As a child, Jason loved spending time with his grandparents. They migrated North from Georgia in the 1950’s, in search of a better life. When they arrived, they found not just a home, but a community, in Springfield Gardens.
When his mother was born, they passed on the importance of community and public service to her. That is why she became an urban planner. She wanted to play a role in revitalizing our neighborhoods. Community is also very important to Jason’s father. He understands that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the Black community, so he became a doctor so he could help individuals of color live longer.
Jason’s mother and father passed these lessons on to him. He was also forced to learn some tough lessons on his own at a very young age. When Jason was a child, his parents had him apply for a public-school program that offered an advanced curriculum. However, even though he met all the qualifications, Jason was denied admission because of his race.
His parents were heartbroken, but they refused to give up and they were determined to fight for Jason’s right to a quality education. They reached out to their community for help. They contacted local leaders such as Council Member Archie Spigner and Assembly Member Richard Green who stood up for Jason. They reached out to leaders in the Black community like David Dinkins who wrote a letter in support. They even reached out to the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. who brought a lawsuit on his behalf. The school district had no choice but to admit Jason, and five other students, into the magnet program.
He may have been young, but that moment changed Jason’s life. Not only did he learn how important a quality education is, he also learned the importance of fighting for one’s beliefs and rights. The education he received offered Jason a chance at a brighter future. It put him on a pathway that led to The Bronx High School of Science, Princeton University and The University of Michigan Law School. After law school, he returned home to become a public interest lawyer in the New York State Attorney General’s Office where he represented individuals in pressing need of legal services. He went on to become President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and start a tutoring program, which has helped kids from underrepresented backgrounds get into top schools like Brooklyn Tech, Bronx Science and Stuyvesant High Schools.
Jason is running for City Council, because he knows what’s at stake for our community. Jason’s community fought for him. Now he wants to take his fight to the next level and ensure that our workers have good jobs, our homes are protected, and our neighborhoods are safe. He wants to make sure that our transit systems run, our businesses are thriving, and our kids have access to a quality education, similar to the one he had.
For Jason, the term “community” isn’t just a noun, it’s a value.
His community has always been there for him, which is why he wants to be there for us.
Jason is running for City Council District 27 and he’s fighting for us.