Robert Jackson (New York politician)

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Robert Jackson
Member of the New York City Council from 7th District
In office
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2013
Preceded by Stanley Michels
Succeeded by Mark D. Levine
Personal details
Born New York City, New York, USA
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence New York City, New York, USA
Alma mater SUNY New Paltz

Robert Jackson is a former member of the New York City Council, having represented the 7th District in Manhattan from 2002 through 2013. Jackson is running for NY State Senate in northern Manhattan for the 2018 election.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Robert Jackson graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1975. In the early 1990s Jackson was employed by the Public Employees Federation, a labor union.

Robert Jackson is a Muslim, and was the only Muslim City Council member during his term.[2]

Campaign for Fiscal Equity[edit]

In 1992, Robert Jackson was serving as the elected president of Community School Board 6. Frustrated by the consistent under-funding of New York City public schools, he decided to sue the state.[3] Jackson sought assistance from the school board's attorney, Michael A. Rebell; they joined forces to found the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, and in 1993 filed suit in CFE v. State of New York.[4][5] The lawsuit argued that the State of New York's method of allocating funds for public education did not provide adequately for children in New York City, and therefore violated the New York State Constitution and the federal Civil Rights Act.

On June 26, 2003, the New York State Court of Appeals (the state's highest court) ruled in favor of plaintiffs, and gave the State until July 30, 2004 to implement changes.[6] However, lawmakers could not agree on a formula. The Court of Appeals appointed a special panel to address the problem, and in 2005, the panel proposed that NY City schools receive an extra $5.6 billion dollars per year. Justice Leland Degrasse accepted that solution, and in 2007, the Legislature established the Foundation Aid Formula to distribute the requisite funds, phased in over a period of four years.[7][8] Because of the subsequent fiscal crisis, funding was frozen during 2009-2012. Full funding has yet to be restored, a situation that Robert Jackson has protested both in Albany and New York City./[9][10][11][12]

City Council[edit]

Robert Jackson was elected to the New York City Council, in the 7th district, in 2001.[13] Before it was redistricted in 2013, the district included portions of the neighborhoods Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. He served parts of his three terms as Education Committee Chair and Co-Chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus with Council Member Fernando Cabrera. Jackson, a Democrat, was twice re-elected before being term-limited in 2013.[14][15]

Campaigns for borough presidency and State Senate[edit]

2013 Manhattan Borough President campaign[edit]

Jackson announced in late January 2013 that he was running in the Democratic Primary for Manhattan Borough President.[16]

Jackson has highlighted the Campaign for Fiscal Equity as a significant accomplishment in at least five campaigns since he initially ran, and won a seat on, the New York City Council in 2001,[17][18] and his literature stated Jackson "brought home billions of additional dollars each year to improve our public schools," though the Campaign for Fiscal Equity was called a failure by the Village Voice.[19]

Jackson, the only male or black candidate to announce, received the endorsement of former mayor David Dinkins prior to announcing.[20] His opponents in the Democratic Primary were former city council members Jessica Lappin and Gale Brewer, as well as small business owner and former Chair of Community Board 1, Julie Menin. Jackson lost the Democratic Primary election to Brewer, coming in third place with 19% of the vote, compared to Brewer's 40% and Lappin's 25%.

2014 New York State Senate campaign[edit]

Jackson ran for New York State Senate in the 31st State Senate district against the incumbent, Adriano Espaillat and was defeated in a race described by the New York Daily News as "his second shot at a campaign in less than a year."[21] Jackson's campaign manager, Michael Oliva, said that there were no specific plans moving forward, and quoted Jackson as saying he's "not going to deal with this bullshit for another two years."[22]

2016 New York State Senate campaign[edit]

Jackson again ran and lost in a campaign for New York's 31st District State Senate seat in 2016, coming in third, out of the four candidates.[23][24] Jackson received 7,936 of the 25,896 votes cast in the election. Jackson was defeated by then District Leader Marisol Alcantara, who won the primary election with 8,469 votes. Alcantara won the November General Election, and is now the 31st District's State Senator. Micah Lasher also defeated Jackson with 8,175 votes. Luis Tejada came below Jackson with 1,316 votes.[23]

2018 New York State Senate campaign[edit]

Jackson is running again to unseat Alcantara, as she ran as a Democrat but caucuses with the controversial Independent Democratic Conference, with the support of 2016 rival Lasher.[1]

Controversy[edit]

Bill Thompson heckling[edit]

On February 1, 2013 a Democratic mayoral forum was held in Washington Heights. Elected officials repeatedly neglected to acknowledge City Councilman Robert Jackson, who represented the area.[25] Finally, when black mayoral candidate Bill Thompson greeted State Senator A. Espaillat, Assemblywoman G. Rosa, and Councilman Y. Rodriguez, Mr. Jackson called out, "I'm not part of the Northern Manhattan team? ... Can you see? Hello? Am I black enough for you, brother?"[26] Thompson responded good-humoredly that he had no intention of ignoring Jackson, and referred to him as a "hero" for his fight for NY City schools.[27]

Fairway Market lawsuit[edit]

In February 2013 Jackson, and his wife Faika Jackson, sued Fairway Market and New York City. The Jacksons claimed Faika tripped over a downed stop sign in front of the Harlem location of the market in April, 2010.[28] In July, 2014, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Margaret Chan admonished the Jacksons for "non-compliance with Fairway's repeated discovery demands," saying they had failed to provide medical records related to Faika's stop sign tumble. Jackson also joined his wife's lawsuit as a co-plaintiff, writing that his wife's injuries prevented her from providing "services, society and companionship."[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Robert Jackson Announces Bid to Unseat State Sen. Marisol Alcantara". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Robert Jackson, the only Muslim council member, is OK with NYPD surveillance, conditionally". Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  3. ^ http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/spia/centers-and-institutes/center-for-nonprofit-strategy-and-management/documents/EducationFinance-student_final.pdf
  4. ^ Purnick, Joyce (January 15, 2001). "nytimes.com". metro-matters-indictment-of-politics-of-education. Retrieved 2016-09-12 – via https://www.nytimes.com. 
  5. ^ Purnick, Joyce (15 January 2001). "Metro Matters; Indictment Of Politics Of Education". Retrieved 2 May 2017 – via NYTimes.com. 
  6. ^ http://www.cfequity.org/01-19-06Jackson.htm
  7. ^ Fertig, Beth (February 14, 2006). "wnyc.org". 83315-campaign-for-fiscal-equity-faqs. Retrieved 2016-09-12 – via http://www.wnyc.org. 
  8. ^ "Campaign for Fiscal Equity: FAQs". Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "campaigns/campaign-for-fiscal-equity/". aqeny.org/. Alliance for Quality Education of New York. 2013. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  10. ^ Krengel, Sharon (April 14, 2015). "new-york/new-york-state-budget-falls-well-short-of-constitutional-obligation". edlawcenter.org. Education Law Center. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  11. ^ Thoroddsson, Bjarni (February 21, 2011). "education-advocates-decry-proposed-education-cuts". citizenactionny.org. Citizen Action of New York. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  12. ^ Clark, Roger (March 3, 2016). "city-rallies-draw-attention-to-public-school-funding-gap". ny1.com. Time Warner Cable NY1 News. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  13. ^ "District 7 West Harlem/Washington Heights/Inwood". Retrieved 2 May 2017.  horizontal tab character in |title= at position 11 (help)
  14. ^ "Former Councilman Robert Jackson Announces State Senate Run". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  15. ^ Katz, Celeste (December 18, 2010). "term-limits-scorecard-david-greenfield-blog-entry-1". nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2016-09-12 – via http://www.nydailynews.com. 
  16. ^ "Jackson Launches Campaign". Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  17. ^ New York City Council District 7" http://www.gothamgazette.com/searchlight2001/dist7.html
  18. ^ About Robert" http://www.voterobertjackson.com/about-robert.html%7Caccessdate=September 11, 2014
  19. ^ The Campaign for Fiscal Equity Lawsuit Was the Best Hope for City Schools. It Failed" http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-01-21/news/the-campaign-for-fiscal-equity-lawsuit-was-the-best-hope-for-city-schools-it-failed/
  20. ^ "David Dinkins backing Robert Jackson". Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  21. ^ ""Bring it on, mi hermano!" Former Harlem City Councilman Robert Jackson will run for Espaillat’s state Senate seat". Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  22. ^ "Espaillat re-elected to State Senate in slight majority over Jackson". 
  23. ^ a b ""NYS Board of Elections Primary for State Senator Election Returns September 13, 2016"" (PDF). Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Ex-NYC Councilman eyes run for Espaillat seat". 
  25. ^ "Christine Quinn Downplays Bloomberg Link at Tumultuous Mayoral Forum". Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  26. ^ "Jackson, to Thompson: ‘Can you see? Hello? Am I black enough for you, brother?’". Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  27. ^ "Bill Thompson Speaks at Northern Manhattan Mayoral Forum". Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  28. ^ "Councilman Robert Jackson Sues City After Wife's Fall at Fairway". Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  29. ^ "Judge slams Robert Jackson, wife for omissions in lawsuit". Retrieved 2014-10-20. 

External links[edit]