Palm Beach County Mayor Melissa McKinlay was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2014. Prior to her election, Mayor McKinlay spent nearly twenty years advocating on behalf of women, children and families as a Legislative aide to the Palm Beach County Legislative Affairs Office, to members of Congress and the US Senate, and as a volunteer with several organizations including the Junior League.
Her public service involves working at all three levels of government, including the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the US House & Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Department of Community Affairs, and the Sarasota County Budget Department.
In addition to her public service, Mayor McKinlay has spent a great deal of her career volunteering for such organizations as the Junior Leagues of Florida where she served as State Chairwoman, the Junior League of the Palm Beaches, ChildNet, Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, Community Health & Planning Network of Palm Beach County, Voices for Children of Palm Beach County, the Village of Wellington Education Advisory Committee, West Palm 100, American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club, several PTA/PTO and School Advisory Committees, and as a founding member of the Palm Beach County Sexual Assault Response Team.
Mayor McKinlay earned her degree from Florida State University with dual majors in Political Science & Sociology as well as minors in both Economics and Mathematics. She moved to Florida when she was six years old and attended public schools from the time she was in the first grade. Growing up in a house that discussed politics and policy on a daily basis, especially on issues surrounding mental health and social justice, Mayor McKinlay has spent most of her life as an advocate for others. She currently resides in Royal Palm Beach (FL) with her two of her three children, both of whom attend public schools while the third is a student at Florida State University.
Asked what one of her proudest accomplishments has been and Mayor McKinlay will tell you being part of the team that developed The Butterfly House, Palm Beach County’s first sexual assault response medical services center – although helping to pass a successful piece of legislation requiring the posting of the Human Trafficking Hotline across Florida would be a close second!
Mayor McKinlay’s priorities remain infrastructure improvements and economic development in the Glades region of her district, affordable housing, addressing the nation’s growing opioid/heroin overdose crisis, safe neighborhoods, prevention programs for children, and providing opportunities & environments for families to succeed.