RACE: U.S. House - District 1

About the Candidate

Name: Jonathan L. Jackson
DOB: Jan. 7, 1966
Occupation: Small business owner, national spokesperson for Rainbow PUSH
Political Experience: Activist
Website: jonathanjacksonforcongress.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/jonathanjacksonforcongress
Instagram: @jonathanjacksonforcongress

Candidate Statement

I’m Jonathan Jackson. Please vote for me to be YOUR Congressman of the 1st Congressional District of Illinois.I am credentialed, committed, and compassionate about public service.

I have a bachelor's degree in business from North Carolina A&T State University and an MBA from Northwestern University. I am a 25-year business owner, and I’ve been a college professor. I’ve served as a surrogate and national spokesman for Rainbow PUSH Coalition for almost 40 years. 

I am ready to serve on Day One – I have fought passionately for social justice and equality and some of the same issues legislated by Congress.

My 7-Point Platform includes continuing the fight against gun violence. I’ll bring funds for our youth programs and better community policing --- and support legislation to end unlawful access to guns.

I will work to increase affordable housing in the 1st Congressional District, and support first-time home buyer legislation. 

I will work with government and business leaders to bring more manufacturing and other businesses for job creation, and work to bring more workforce development funds back to Illinois.

I’ll fight for our fair share of the $1.2 trillion “Build Back Better” funds, for our roads and bridges; and the CTA red line extension.

I support strengthening the Affordable Care Act, and continuing the fight for health care for all.

I will seek funding to bridge the education gap, and advocate for fair student loan debt relief.

I will support strong Voting Rights legislation that leaves no voter behind.

I have been at the forefront of the fight for justice and fairness, my entire adult life. 

Please Vote for me, Jonathan Jackson, for Congressman from the 1st Congressional District, in the June 28th, Democratic Primary.  

And remember, when I win, you win! When I go to Washington, I’m bringing you with me.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

I am running for Congress because I know that the people of the 1st District are hurting and need help. I am painfully aware of the pressing issues they face, and I am ready to address them. My first duty in Congress will be to serve the interests of every single person in the 1st District—whether they live in Englewood, Frankfort, Roseland, Hyde Park, Joliet, Kankakee, Orland Park, or the southern suburbs. That’s why my platform is focused on the Three Gs: Guns, Groceries, and Gas—the pressing issues that impact people’s lives and wellbeing every single day.

Historically, the 1st District has not gotten its fair share of federal resources. Illinois as a whole continues to be a significant net contributor to the federal budget, despite the state’s mounting struggles. The people of the 1st District need better, more effective representation in Congress that will fight to get the resources they need to recover, grow, and thrive. I bring the experience, knowledge, skills, and connections in Washington to be an effective advocate for the people of the 1st District, and for all Illinoisans. Thanks to my existing working relationships with numerous federal policymakers and legislators, I will be able to hit the ground running from Day One. By leveraging those relationships and connections, I will be able to get things done that other freshmen congresspeople would find extremely difficult—if not impossible—to achieve.

Born into a family dedicated to the cause of human rights, activism is in my DNA. I have traveled the world as an advisor to my father, Reverend Jesse Jackson. These far-reaching travels and high-level interactions with world leaders have shaped my worldview, instilling in me an unbounded passion to stand up for the disenfranchised, to defend the civil rights of every citizen, and to fight for human rights and social justice for all people. As Congressman for the 1st District, I will bring my passion for justice and civil rights in all their forms—social, environmental, racial, etc.—to the nation’s capital, and will work tirelessly to finally break down the walls of discrimination that continue to hinder so many hardworking men and women.

What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?

The most important duty of a member of the House of Representatives is to be the voice and champion of the people they represent. With elections every two years, representatives must constantly refresh their mandate with their constituents.

The House of Representatives is the lynchpin of representative government in the United States. The House is the only part of the federal government that represents the whole national population proportionally. While the Senate’s composition tends to favor smaller and less populous states, members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President, and the Presidency can only ever be held by one of America's 350 million citizens at a time, the members of the House represent constituencies based on population, giving citizens their most direct channel through which to make their voices heard.

Moreover, whereas presidents, senators, and justices can all be appointed or assume office through a line of succession, all members of the House must be duly elected by the people they serve, making it the most fundamentally democratic organ of the federal government. As Congressman for the 1st District, my guiding stars will always be accessibility, responsiveness, transparency, and accountability.

What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

The 1st District is hurting. We need money for infrastructure, education, healthcare, and public safety. We must end the scourge of rampant gun violence that has spawned an epidemic of fear across our communities. And we must address mounting economic pressure on working families. Rising inflation has already delivered a serious blow, both to people’s pocketbooks today, and their paths to future prosperity. I am ready and committed to confront all of these challenges, and to help lead the district into a stronger, better and brighter future.

As Congressman for the 1st District, I will be a voice for the countless Chicago families who simply want access to the opportunities and basic resources that are taken for granted by so many of the prosperous and thriving communities across this great land. I will focus on creating jobs and increasing workforce skills, improving economic security for families, making public transportation more effective, increasing access to and affordability of healthcare, and expanding daycare so parents can work without having to worry about their children. I will be a champion of organized labor and will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder on the picket lines with union workers.

I will also continue to work diligently to improve public safety, reduce crime, and end rampant gun violence. As an activist and organizer, I have gathered in unity with families and activists, lobbied policymakers, engaged community and civil rights leaders to end the wanton sale and distribution of weapons, and provided young people with alternatives in the form of jobs and livable wages. This will continue to be a top priority for me in Congress.

What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?

As Congressman for the 1st Congressional District, I will engage my constituents consistently through numerous two-way channels, including regular town halls (both in-person and virtual). I will also engage in active outreach to the many community organizations and religious groups that shape public and private life across the district. I will reach out to everyone who has a stake in the future of the district, from business owners and workers to activists and environmentalists.

Members of the House of Representatives have the power and duty to put the needs of their constituents on the national agenda. To do so, representatives must genuinely understand the needs and wants of the people they represent. They can only build that understanding by listening to real people. I believe in listening first, talking second. That belief will define my approach to engaging with the citizens I represent in Congress.