Marcie Hill & Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Note: This article is not an endorsement of any political candidates. I am sharing contents of an interview between Rev. January (Rev. J) from Vernon Park Church of God and Jesse Jackson, Jr., Congressman, Second Congressional District. Also, please note that this is longer than the other posts on my site.
Reverend Jerald January & Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Rev. J asked Congressman Jackson three questions about very specific topics:
- Job creation and economic development
- President Obama’s Health Care Plan
- Congressman’s relationship with former Governor Rod Blagojevich
Here’s what Congressman Jackson had to say….
On Job Creation and Economic Development
“The region is segregated economically. On the north side, there are 3 jobs for every 1 person. On the south side and south suburbs, there are 3 people to 1 job.” In the past, the south side was a manufacturing-based economy; what’s lacking now are service-based jobs. “That’s what’s making downtown Chicago work. That’s what makes North Michigan Avenue and North State Street different from South Michigan Avenue and South State Street – the hotels, cabs and economic development. The key to service-based economy is O’Hare Airport, Midway, McCormick Place and Navy Pier.”
“On the south side, the service-based economy stops at The Museum of Science and Industry. If we are able to extend the service-based economy, like having Pullman on 130th Street declared a national park service site or like building an airport in the south region, we begin to turn our economy around because we extend the service-based economy beyond where the old manufacturing-based economy used to be.”
On Jobs for Youth
“Often times, politicians talk about summer jobs, but the fact of the matter is, our parents need jobs, our grandparents needs jobs. Increasingly in our homes, there’s not just one breadwinner. Both husband and wife have to earn a living in order for families to make ends meet.
On the New Airport
“It is now, for the first time in 17 years in the heart of the Second Congressional District. I’ve been arguing for building a new airport, but it was outside of the district. With redistricting, it is a solely whole subset of the Second Congressional District. I convinced Governor George Ryan to begin buying land. I convinced Governor Rod Blagovich to keep buying land. I’ve convinced Governor Quinn to keep assembling the inaugural footprint, and now we are heading to condemnation proceedings on the final 3 parcels in order to build the airport. And we have toggled together 21 home-ruled governments in the Second Congressional District that have a check from a Canadian Company that’s willing to build a $700 million facility on that land and put 15,000 people to work.” Apparently, the government of Canada supports this project which will be delivered on time.
This airport will give our community “access to 15,000 jobs and over time that new airport will create 350,000 jobs for the south side of Chicago and south suburbs. And the economic impact will be just like O’Hare has done for the Kennedy [expressway] and the Edens [expressway] and all the communities between Chicago and O’Hare but also between O’Hare and beyond. The same can be said of the Southland Airport. In South Cook County, Will County and Cook County – it’s [the airport] regional impact will be unprecedented. There is no public works program that will provide more jobs than this project.
On President’s Obama Healthcare Plan
“First and foremost, the President recognizes that healthcare costs are spiraling out of control, and unless we rein them in, the long-term cost to the deficit, to the debt and to the nation, more specifically, are devastating. And so we have to reform healthcare. The American Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, some people choose to call it, is an effort to do just that. It seeks to provide insurance for millions of Americans who have been uncovered. It seeks to provide a mandate for every American who want healthcare to do their part in helping reform costs. It seeks to rein in doctors and excessive insurance agencies…I’m confident that we’re moving closer and closer to Medicare for all. We’re moving closer and closer to a single pare system where every American has healthcare. But the necessary first step in that is the President’s healthcare initiative, which I support.”
On Former Governor Rod Blagojevich
“I offered him nothing and he offered me nothing. I’ve served in the Congress of the United States for nearly 17 years and I met a young, upbeat, vibrant African American male who wanted to be United States Senator. He came and met with me, and encouraged me to consider running for the U.S. Senate. And I said, ‘No, I can’t. I’ve got a lot of work to do in the Second Congressional District,’ and I deferred.” Congressman Jackson and the late Senator Paul Simon served as national co-chairs of Barack Obama’s senate campaign. Jackson also co-chaired President Obama’s presidential campaign.
After the President’s victory, “Names were being bantered about and thrown out as possible candidates [for the senate’s seat]. Of course, I threw my name out there. I deferred.”
“But nothing will ever change the basic facts of this particular case, that I offered him nothing. On the stand they said I offered him nothing. When I took the stand, I was not impeached by the prosecution or by the defense in terms of my credibility. I’m innocent, at least I should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. But for 3 years, having not been convicted of a crime; having never been before a grand jury; having never been charged with a crime, the presumption of innocence has never been afforded me by the mainstream media.”
“They think ‘there must be something there’ or ‘there must be something we don’t know.’ Well, there is nothing there. And 3 years later, we continue to keep hope alive for the people of the Second Congressional District. If that’s my lot in life, so be it.”
These are Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s words on job creation and economic development; on President Obama’s Healthcare Plan; and on his relationship with Governor Rod Blagojevich.