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Why I support Robert Jackson

David N. Dinkins 106th Mayor, City of New York and 23rd President, Borough of Manhattan | 8/22/2013, 11:09 a.m. | Updated on 8/22/2013, 11:09 a.m.
David N. Dinkins

Robert Jackson has always been a leader. He has worked hard for everything he has achieved and has fought hard to make our city stronger. He has taken on the tough battles and has gotten results. He will be a great borough president for Manhattan.

Jackson grew up in Northern Manhattan, where he and his eight brothers and sisters attended public schools. They didn’t have much, and times were often tough, but Jackson worked hard and, with the help of his family, teachers and neighbors, was able to go to college, earn a degree and move ahead in life. What is more significant than his pushing past poverty, however, is that he has fought hard to make sure that others have the same chance to succeed in life that he had.

Because of his determination to give his daughters and his neighbors’ children the best education possible, Jackson became involved in his local community school board. Soon he was elected to serve as president and brought suit against the state to fix a broken school-funding formula that cheated our children. To focus attention on the inequity, Jackson walked 150 miles to Albany and ultimately won the court judgment that brought home $16 billion for New York City public school children.

Jackson has since been elected—and twice re-elected—to the City Council to represent parts of Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. He is a City Council leader and co-chairs its Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. He has fought for our children, our seniors and hardworking families across our city. He has stood up to powerful interests and been a strong voice for New Yorkers who just want a fair deal.

Jackson has fought to increase jobs and opportunities: He has sponsored the Small Business Survival Act to protect small businesses from being forced out by unscrupulous landlords; helped to create a community-based jobs training program, Jobs to Build On, which is cited as a national model by the Clinton Global Initiative; and championed landmark minority and women-owned business enterprise legislation to create new opportunities for the city’s entrepreneurs.

He has continued his fight for quality public school education for all our children: He has helped to create more than 4,000 new openings for pre-kindergarten children, worked to prevent thousands of teacher layoffs and launched the Drop-Out Prevention Initiative. Jackson has also worked with community groups, sponsored buyback programs and advocated for stronger state and federal legislation to get guns off the street and make our neighborhoods safer.

It is important that we have someone of great passion, proven commitment and deep understanding of the challenges we face fighting for us as Manhattan’s next borough president. Jackson knows the issues and has the courage to do what is right, and I am proud to support his candidacy. I urge you to join me in voting for Robert Jackson for Manhattan borough president!