As a Community School Board President, City Council leader, marathon runner and Education Committee Chair, Robert Jackson has built a record of hard work, energy and integrity. He knows how to get things done, and has a record to prove it.
Now Robert Jackson is running for Manhattan Borough President to be an advocate for our children, a fighter for our neighborhoods and an energetic leader for all of Manhattan.
Growing up in Northern Manhattan with six brothers and sisters, he didn’t have much and times were often tough. As a student at PS 186, he never dreamed that one day he would be a leading member of the City Council and a candidate for Borough President, but it was possible through hard work, perseverance, the help of good people in the community and teachers like his track coach at Benjamin Franklin High School Irwin Goldberg, who took an interest in him, pointed him in the right direction and made sure he went to college. And that has made all the difference.
That’s why he has fought so hard to knock down barriers and to make sure every child receives the best education possible, and the same opportunity to succeed in life as he had.
NY1 New Yorker of the Year
Raising three daughters, Robert got involved with the Community School Board and soon was selected to serve as its President. Outraged by an inequitable New York State school funding distribution formula that shortchanged New York City students and undermined their future, Jackson filed the historic Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit against the state to fix the broken formula. He walked 150 miles to Albany to highlight the cause and won a court judgment that awarded $16 billion for NYC schools.
As a result of this landmark decision and “for being a staunch advocate for generations of New York City children, for never giving up on the belief that education is a basic civil right, and for giving millions of city students a fighting chance,” NY1 honored Robert as “New Yorker of the Year”.
In 2001, Robert Jackson was elected to the City Council – and has twice been overwhelmingly re-elected by the voters of his upper Manhattan district. Because of his experience, commitment and leadership, he was chosen to Chair the Education Committee and Co-Chair the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. In endorsing Jackson, The New York Times wrote, “A longtime champion of quality education… Mr. Jackson has spent years working for better schools for the entire city.”
A Record of Achievement
Councilman Jackson has worked to make sure every child has the best education that we have to offer -- from the day they are born to the day they graduate from college. He’s fought to reduce class sizes, helped create more than 4,000 new openings for pre-k and helped prevent teacher layoffs, and in response to the dismal graduation rate, worked to start the Drop-Out Prevention Initiative that services students in public schools citywide.
Councilman Jackson has worked to increase jobs and opportunity. He was a leader in producing a community agreement to approve the Columbia University expansion, sponsored legislation to help small business grow and led the fight for landmark MWBE legislation to increase opportunities for minority and women owned businesses.
Councilman Jackson has worked to make our neighborhoods safer by getting guns off the street through working with community groups, sponsoring Buy Back Programs and advocating for stronger state and federal legislation.
And Jackson has fought for affordable housing and tenants rights, providing support to build the innovative, exemplary Sugar Hill affordable housing development and sponsoring a bill that would require every apartment building in New York City to have a summary of basic tenants' rights posted in the lobby and handed to every tenant along with their lease.
A Vision for the Future
Robert Jackson is ready to be Manhattan Borough President and with the largest, most unified base, strongest positive identification on education -- likely voters' most important issue, and the most potential grassroots and organizational support, he is positioned to win. His agenda includes:
Making sure every child receives the best education possible, by lowering class size, increasing availability of full-day Pre-K, establishing community schools and providing greater parental involvement.
Strengthening our economy and creating opportunities so progress is shared by all by creating high paying jobs, protecting workers conditions and building a strong, diversified and vibrant economy for this generation and the next.
Protecting our seniors, and making sure Manhattan stays affordable, and that we don’t squeeze out the middle and working class, so hard working and older Manhattanites can stay here and young people can start here. This Island is big enough for all of us.
Fighting for justice and equality for all and against bigotry and intolerance everywhere, including advancing immigrant rights, revitalizing the Human Rights Commission and making government more transparent and accessible.
And above all, protecting the safety and security of our people, both from crime on the street and from natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Robert and his family have lived in Washington Heights since 1975. He attended New York City public schools and later graduated from State University of New York at New Paltz. He is married, a dedicated father of three daughters and proudly represents parts of Morningside Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood.
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