Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr. (D-IL-2)i

Congressman Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr.

House link: Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-IL-2)i

Campaign link: Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-IL-2)i


Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr. Congressional Candidate Illinois District 1


Biography of Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr. from

Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. began service in the United States House of Representatives on December 12, 1995, as a member of the 104th Congress. He was the 91st African American ever elected to Congress.

Representative Jackson currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee, serving as the 4th most senior Democrat on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; the Vice-Chair, or 2nd most senior Democrat on the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and a member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies.

His leadership created the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health in 2001, hailed by many minority health experts as the most important civil rights legislation since the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Representative Jackson also secured funding for the Institute of Medicine?s 2002 report on health disparities, ?Unequal Treatment.” In addition, Representative Jackson has served as a member of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission since 2003, and as a member of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Board since 2000.

Prior to his congressional service, Representative Jackson served as the National Field Director of the National Rainbow Coalition. In this role, he instituted a national non-partisan program that successfully registered millions of new voters. He also created a voter education program to teach citizens the importance of participating in the political process, including how to use technology to win elections and more effectively participate in politics.

Born in the midst of the voting rights struggle on March 11, 1965, Representative Jackson spent his twenty-first birthday in a jail cell in Washington, D.C. for taking part in a protest against apartheid at the South African Embassy. He also demonstrated weekly in front of the South African Consulate in Chicago. Representative Jackson was on stage with Nelson Mandela during his historic speech following a 27-year imprisonment in Cape Town.

In 1987, Representative Jackson graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management. Three years later, he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from the Chicago Theological Seminary, and in 1993, received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law. He has also been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the Chicago Theological Seminary, Governors State University, North Carolina A & T State University, Charles R. Drew Univ. of Medicine and Science, Meharry Medical College and Morehouse School of Medicine. Representative Jackson has co-authored A More Perfect Union: Advancing New American Rights (2001) with Frank E. Watkins. He has also co-authored Legal Lynching II (2001), It?s About the Money (1999) and Legal Lynching (1996).

Representative Jackson resides in the Second Congressional District of Illinois with his wife Sandi, Chicago’s 7th Ward Alderman, daughter Jessica Donatella, and son Jesse L. Jackson, III.


Biography of Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr. from Jackson for Congress

Jesse Louis Jackson, Jr. (born March 11, 1965) is a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Illinois’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes a large part of Chicago’s South Side and southeast suburbs. Congressman Jackson has served the 2nd District since winning a special election on December 12, 1995. His wife, Sandi Jackson, serves on the Chicago City Council as Alderman of the 7th Ward.


Prior to elective politics, Representative Jackson was active in international civil rights work. He participated in his father’s presidential campaigns and then in the office of his Rainbow Coalition. During his time in public office he has co-authored three books, including two on financial literacy. He also co-wrote A More Perfect Union, which advances a series of constitutional amendments that would guarantee all Americans the right to vote, and the right to high quality education, health care and housing.


In Illinois, he is a leading supporter of the proposed third major airport for the Chicago metropolitan area, which would bring much-needed jobs and economic activity to the Southland. He has also advocated for redevelopment of the former U.S. Steel South Works site in the South Shore neighborhood, and for addressing the persistent water and flooding issues in Ford Heights, one of the country’s poorest suburbs.


Largely due to is position on the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Jackson has secured over $800 million in federal funding for infrastructure, health care, education, transit, housing, community centers and other projects in the 2nd District. Jackson supported recent legislative reforms of health care and financial regulations, and works tirelessly to support international rebuilding efforts in nations such as Liberia.


Congressman Jackson has been an active spokesperson for other Democratic candidates and a popular interviewee and broadcast media guest. He also served as a national co-chairman of the Barack Obama presidential campaign.

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