- Name: Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
- Position sought: Illinois Second Congressional District Representative
- Website: www.jessejacksonjr.com
- Email address: email@example.com
- Phone number: 773-731-0000
- Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/jacksonforcongress
- Twitter account: @JJJr2012
- Mailing address: 7129 South Yates Blvd, Chicago, IL 60649
- Age and Birthdate: 46, March 11, 1965
- Family: Wife Sandi, daughter Jessica and son Jesse, III
- Education: North Carolina A & T State University; Illinois School of Law; Chicago Theological Seminary
- Occupation: Incumbent, 2nd Congresional District of Illinois
- Political Party: Democratic Party
- Official name of campaign: Jackson for Congress
- Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: Member of Congress since December 12, 1995
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
I've been doing the jobs for over 16 years.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Jobs, health care, education and economic development are my priorities.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
I have been doing the job for over 16 years. I am a progressive Democrat and my opponent is a conservative Democrat who in her one term in Congress voted 88 times with the Republican majority and against President Obama and the Democratic majority.
What can be done to help College Illinois?
I take it you mean "colleges in Illinois." We must improve our elementary and secondary schools so more students can attend and more students are ready to enter college. That's why since 2001 I've introduced House Joint Resolution 29 which would add an education amendment to the U.S. Constitution and provide for every student "the right to a public education of equal high quality" and would give Congress the authority to implement the amendment with appropriate legislation. The Supreme Court recently interpreted the 2nd Amendment to mean that every American has an "individual right to a gun." How perverted do our values have to be that we guarantee in the Constitution the right to a gun, but not the right to an education. Another thing we could do is increase the amount in Pell Grants. We should also increase funding for community colleges and vocational schools in order to better prepare our people for the workforce of the 21st Century.
What should the government do to create more jobs?
Jobs would stimulate economic growth and aggregate demand and generate increased taxes paid by everyone working. And we already have an economic model - the CCC, WPA and PWA of direct hiring by the Federal Government in FDR's New Deal. If we could generate the political will my proposal is the following: the first phase of an over-all 6-year $2.4 trillion proposal includes $600 billion to jump start this economy by hiring 15 million workers directly at an average annual salary of $40,000 - some $20,000; some $60,000 depending on the job - to invest in America. The projects would begin to rebuild our infrastructure, invest in education, health care, housing and the environment, putting Americans back to work and creating aggregate demand - the greatest need of this economy - and the aggregate demand would bring the $2 trillion in private money sitting on the sideline back into the game because there will be a market for the goods and services the private economy produces. The investment of private money will create even more jobs and all of these workers both in the public and private economies will be paying taxes. At the same time the number of Americans dependent on the federal government for unemployment compensation and Food Stamps and more will be reduced, which will help to lower the deficit and the debt faster than any other current proposal.
What are your philosophies on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and what should government’s role in those issues?
I have a principle that guides me on many issues that come before Congress, including same-sex marriage. I support human rights for all human beings and equal protection under the law for all Americans. I support Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to control her own reproductive health.
Should the state legalize marijuana?
I'm not for legalizing marijuana, but I am for decriminalizing marijuana use, and if marijuana use has become an addiction I see it as a health issue and it should be treated as such.
Are there ways to reform the legislative scholarship program, or would you support calls to eliminate the program?
Again, this is a question that involves state legislators, not federal legislators. At the federal level I still believe in our program of recommending students to our military academies.
Who are your political heroes and why?
My father is certainly one of my heroes because he has helped to break down so many different social, economic and political barriers - e.g., it was his run for the presidency in 1984 that changed the party rules from "winner-take-all" of state delegates to receiving state delegates on the basis of "proportional representation." Without this rule change Barack Obama could never have become President of the United States. And, of course, his campaign and continuing efforts have massively increased voter registration and political participation at every level of government. Former Congressman Ron Dellums of California is another hero of mine because he argued forcefully, militantly and effectively - but in a most dignified and informed manner - for a new view and approach to national security. He argued for more balanced economic strengthen in terms of income and wealth and for high quality health care and education for all Americans as part of our national defense and security.