5 Questions With Chicago 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson

As the Democratic National Convention begins tonight in earnest, I wanted to give readers a view of some of its notable participants while they are attending the convention. First up in what will be called Five Questions With, is Chicago 7th Ward Alderman Sandi Jackson. Though she’s the wife of Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., Alderman Jackson is doing her due diligence to create opportunities and personal growth for the 7th Ward–which is the southeast side of Chicago.

As I’ve outlined in a couple of posts today and over the weekend, this is a very historic time for all of us. I implore you all to discard prejudices you might have and fall intuitive–past and futuristic–into a bubble in time initializing a new era of understanding. It’s also important for our children to gain a grasp of the political process as it happens to propagate a desire to learn about how our country is shaped through the positive works of their soul models.

Here’s some bio information on Alderman Jackson according to her website:

Sandi Jackson has been actively involved in Democratic Party politics for more than 18 years. Before being elected Alderman to Chicago’s 7th Ward, she served as Deputy Director of Training for the Democratic National Committee.

A veteran of five presidential campaigns for the White House, Sandi recently directed scheduling operations for Rev. Jesse Jackson, who served as the DNC “Super Surrogate” for the 2004 presidential election cycle. She also served as a presidential appointee in the Clinton Administration as Vice President of Congressional and External Affairs for the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Sandi previously served as the Director of VIP Relations for the Presidential Inaugural Committee where she supervised the administrative and managerial support to the Committee Vice Chairs, the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, U.S. Military leaders and coordinated plans for special projects with the White House Military Liaison Office. She served as the National Outreach Coordinator for the Clinton/Gore 96 Campaign, organizing African American activities and serving as a liaison with the leaders in politics, women’s organizations, veterans groups and U.S. business leaders.

Prior to joining the DNC, Sandi served as campaign manager and chief political strategist in several tough Illinois State Senate and State Legislative races, helping to elect State Representatives Robin Kelly, David Miller, William Davis and State Senator James Meeks to the Illinois General Assembly.

In addition to her many career highlights she also served as an official observer to the July 1996 Helsinki Accords, serving as an expert presenter in 1996 for the African American Institute in Accra, Ghana, where she hosted workshops on political training for women and she served as a legal consultant for the Rainbow Coalition.

Sandi received her Bachelor’s Degree from Bowling Green State University in 1985, and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois School of Law in 1992. She resides in the 7th Ward of the 2nd Congressional District of Illinois with her husband Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and their two children Jessica and Jesse III.

Michael Tillery: How are things going so far at the Democratic National Convention?

Alderman Sandi Jackson: Things are going great here at the convention. The Democrats have come together in the spirit of unity. We are feeling very very good about it. There’s a lot of excitement in the air.

MT: What are your expectations for this convention?

ASJ: I expect to see the party come together. I want the supporters of Senators Clinton and Barack Obama to come come together in a unified manner to get geared up and go on to history in November. This is about solidifying the party and keeping everybody focused on the big picture…doing everything we can to secure that seat in November and on to the White House inaugural in January.

MT: How do you feel about your husband Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., speaking tonight on the national stage?

ASJ: I’m very excited about Jesse speaking this evening. I’m excited the rest of the country will have an opportunity to see and to hear what a wonderful speaker I’ve known him to be for the past twenty years. This is quite an honor to be selected as one of the speakers to appear in prime time. I know Jesse is very excited, very honored and indeed humbled that Barack chose him to speak briefly about his history in Chicago.

I absolutely can’t wait to hear Michelle Obama tonight. She is the keynote speaker and I know she is going to be received warmly.

She’s going to tell the story most Americans need to hear and that’s the personal side of Barack Obama. She’ll speak on what he has done for the state of Illinois and what he will do for our country.

This is such an exciting time in our history and we are all very geared up for that.

Later, I’m waiting on pins and needles to hear from Senator Joe Biden who is an exciting and exhilarating speaker. I’ve had the opportunity to know him now for over twenty years. I can tell you he is quite a fighter and is definitely a man of his word.

If he says he is going to fight for you, he is going to do it. He will give it his all.

Finally, Barack Obama on Thursday. We all can’t wait to hear from him.

MST: What are you and your husband’s plans for the future?

ASJ: What we are going to continue to do is serve our constituents in the 7th Ward and the 2nd Congressional district. That’s our first priority. I know I can speak for Jesse in saying it’s what we were elected to do–which is to honor and serve them respectfully.

Anything comes down the pike, we will consider it.

Here’s Jesse’s speech at the DNC…

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