serve on the Florida SpringFest committee, which is an annual festival hosted at Silver Springs State Park the first weekend in March to bring awareness and education to all of Florida’s Springs.
Also, buy local art — buy all the local art.
What do you love and/or hate about the Ocala area?
I moved to Ocala just over 10 years ago and it is incredible to see how this community has grown in this span of time. I love the downtown community and how Ocala as a whole has pushed to be more than a slanderous slang name. I have made some true friends here and am really glad this is where I chose to lay some roots.
A few albums and movies you’d bring to a deserted island?
The Wallflowers – Bringing Down the Horse
The Format – Interventions and Lullabies
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
City and Colour – Bring Me Your Love
“Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves”
“Can’t Hardly Wait”
You never leave home without:
My coffee, my water bottle, and a pair of aviator sunglasses.
If you could tell your 16-year-old self one thing:
High School is uncomfortable and college will be too, but you will find a place, people and career that encourage and support your passions and eccentric nature.
Anything else you’re super passionate about that you’d like to tout:
I live for dumplings of any kind. My top tier-friends have described me as being 50% coffee and 50% dumplings and they are not wrong.