Rep. Mondaire Jones Bio: In His Own Words – Video Exclusive, Platform, Policies
Mondaire Jones was born in 1987 to a single mother in Nyack, New York. He was raised in Spring Valley, New York by his mother and grandparents, who cared for him when his mother became ill. Both grandparents worked multiple jobs in order to support Jones, which inspired him to become a politician and fight for the working class.
REP. MONDAIRE JONES BIO: EARLY LIFE & EDUCATION
Upon his graduation from the East Ramapo Central School District, Jones attended Stanford University for his bachelor’s degree. Afterwards, he earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.
REP. MONDAIRE JONES BIO: EARLY POLITICAL CAREER
Jones began his political career working in the United States Department of Justice during Barack Obama‘s presidency. Additionally, he served as a law clerk for District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr., and for the Westchester County Law Department. In his down time, he provided free legal assistance through The Legal Aid Society.
Most recently, Jones won an eight-way race in order to represent New York’s 17th congressional district, which includes the entirety of Rockland county, as well as multiple sections of Westchester County. The associated press announced his victory on June 14, 2020, as Jones’ lead was large enough to be deemed insurmountable by any of his opponents.
MONDAIRE JONES BIO: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Jones is an strong supporter of criminal justice reform. In an exclusive interview with uPolitics, he professed his belief in vocational training and gainful employment opportunities for inmates during incarceration. More than that, he said, “We have to end mass incarceration as we know it… We have to end mandatory minimums in sentencing, and invest heavily in alternatives to incarceration. No one should be doing any sort of jail time or prison time because of drug use, for example.”
According to Jones, white people “must use their political capital to get the policing and criminal justice and other reforms that we desperately need in this society.” For this reason, he believes that the most recent eruption of Black Lives Matter protests feels “different” than prior demonstrations. In his own observation, “I’m seeing hundreds of white people out rallying for black lives and responding favorably to my message of the need to dismantle systemic racism.”
MONDAIRE JONES BIO: THE GREEN NEW DEAL
Jones is in support of the Green New Deal, as it is “the only thing that comes close to saving the planet from climate catastrophe.” Due to the massive potential consequences of failing to pass this legislation, he states that there is little room to compromise on this issue.
In order to prevent this catastrophe, Jones promotes decarbonization of the economy, rejecting modest proposals as “insufficient” and holding politicians accountable for their environmental policies.
MONDAIRE JONES BIO: MAKING HISTORY AS 1ST BLACK, GAY CONGRESSMAN
Jones came out as gay when he was 24. He will be the first black, openly gay congressman in U.S. history.
“I’m not running to make history as the first openly gay, black member of Congress,” said Jones, “but I know the power of representation. Representation, later in life, helped me to come out.” He cited the comedy-drama series Noah’s Arc and the musician Frank Ocean as two of his greatest inspirations to be open about his sexuality. According to Jones, watching Noah’s Arc was the first time he had ever witnessed “openly gay, black men in loving relationships.”
Despite being the most progressive candidate to run in a more conservative, affluent district – the 19th most affluent in the country – Jones claims his win was the result of a resonant, “people-powered” campaign.
MONDAIRE JONES BIO: MEDICARE FOR ALL
Although Jones will continue to fight for Medicare for All, he is willing to vote for “the best thing that Democrats are able to accomplish. And so if that ends up being a public option, I will be a reliable vote for a public option.”
However, he still believes that Medicare for All is the only system that would ensure equitable healthcare for all Americans. Additionally, he told uPolitics, this system would be “more cost-effective than what we currently have right now” – saving a total of $5 trillion in the next ten years.
MONDAIRE JONES BIO: DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE JOE BIDEN
Despite being significantly more progressive than the Democratic presidential nominee, Jones fully supports the Joe Biden campaign. “When Joe Biden gets elected, he will be the most progressive candidate or president that we have ever given that position as a society,” said Jones – even more progressive than Obama was in 2008.
Jones hopes to encourage Biden to move left on various issues once he is in office, including student debt forgiveness, taxing the ultra-rich and instituting Medicare for All.