Anita L. Davis, Former County Commissioner and
Lifelong Public Servant, Passed Away on Sunday
With sadness, the Leon County family recognizes the passing of long-serving community servant and former Leon County Commissioner Anita L. Davis, who died Sunday, January 17, 2021.
Anita Louise Porter Davis served the Leon County community in various capacities for over 40 years and leaves behind a legacy of public service leadership. As the first female African American elected to the Leon County Board of County Commissioners in 1990, Commissioner Davis served on the Board until 1996 and was the first African-American female chair of the Commission in 1993-94. Davis was central in leading County projects like the construction of new ballparks in Woodville, the southside library branch, and the health clinic now located on Old Bainbridge Road, among many other initiatives.
"Anita Davis took great pride in being a community servant, whether as president of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP, president of the Jake Gaither neighborhood association or as our first female African-American County Commissioner," said Leon County Commission Chairman Rick Minor. "Her dedication to service sets a high bar for all of us, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the many people she inspired during her lifetime."
After moving to Leon County with her family in 1979, Davis continued her commitment to public service. As a County Commissioner, Davis served as the liaison to the Lake Munson Action Team, which developed an action plan to restore Lake Munson. These efforts ultimately included the restoration of Lake Henrietta, located upstream along the Munson Slough. In 2018, Leon County Government honored Commissioner Davis with the naming of the County's Anita L. Davis Preserve at Lake Henrietta Park.
“As a beloved member of the Leon County family and this entire community, Anita Davis was committed to a life of tireless public service," said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. "While she will be missed by so many, her legacy of service will last for generations."
Davis made many contributions to her community both during and after her time on the County Commission, serving as President of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP for 12 years, as NAACP ACT-SO Chair for 22 years and President of the Jake Gaither Neighborhood Association, to name just a few. Following her service on the Board of County Commissioners, she continued to serve on Leon County’s Human Services Grants Review Committee, which evaluates human service funding requests through the Community Human Services Partnership and makes recommendations to the Board.
"Anita Davis was a catalyst for bringing about so many positive changes in our community,” said Delaitre Hollinger, godson of Anita Davis and former President of the Tallahassee Branch of the NAACP. From securing single-member districts for our county commissioners and school board members; to being a strong advocate for civil rights; to spending countless hours mentoring young people, many of whom have gone on to serve in public office. She was one of the kindest, selfless and considerate individuals I've ever met. Our county, our community, our state and our nation are all better off because of her."
For more information, contact Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations at (850) 606-5300 or cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov .
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