Mondaire Jones, a New York Congressman, was born on May 18, 1987, in Nyack, New York. In Spring Valley, New York, he grew up in a single-parent household with his mother. Despite his humble beginnings, his mother did everything she could to provide for him, including living in Section 8 housing, receiving food stamps, and working multiple jobs. Despite these challenging circumstances, he was able to set and achieve major goals.
Jones became involved with the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People while attending Spring Valley High School (class of 2005) in Nyack (NAACP). He remained an active member of the organization until his graduation from Stanford University in 2009. If not for being a recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship, he may not have gotten that opportunity. He worked for the US Department of Justice during President Obama’s administration.
Jones received his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2013, after which he worked as a litigator in Westchester County, New York (where he currently lives). As an openly gay Black man, he felt it was necessary and important to continue his efforts for human rights. He served on the National Board of Directors of the NAACP, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and founded his own nonprofit, Rising Leaders.
Jones made history when he was elected to Congress from New York’s 17th congressional district on January 3, 2021. He ran with the Democratic and Working Families parties’ nomination. He has been active in issues such as democracy reform, civil rights, child care, climate change, and LGBTQ equality since taking office. He quickly earned the respect of his colleagues, leading to him being unanimously elected as freshman representative to House Democratic leadership. He’s also the deputy whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and co-chair of the LGBTQ Equality Caucus.
Jones credits his accomplishments to role models and political idols such as President Barack Obama and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His inspiration to run for office while being open about his sexual orientation comes from civil rights activist Bayard Rustin and assassinated San Francisco politician Harvey Milk. His main priorities while in office are COVID-19 relief and democratic reform.
Jones is on the following congressional committees: Committee on Ethics, Committee of Judiciary (Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law/Courts Intellectual Property, and the Internet, Vice Chair), and Committee of Education and the Workforce (Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee/Workforce Protections Subcommittee).