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The Honorable Emil Jones, Jr.

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Information about The Honorable Emil Jones, Jr.

Profile image of The Honorable Emil Jones, Jr.

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Senator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
To be or not to be. -Shakespeare

Birthplace

Born:
10/18/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Senator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
To be or not to be. -Shakespeare

Birthplace

Born:
10/18/1935
Birth Location:
Chicago
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Biography

Born in 1935, Emil Jones was raised in one of Chicago's integrated communities, where he was exposed to many different traditions and cultures. After graduating from Roosevelt University, Jones held several jobs before becoming inspired by the 1960 presidential candidacy of John F. Kennedy. Jones volunteered for the campaign and organized support for Kennedy. During this effort, Jones decided to pursue a political career of his own, making important political contacts during the campaign. After Kennedy's presidential campaign ended, Jones served as an assistant for Wilson Frost, who was the only African American alderman to head the City of Chicago's Finance Committee. Then, in 1972, Jones was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, a position he held for ten years before moving to the Senate. In 2003, Jones was unanimously selected as Senate Minority Leader, one of the chief spokespersons for the Senate Democrats.

A lifelong resident of Chicago's South Side, Jones has remained close to his community. He has been a passionate and consistent advocate for public schools. His commitment to education resulted in the passage of a bill that channeled hundreds of millions of dollars for education of children from disadvantaged families. Furthermore, he successfully passed legislation that now requires the teaching of African American and Holocaust history in all Illinois schools.

Very active in the promotion of minority-owned businesses, Jones supported legislation that guarantees a portion of state construction contracts to qualified minority entrepreneurs. This was the first such legislation of its kind in Illinois. Jones also ensured the passage of a bill that encouraged public pension systems to use minority and female investment managers for their pension investments. Both of these measures are designed to promote growth for all communities.

One of Jones' later accomplishment is the creation of an educational pamphlet designed to inform Illinois citizens about the important history of African American legislators who served in the Illinois General Assembly in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. This led to the production and distribution of an educational project entitled Pioneers in the Struggle which includes a video documentary, an interactive CD-ROM and a curriculum guide that document the history of African American legislators from 1877 to 2001. Jones has made it possible for this innovative educational package to be distributed free of charge to classrooms throughout the state.

For his efforts in civil rights legislation, Jones has been recognized by many educational and labor organizations. He is a member of the National Conference of State Legislators and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Emil Jones interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Emil Jones lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Emil Jones talks about his background, his childhood memories and personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Emil Jones recalls his father's background and strict disciplinary style
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Emil Jones disusses the Chicago neighborhood of his youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Emil Jones describes his education up through his high school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Emil Jones talks about his experiences in college
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Emil Jones recalls his varied careers and run for political office
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Emil Jones describes his father's involvement in his political campaign
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Emil Jones details the political behind the scenes acitivites of the Chicago Democratic organization
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Emil Jones describes Wilson Frost and his twrted ambition to rise to Chicago's mayoralty
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Emil Jones further discusses Wilson Frost and the Chicago political machine in the 1970s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Emil Jones describes he passed then siezed the opportunity to run for State Representative
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Emil Jones discusses life in the Illinois State Legislature as a state representative
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Emil Jones recalls his political mentor, Corneal Davis
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Emil Jones opines on media influence and lack of coverage of black politicos
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Emil Jones discusses how his lack of exposure to state politics made his first campaign so difficult
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Emil Jones comments on the importance of African American involvement in politics
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Emil Jones details his early legislative activities as a state representative
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Emil Jones recalls the fallout from some politcal battles
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Emil Jones discusses legislative efforts in getting educational funding from the State of Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Emil Jones talks about his focus on education issues in the Illinois House of Representatives, part I
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Emil Jones talks about his focus on education issues in the Illinois House of Representatives, part I
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Emil Jones reflects on the condition of the Chicago Public Schools since being elected to the Illinois state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Emil Jones comments on the state of inner city schools and the charter school system
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Emil Jones gives his views about the 'Digital Divide'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Emil Jones states the importance of black history as part of the teaching curricula in Chicago's public schools
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Emil Jones discusses lessons about race relations that the general community can learn
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Emil Jones talks briefly about the importance of studying the history of another's culture
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Emil Jones discusses his transfer from the Illinois House of Representatives to the Senate
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Emil Jones describes how he was elected Illinois State Senate Minority Leader
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Emil Jones talks about why the role of politics is important in society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Emil Jones gives his advice to African Americans entering politics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Emil Jones reflects on the missed political opportunities of his past
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Emil Jones comments on his legacy, career accomplishments and the African American political movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Emil Jones talks about his political heroes
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Emil Jones recalls U.S. Congressman Ralph Metcalfe's political career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Emil Jones comments on types of black politicians
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Emil Jones posits on effective organizations within the black community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Emil Jones talks about the role of religion in the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Emil Jones discusses his hopes and aspirations for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Emil Jones talks about his current family and what he still wants to accomplish