Jonathan L. Jackson, an activist, businessman, and educator, launched his campaign to become the next congressman representing Chicago’s South Side and the entire Illinois 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Surrounded by a wide range of influential supporters, the middle son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Jacqueline Jackson formally entered the race on Monday morning with a rousing announcement speech at ATU Local 308 Hall. “I’m running because the people of the First District are hurting,” he said. “The people of the First District need help… My name is Jonathan Jackson. I’m a proud son of Chicago. I love this city and it’s wonderful people.”
Further, Jackson talked about his unwavering commitment to helping people.
“I pray my thanks to God every day for my life,” Jackson said. “And for everyone who has blessed me. One of the main things I learned growing up in the Jackson household was giving back to the community was not an event. It was a part of your moral obligation. We’ve given back every day to make sure we could leave this place better. I want to do exactly that same thing, but now continue my pursuits in the halls of Congress, where they need some help. There is a time and a purpose and place for everything. And I do believe this is my time to step up and serve the people and help bring about change for our community.”
Outlining his agenda, Jackson said that as a congressman he will work to improve public safety and reduce crime. “Parents should be able to work without having to worry about the safety of their children,” Jackson said, adding that without public safety people will leave the community. Jackson also said he will focus on creating jobs and increasing workforce skills, improving family economic security, making public transportation more effective, increasing access and affordability of healthcare, and expanding daycare so parents can work without having to worry about their children.
“We have seen the young married couples who cannot afford to buy a home and raise their children. The children who cannot obtain the education they need in our public schools, the seniors on Medicare who must ration food and provisions in this inflationary period to buy their prescription medicine. I don’t want to fix the blame. I want to fix the problem,” Jackson declared. “It is not enough for me to sit back and run my businesses and help individuals unilaterally and not address these issues on a larger scale. I must do more. I’ve been fighting for working people my entire life. And I want to expand my efforts by becoming your next Congressman.”
Citing the storied history of the First District, which in 1929 was the nation’s first congressional district in the 20th century to elect an African American to Congress, Jackson called upon residents who left the district to come home. “We’ve lost 300,000 of our fellow residents in our communities,” he said. “I first want to ask our residents that have gone to Indiana, Michigan, DC, to Atlanta, to Dallas, to Houston, to Los Angeles, and many other places, let’s turn the tide. And I want to welcome Chicagoans back home.”
A highlight of the announcement was the show of support from influential political and community figures, who said Jackson was the candidate who could best represent the district’s residents and work tirelessly to enhance their quality of life.
Former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr. said he “strongly supports” Jackson in the race. “I support him because I know him,” Jones said. “He has the training, the education, and the commitment to serve well in Congress.”
Moreover, Cook County Board Commissioner Stanley Moore praised Jackson as a successful businessman, educator, and investment banker.
“I can’t think of any better qualifications for my congressman,” Moore said, noting there might be a fight looming to keep Cook County Hospital operating and Jackson will be a key ally. “Do you know how many public hospitals are left in the United States? 10. There’s a move across the country to close public healthcare… ‘You don’t need to take care of the poorest citizens and citizens that need the most help.’ Well, I’m here to tell you that with a person like Jonathan Jackson fighting for us, we are going to protect our public hospitals, our healthcare, our education systems. We’re going to protect our Great Lakes, jobs, and the economy. I want you to join me in supporting Jonathan Jackson for Congress.”
Deborah Cosey-Lane, Secretary-Treasurer of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, said, “This is a historic, blessed day. And I’m going to tell you something. If you really want to rewrite the bad deals that have been given to us in the African American community, if we really, really, really want to get things straight and get things right, if we really, really, really want to have those really tough, heart to heart conversations with our communities and get us back on the track that we shouldn’t have never been derailed on. Then Jonathan Jackson is your guy.”