Candidate Bio: Jesse Jackson Jr. - 2nd District - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Candidate Bio: Jesse Jackson Jr. - 2nd District

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Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is the U.S. Representative for Illinois' 2nd congressional district, and has served in that position since December of 1995.

The Democrat is the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, and is married to 7th Ward Ald. Sandi Jackson.

Jackson Jr. believes politics exist to serve the interests and basic needs of the people, and has spent the last 17 years serving the politically-varied residents of District 2. The issues he's focusing on during this election are the economy, education, health care, international affairs, energy and the environment.

On June 25, 2012, Jackson's office announced the congressman had taken a medical leave of absence. They did not disclose the reason for his absence, causing many to speculate and others to question whether he could still work to represent his constituents.

SEE: No word on when Jesse Jackson Jr. will return to work

Nearly two months later, his doctors announced that Jackson Jr. suffered from severe depression – a form of bi-polar disorder – and would be treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Criticism of the way Jackson Jr.'s public relations team handled this announcement resounded.

SEE: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. under treatment for bipolar disorder

Rep. Jackson Jr. left the Mayo Clinic and returned home for further recuperation in September 7, 2012. But the congressman has yet to return to work. Many 2nd district residents hope he gets well soon.

He is running against Republican Brian Woodworth, to retain his seat in Congress.

Illinois 2nd district covers Kankakee County and portions of Cook and Will Counties, including Bradley, Bourbonnais, Calumet City, Chicago, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Dolton, Harvey, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Kankakee, Lansing, Markham, Matteson, Park Forest, Richton Park, Riverdale, Sauk Village and Steger.

On The Issues

Abraham Lincoln Airport - Chicago is the crossroads of the nation. It can retain its status as the nation's and the world's preeminent aviation hub by constructing a new airport in the south suburbs. As proposed, the Abraham Lincoln National Airport is designed to bring regional balance - both in aviation capacity and economic opportunity - to the Greater Chicago area. Read more...

Appropriations - Through the Federal Appropriations process, I work on behalf of municipalities, community groups, and not-for-profit organizations across the district and our state to obtain federal funds to make street improvements, fund Community Health Centers, computerize medical records, improve our water quality, provide after school programs for at-risk youth and protect our nation. Read more...

Constitutional Amendments - How do we form the "more perfect union" the framers of the Constitution intended? By insisting that both major political parties, and our variety of political ideologies, agree that basic human rights for all Americans ought to be added to that sacred document. Read more...

Economy and Jobs - As our nation continues to recover from the most devastating economic downturn in decades, I'm working diligently in Congress to confront the issue of turning our economy around and creating jobs for American workers. Although we must keep in mind our nation's deficit, our focus cannot remain on fiscal austerity at the expense of legislation and policy that will contribute to growth. Read more...

Education - Education is the cornerstone to building America's future. We must make a national commitment to education by strengthening our schools, fully funding special education, and modernizing our classrooms. At the same time, we must work to reduce class size, put in place the means for students to attain higher education, and make sure that we have the best trained, most qualified teachers in the world. Read more...

Energy and Environment - Our nation's approach to energy resources, and the subsequent effects on the environment, are critical components of how we keep the American economy strong. Investment in alternative energy, appropriate use of existing resources, and a focus on a clean and thriving environment will ensure our businesses remain on the cutting edge of technology, our families stay healthy, and our most beautiful and special places remain for generations to come. Read more...

Foreign Affairs - Greater interaction between governments, companies and populations of the world has led to a distinct opportunity for the international community to work together and move in a positive direction. As a member of Congress, I fight for public and foreign policy that supports the development of democracy, human rights, and social and economic justice around the world. Read more...

Housing - I believe that adequate, safe, and affordable housing is a human right. As civilizations and economies develop, certain material basics (like food, shelter, health care, and education) should not be turned over completely to market forces, to a "survival of the fittest" philosophy and program. We know that in such a system, the few always wind up on top with the best and most of everything, while the many end up on the bottom with the least and worst. Such is the case with housing in America. Read more...

Health Care - I am committed to an America in which every citizen has access to the healthcare of equal, high quality. A healthy population is a key building block to making our children more successful in schools, and filling our workplaces with capable and diligent employees. Read more...

Transportation - The Second Congressional District of Illinois is a major part of the nation's transportation system. Many interstate highways pass through the area and a number of the nation's major passenger and freight rail lines cross through the south suburbs. There is also a major seaport in the district, which links the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. Read more...


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