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Robert Jackson

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Information about Robert Jackson

Profile image of Robert Jackson

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Dark Blue
Favorite Food:
Chinese
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Tanzania
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1950
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
City Council Member

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Dark Blue
Favorite Food:
Chinese
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Tanzania
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1950
Birth Location:
New York
See how Robert Jackson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

City council member Robert Jackson was born on December 18, 1950 in New York City to Zelma Jackson Chu. Jackson attended Walter J. Damrosch School and J.H.S. 120 Paul Lawrence Dunbar. In 1975, he received his B.A. degree in sociology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. That same year, Jackson moved to the Manhattan community of Washington Heights.

Jackson’s political career began in 1986, when he won a seat on New York City’s Community School Board 6. As president of the board, Jackson co-founded in 1993 the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc. with Attorney Michael Rebell. Under the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Jackson sued the State of New York, arguing that the state did not provide adequate funds to serve the needs of New York City’s school children. In 1995, the New York Court of Appeals decided Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York in Jackson’s favor. Jackson accepted a position in 1993 as director of field services with the Public Employees Federation. In 2001, Jackson ran for a seat on the New York City Council and won, where he represented the constituents of the Washington Heights community and parts of Harlem. When Governor George Pataki brought Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York before the New York Court of Appeals in 2003, Jackson staged a march from New York City to the state capital of Albany. The Court of Appeals upheld the New York Supreme Court’s original decision, and the New York State legislature enacted the Education Budget and Reform Act in 2007. In 2011, Jackson staged another protest walk from New York City to Albany, New York to contest Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $1.5 billion cut to the New York State’s education budget. Jackson won re-election to the New York City Council twice, serving until 2013.

During his tenure as councilman, Jackson served as the only Muslim member of the council as well as the chair of the education committee in addition to serving on the finance, housing & buildings, land use, sanitation & solid waste management, and zoning & franchises committees.

A long time resident of New York City, Jackson’s wife, Faika Rifai Jackson, have two daughters.

Robert Jackson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 1, 2016.

See how Robert Jackson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Jackson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Jackson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Jackson talks about his father figures
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Jackson describes his mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Jackson describes his mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Jackson describes his mother's migration to New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Jackson describes his mother's relationship with his father figures
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Jackson remembers the Harlem neighborhood of New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Jackson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Jackson talks about his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Jackson describes his siblings' racial backgrounds
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Jackson talks about growing up in a multiracial family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Jackson describes the Sugar Hill section of New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Jackson remembers moving to the Bronx, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Jackson describes his experiences at Benjamin Franklin High School in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Jackson recalls his early work experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert Jackson remembers visiting Chinatown with his stepfather
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Jackson remembers his commute to Benjamin Franklin High School in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Jackson describes his decision to attend the State University of New York at New Paltz
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Jackson remembers fracturing his wrist
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Jackson remembers the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Jackson describes his experiences at the State University of New York at New Paltz
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Jackson remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Jackson recalls working as an insurance investigator for the State of New York, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Jackson recalls working as an insurance investigator for the State of New York, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Jackson describes his role in the New York State Public Employees Federation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Robert Jackson remembers his first campaign for New York City Council
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Jackson talks about his conversion to Islam
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Jackson remembers the birth of his first daughter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Jackson describes his introduction to education activism
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Jackson recalls his presidency of the New York City Community School Board District 6
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Jackson remembers founding the Campaign for Fiscal Equity
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Jackson describes the Campaign for Fiscal Equity's lawsuit against the State of New York, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Jackson describes the Campaign for Fiscal Equity's lawsuit against the State of New York, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Jackson talks about Campaign for Fiscal Equity v. State of New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Jackson reflects upon the outcome of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Jackson describes the funding of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Jackson reflects upon the outcome of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Jackson reflects upon the state of public education in New York City
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Jackson talks about his political and civic involvement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Jackson talks about the challenges facing public schools
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Jackson talks about the charter school movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert Jackson talks about the purpose of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert Jackson reflects upon the presidential election of 2016
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert Jackson describes his campaigns for Manhattan borough president and the New York State Senate
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert Jackson talks about his plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert Jackson reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert Jackson reflects upon his life, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert Jackson shares his advice for aspiring politicians
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Robert Jackson reflects upon his experiences as a Muslim politician
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Robert Jackson talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Robert Jackson reflects upon his life, pt. 2