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Jonathan Jackson (Illinois politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jonathan Jackson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byBobby Rush
Personal details
Jonathan Luther Jackson

(1966-01-07) January 7, 1966 (age 58)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Marilyn Richards
(m. 1995)
Parent(s)Jesse Jackson
Jacqueline Brown
RelativesSantita Jackson (sister)
Jesse Jackson Jr. (brother)
EducationNorth Carolina A&T State University (BA)
Northwestern University (MBA)
WebsiteHouse website

Jonathan Luther Jackson (born January 7, 1966) is an American politician, businessman, and activist serving as the U.S. representative for Illinois's 1st congressional district since 2023. A member of the Democratic Party, he was previously the national spokesman for the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, a financial analyst, and a partner in the Chicago-based beer distributorship River North Sales and Service.

Early life and education

Jackson was born in Chicago, to Jesse Jackson, a noted civil rights activist and Baptist minister, and Jacqueline Lavinia Jackson. His godfather was Martin Luther King Jr., from whom Jackson gets his middle name. Jackson has five siblings, Santita Jackson and former U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., his elders, and Yusef, Jacqueline Jackson, and Ashley, his younger siblings.[1]

Jackson attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, where he was a student-athlete. He attended his parents' alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, to study business where he obtained his bachelors degree.[2][3] He is also an MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.[4]

Civil and human rights activism

Jonathan Jackson outside Jon Burge indictment
The Jacksons visit Gandhi's grave.

Born into a family steeped in human rights activism, Jackson has traveled the world as an aide de camp to his father.[5] He traveled to Syria in 1983, when his father negotiated with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad to release captured American pilot Robert Goodman.[6] He met Fidel Castro in 1984, when his father negotiated the release of 22 Americans being held in Cuba.[7] He was also with his father in August 2005, when he traveled to Venezuela to meet Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.[8] This followed controversial remarks by televangelist Pat Robertson implying that Chávez should be assassinated. Jackson condemned Robertson's remarks as immoral.[8]

In 2007, Jonathan Jackson took on the issues of innocence and juvenile justice as national spokesman for the RainbowPUSH Coalition.[9] He has highlighted the personal stories and continued trials of those who accused the Chicago Police Department of torturing them to obtain confessions that landed them in prison. They include Darrell Cannon,[10] who faced the death penalty for a 1983 drug-related murder. Cannon was released after accepting a January 2001 deal to abandon his torture claim in exchange for being released, according to the Northwestern Center on Wrongful Convictions. Jackson has also showcased the travails of Oscar Walden, who in 1952 became Illinois's first exoneree. Walden was freed after being sentenced to 75 years for a rape he did not commit.[11]

Jackson has championed the cause of Johnnie Lee Savory,[12] a Peoria native convicted of stabbing to death his friends Connie Cooper and James Robinson in their Peoria home in 1977. After serving over 28 years in prison, Savory was released on parole on December 19, 2006. Jackson is among several notables who have petitioned the Illinois governor—first Rod Blagojevich, then Pat Quinn—to order DNA testing in Savory's case to prove not only that did Savory not kill his friends, but also to pinpoint the person widely suspected of committing the crime.[13]

In 2008, Jackson turned his attention to the closures of Chicago Public Schools.[14] He has led several schools to public hearings and civic education training to thwart school closures and turnarounds by private companies in favor of investing in existing schools and keeping a community's institutional memory intact—especially in highly mobile neighborhoods where large numbers of students are homeless or living on the economic margins.[15] In February 2010, he succeeded in helping Guggenheim Elementary School get off the closure list.[16] Guggenheim is in the Englewood community on the city's South Side. Jackson, among others, made the case that forcing students to walk any further to school put them in harm's way. They also made the case that Guggenheim's test scores have steadily improved and it had a close-knit community with the momentum to achieve further gains. Previously, Jackson had persuaded school officials to abandon plans to close Holmes Elementary School, among others.[14]

Jackson's view of outsourcing public education mirrors that of an emerging vocal group of educators like New York University's Diane Ravitch[17] and activists who assert that over-reliance on test scores and privatizing of public schools through wholesale charters and outsourcing allows schools to cherry-pick their student bodies while siphoning resources from the most marginalized children. They consider programs like No Child Left Behind and charter schools as a divestment of public education.[18]

Professional career

Jonathan Jackson, far right, API forum panelist, aired by WVON
Jonathan Jackson, left in orange, during a cookout at his Cricket Wireless store on 55th St., Chicago

Jackson started his career in 1988 at Drexel Burnham Lambert as an investment analyst for Michael Milken, an American financier and philanthropist, noted for his role in developing a market for high-yield bonds known as junk bonds. Jackson later worked as an analyst at Independence Bank, was a Shatkin Arbor runner at the Chicago Board of Trade, and developed real estate for East Lake Management in Chicago. He rejoined Milken at Knowledge Universe in the late 1990s and engages in investments in the wireless, real estate and distribution sectors.[4]

In 1998, Jackson, with his brother Yusef, became owner of a Chicago-based Anheuser-Busch Cos. distributorship – River North Sales and Service, LLC.[19] The deal was met with charges of skepticism and nepotism because Jackson's father had previously organized a boycott of the brewery's products in the early 1980s. The elder Jackson wanted the brewery to do more business in the African-American community.[20]

In 2009, Jackson lead a group of minority investors in a $250 million bid to take over ION Media Networks, the country's largest chain of independent TV stations.[21] Partnered with Cyrus Capital Partners, a New York investment firm, Jackson argued that second-lien lenders are treated as second-class citizens.[22]

He has taught finance and entrepreneurship at City Colleges of Chicago[23] and is a business professor at Chicago State University.

On August 8, 2012, New York Post writer Tara Palmeri reported that an unnamed source close to the Jackson family claimed Jonathan Jackson was being primed to take his brother's place in Congress. In a follow-up to reports about Jesse Jackson Jr.'s treatment at the Mayo Clinic for depression and gastrointestinal disorders, the Post said Jesse Jackson Sr. was "laying the groundwork" for Jonathan to run in the November election if Jesse Jr. "is not up to running for reelection." The elder Jackson, according to the Post, has denied laying the table for Jonathan. In addition to teaching a full load at Chicago State, at the time Jonathan was a businessman focused on building his Cricket Wireless franchise operation.[24]

U.S. House of Representatives



In February 2022, Jackson announced his candidacy to represent Illinois's 1st congressional district after the incumbent, Bobby Rush, announced his retirement a month earlier.[25] Campaigning as a progressive, he was endorsed by Bernie Sanders and other figures in the progressive wing of his party. He won a crowded Democratic primary with approximately 30% of the vote, and later easily the general election as expected in this heavily Democratic seat.[26]

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[27]

Caucus memberships

Electoral history


Illinois 1st Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2022[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jonathan Jackson 21,607 28.2
Democratic Pat Dowell 14,594 19.0
Democratic Karin Norington-Reaves 10,825 14.1
Democratic Jacqueline Collins 9,299 12.1
Democratic Chris Butler 4,141 5.4
Democratic Jahmal Cole 4,045 5.3
Democratic Jonathan Swain 2,554 3.3
Democratic Michael Thompson 1,680 2.2
Democratic Charise A. Williams 1,601 2.1
Democratic Cassandra Goodrum 1,422 1.9
Democratic Marcus Lewis 901 1.2
Democratic Robert Palmer 899 1.2
Democratic Nykea Pippion McGriff 892 1.2
Democratic Terre Layng Rosner 780 1.0
Democratic Ameena Matthews 686 0.9
Democratic Kirby Birgans 511 0.7
Democratic Steven DeJoie 251 0.3
Total votes 76,688 100.0
Illinois 1st Congressional District General Election, 2022[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jonathan Jackson 159,142 67.0
Republican Eric Carlson 78,258 33.0
Write-in 25 0.0
Total votes 237,425 100.0

Personal life

Jackson married Marilyn Ann Richards of Brooklyn in 1995. Their children include Jonathan T. Jackson, Leah Jackson, and Noah Jackson.[32]

See also


  1. ^ MORGANTHAU, TOM; SYLVESTER MONROE (November 14, 1983). "What Makes Jesse Run". Newsweek. p. 50.
  2. ^ White, John (December 25, 2005). "Jonathan Jackson Weds Marilyn Ann Richards in Elaborate Ceremony". Jet magazine. p. 59.
  3. ^ "JESSE JACKSON'S 40 YEARS OF SERVICE". Jet magazine. November 20, 2006. p. 38.
  4. ^ a b "Son of Jesse Jackson resigned..." Orlando Sentinel. June 1, 1989. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  5. ^ Business Day, Business Day (October 25, 2005). "South Africa; Jesse Jackson Gives Backing to SA's Aids Plans". Africa News. {{cite news}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  6. ^ "Reconnaissance Flights Will Continues". United Press International. January 10, 1984.
  7. ^ Davis, Lanny (August 11, 2008). "Jesse Jackson's Post Racial Legacy". The Washington Times. pp. A04.
  8. ^ a b Pace, Gina (August 29, 2005). "Venezuela Wants Pat Robertson May Ask U.S. To Extradite Him; Jesse Jackson Visiting Caracas". CBS News. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  9. ^ Jon Burge Press Conference, retrieved May 17, 2022
  10. ^ Jon Burge Press Conference Oct 21, 2008, retrieved May 17, 2022
  11. ^ "All Illinois Exonerations – Center on Wrongful Convictions". Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  12. ^ Douglas, Deborah (November 14, 2008). "Memo to gov: Why no justice for innocent?". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 29. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  13. ^ "Johnnie Lee Savory, Center on Wrongful Convictions". Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Chicago Public Schools : CPS withdraws proposals for six schools". Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  15. ^ "Stark contrasts between 2008 and 2009 Board meetings on schools closings, turnarounds, phase outs, etc. – Substance News". Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  16. ^ "Parents Concerned By Dangerous Walk To New School" February 10, 2010, 10:34 pm. Central, CBS Channel 2, "Parents Concerned by Dangerous Walk to New CPS School Through Englewood After Guggenheim Closes -". Archived from the original on February 23, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  17. ^ "Ravitch Offers Passionate Defense of America's Public School System – March 2, 2010 – The New York Sun". March 2, 2010. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  18. ^ Ravitch, Diane (April 2, 2010). "A new agenda for school reform". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  19. ^ Staff reports, Johnson Publishing Co., "Yusef Jackson's Ownership Group Purchases Anheuser-Busch Chicago Distributorship". Jet magazine 14 December 1998
  20. ^ Flahery, Peter (March 18, 2001). "Jesse came to do good and did well". The Baltimore Sun.
  21. ^ "Deborah Douglas: Turning Down $250 Million Is Not a Smart Move for ION or Minority TV Audiences". HuffPost. December 8, 2009. Retrieved January 13, 2012.
  22. ^ "Cyrus Capital Extends Offer for ION Networks". November 16, 2009. Retrieved April 10, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "KennedyKing College one of the City Colleges of Chicago". Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  24. ^ "Jesse Jackson Jr. Update: Congressman 'Responding' To Therapy, Father Reports". HuffPost. August 8, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2022.
  25. ^ Sweet, Lynn (February 7, 2022). "Jonathan Jackson, the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, kicks off Congress bid in crowded Democratic primary". Chicago Sun Times.
  26. ^ "Jonathan Jackson keeps 1st congressional seat in Democratic hands following US Rep. Bobby Rush's retirement". Chicago Tribune. November 9, 2022. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  27. ^ "Jonathan L. Jackson". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  28. ^ "Progressive Caucus". Progressive Caucus. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  29. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". Congressman Jonathan Jackson. January 3, 2023. Retrieved May 14, 2023.
  30. ^ "Election Results 2022 GENERAL PRIMARY". Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved July 28, 2022.
  31. ^ "2022 General Election Results". Archived from the original on January 28, 2021. Retrieved March 28, 2023.
  32. ^ White, John (December 25, 1995). "Jonathan Jackson weds Marilyn Ann Richards in elaborate ceremony". Jet magazine. Archived from the original on April 7, 2010. Retrieved April 10, 2010.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 1st congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 1 July 2024, at 02:43
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