Jackie has represented Dumbarton Constituency since 1999 when the Parliament was first created. She was the first woman to represent the constituency when she was elected. In the past, Jackie served as Deputy Minister for Communities under the then First Minister Donald Dewar from 1999 until 2000, before being promoted to Social Justice Minister from 2000 until November 2001. After the May 2007 Scottish Parliament elections Jackie returned to Labour's front benches as Shadow Minister for Parliamentary Business. In 2008 she was appointed to a newly created position as Labour's Chief of Staff in the Scottish Parliament. More recently Jackie has served as Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for Public Services and Wealth Creation covering Finance, Economy, Business & Tourism, and is currently Scottish Labour’s spokesperson for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work.