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MLC Capitol Spotlight: An Interview with Representative Jewell Jones

Mar 15, 2017

Representative Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2016.  He represents the 11th House District in Wayne County, including Garden City, Inkster, and portions of the cities of Dearborn Heights, Livonia, and Westland.  Representative Jones is the youngest person ever elected to the Michigan House.

Prior to being elected to the House, Representative Jones was a member of the Inkster City Council.  He was also a member of the Inkster Task Force, the Inkster Youth Coalition, and the Inkster Chamber of Commerce.

Representative Jones is currently attending the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he is pursuing a double major in political science and finance.  He is also a member of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, the Black Student Union, and the Student Veteran Association.

1.    What attracted you to running for the Legislature?
I was nominated by the Michigan Democratic Party, after the passing of the honorable Julie Plawecki. The people put me here, to keep fighting for them.

2.    When did you first realize you wanted to be a Democrat?  
I suppose it was just natural for me – most of everyone around me were Democrats from a very young age. Then as I began to grow up, I was able to identify with a plethora of the Democratic ideals.

a.    What attributes of your party do you most identify with?
I align closely with the Party on the issues regarding diversity and inclusivity, economic fairness, the removal of barriers for opportunity, and taking care of the everyday person.

3.    What individuals from your community have shaped and prepared you to be a legislator?
I’ve always heard the idea that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And, thinking about who played a part, I’d have to say everyone. There’s something we can learn from each individual we interact with.

4.    What issues would you like to advocate for because of a personal life experience?
I definitely would like to see better insurance, here in the State of Michigan, as well as more affordable education, seeing that I’m 21 (and insurance is increasingly expensive), and also a college senior (when state dollars are being directed away from public education).

5.    What do you anticipate being the biggest difference serving as a legislator compared with your experience as a local official?
With each passing day, I learn of additional resources available to help us deliver the greatest quality of service to our neighbors back home. I would have to say the team and assets, here in Lansing, are definitely a benefit.

6.    How has your previous career, political or private sector, shaped the legislator you will be?
As a Councilman, I was on the forefront of a lot of issues, affected, right along with my brothers and sisters in the community. As a Cadet and a Soldier, I know what it means to serve. As a consultant, I encourage the need for conversation and problem resolution. As a Senior Deacon, it is my job to ensure protection, safety, and fairness. And, as a young person, I bring a fresh perspective, with new ideas, and a new voice, ready to lead the way alongside my colleagues.

7.    What one thing would you like to highlight that makes your district special?
The tenacity of the people in the 11th. Everything hasn’t been “peaches and cream”, yet the citizens remain hopeful and continue to take it day by day, working towards higher heights and deeper depths. This is a theme I’ve seen mainly in Inkster, since that’s where I spent a great deal of time, before being elected as a State Representative.

8.    What are some of your favorite activities to participate in on your free time?
I love anything that can get my blood flowing and adrenaline pumping, so outdoor recreation, and especially my military training scenarios/events with the Michigan Army National Guard.

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