It was like a family affair where scores of people attended a fundraiser late Friday, April 22nd, at the Dynasty Banquet Hall in Hammond, Indiana, for First Congressional District candidate Jonathan Jackson hosted by famed jeweler Edward Ford, a neighbor, who called Jackson “a gift from God.”
Speaking to his guests, Ford said, “We have the right man for the right job. The Jackson name is known all over the world…” he said referring to the son of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. who often had his son, Jonathan, by his side when he negotiated the freedom of scores of prisoners around the world and when he met with the late South African President Nelson Mandela and other dignitaries and elected officials.
“When we honor and work hard for him, we know there is no other candidate who can be compared to this man,” Ford said getting a round of applause. Referring to Rev. Jackson, Ford said the civil rights activists asked him to help his son in this crowded congressional race. “That is all he had to say to me because his father helped me.”
Explaining, Ford reflected on the time when he first came to Chicago. He was enamored watching Rev. Jackson with Dr. King. “When I met him (Rev. Jackson), he said to me, ‘Say it loud. I’m Black and I’m proud.’” Ford responded, “Say it low. I’m black and I’m po.” It was then that Rev. Jackson asked Ford to join him during the Breadbasket days. “He got a lot of us there…old school.”
Saying he has been in the civil rights movement for more than 50 years, Ford told his supporters, “No one can challenge that,” he said reflecting on the love he has for the Jackson family, “the movement, for my people and for humanity. I know Jonathan will encompass that and will go forth knowing that with his name, with his reputation and his dad’s’, PUSH’s reputation and Dr. King’s and Mandela Nelson’s reputations and all great leaders including you, all we have to do is to” spread the word about Jonathan Jackson and “we can make it work,” Ford said.
Ford said Jonathan Jackson “is well-versed, has a photostatic memory. When they interview him, the show is over. This man is gifted. God has given him a gift. He is a gift from God. He knows what he is talking about.”
Thanking those who attended Ford ’s fundraiser, Jonathan Jackson told his supporters he had never thought about running for office; that is until January 3rd. “I’m very mindful of the time and the season that we are facing right now.” He told them there are 435 members of Congress and the Democrats have roughly 223 keeping them in the balance. He said 25 members of Congress are a part of the 52 Percent Club who are 25 members of Congress with less than 52 percent of the vote in their district. “That means if 12 of these seats flip, Democrats will no longer be in them majority of Congress.”
Jonathan Jackson explained the impact of that political scenario. “That means Nancy Pelosi will not be the Speaker of the House. That means Maxine Waters will not be chair of Banking. That means Bennie Thompson will not be in charge of Homeland Security Committee. That means we have a lot of things to lose.”
With so much risk, Jackson explained why so much money is being poured into the June 28thelection like that of Republican donors Stephen Schwarzman, a private equity executive, and hedge funder Ken Griffin both of whom have poured millions of dollars into major Republican super PACs just in the first three months of this year. The stockpiling of money has begun, and the political battlelines drawn for a major showdown on June 28th with Republicans hoping to maintain control of the Senate and take over the House.
According to Politico, two Democratic Senators who won the 2020 special elections and are running for a full six-year term, are Senators Mark Kelly of Arizona and Raphael Warnock from Georgia. Kelly has a reported $25.6 million, and Warnock has $23.3 million having reportedly raised $11.4 million just over the last three months.
Jonathan Jackson warned his supporters about “the record amount of money going into Secretary of State races. Referring to the infamous January 6th resurrection, Jackson explained, “It was certifying the elections. The Secretary of State certifies the elections. They are now going from who gets to vote to who gets to count the vote…. We’ve never seen this perilous time before.
“I want to take a strong stance on gun violence,” he said. “We are becoming prisoners in our house. The Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm has something to say about it. They can close these straw purchases. They can stop these guns from coming into Chicago. There is not one African American gun dealer. There is not one gun range in the city of Chicago. There is not one African American ammunition’s manufacture in the entire world. How are these guns flooding our neighborhoods? I am as sick and disgusted as you. I don’t want to be concerned about a carjacking in our neighborhood. We can turn this violence down.”
On education, Jackson said he was in a program in elementary school that was called EH (extra help). He asked if anyone there had ever attended an EH class. Explaining, Jackson said he once had a speech impediment “I stuttered; so they had to come and get me out of class when other children were going to play in the backyard.” The EH class, he said, helped to “untie his tongue.” “I know your hands and God’s hands will make a way for you. That gives me a passion for education.”
Jackson said education is really human development. “We can unbridle some children’s tongues when I was teaching at Kennedy King and at Chicago State,” he said recognizing Dr. Angela Henderson, Chicago State University and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Jacksons said he was teaching algebra or calculus one Friday afternoon when it was 75 degrees in the springtime. His class was empty except one student who never asked any questions the entire semester. Since he now had a one-on-one session with the student, Jackson asked him his name. That is when he learned the student stuttered just like he did when he was a young boy.
“I stepped out and I cried,” confessed Jackson who admits he is a crier. “I knew if he had the resources and had the extra help, someone could have unbridled his unbridled his tongue. That is what I feel about human development and people having access to resources.
“I make a commitment to get to that House floor. We will have a battle of a century that we’ve not seen before,” Jackson said. “We have $1.2 trillion coming down in infrastructure money coming down…plenty enough good to do a lot of good in our community…. We can do this together. When I win. You win, and when I win, you are coming to Washington , D.C. with me.”