Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. began service in the United States House of Representatives on December 12, 1995, as he was sworn in as a member of the 104th Congress. He is the 91st African American ever elected to Congress.
Representative Jackson currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee, serving on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. He is also on the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs.
Through legislative initiatives, Representative Jackson has led the push to end the death penalty, curb the scourge of HIV/AIDS and set a new framework for mutually beneficial trade in sub-Saharan Africa-creatively combining both in his HOPE for Africa Act of 1999 (Human Rights, Opportunity, Partnership and Empowerment). He has also addressed critical domestic health care needs in underserved communities by leading the successful effort to establish the Center of Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Representative Jackson has also proposed constitutional amendments ensuring that public education of equal high quality and health care of equal high quality are seen as human rights for all Americans.
Prior to his congressional service, Representative Jackson served as the National Field Director of the National Rainbow Coalition. Among his accomplishments there was the creation of a voter education program to teach citizens the importance of participating in government.
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, North Carolina A & T State University, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Columbia College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Meharry Medical College. Representative Jackson takes the bold step of calling for amending the U.S. Constitution in his book, A More Perfect Union: Advancing New American Rights (2001). He has also co-authored three books with his father, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.: Legal Lynching (1996), Legal Lynching II (2001) which make the case against the death penalty, and It's About The Money (1999) on personal and family finance.
Representative Jackson was born March 11, 1965. He resides in the Second Congressional District of Illinois with his wife Sandi, and daughter Jessica Donatella.
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