9/22/2010 First Person Radio


Jack Jackson, Jr., a member of the Navajo Nation, is from the Near The Water (Tó’áhaní) Clan, and born for the Towering House (Kinyaa’áanii) Clan. His maternal grandfather is from the Water’s Edge (Tábąąhá) Clan, and his paternal grandfather is from the Salt (Áshįįhí) Clan. He was born and raised on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Jackson is a lifelong Democrat and is now his party's nominee for the Arizon Senate from a Northern Arizona district, which, after a bruising primary contested by four other Navajo candidates, virtually assures Jackson's election.

In 1989, after obtaining his Juris Doctorate degree from the Syracuse University School of Law, Jackson moved to Washington, DC where he worked for 12 years representing tribal governments and organizations. In 1997, Jackson became Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest and most representative Indian advocacy organization in the nation for over 250 tribal governments. Jackson also represented NCAI as a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). Founded in 1950, the LCCR has coordinated the national legislative campaign on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

From 2003 to 2005, Jackson served in the 46th Arizona State Legislature in the House of Representatives representing District 2 in Northern Arizona which included the City of Flagstaff, the Navajo Nation, the Hopi, Havasupai, Hualapai, and San Juan Southern Paiute Tribes. Representative Jackson served on the Ways and Means Committee as ranking Democratic Member and the Natural Resources, Agriculture, Water and Native American Affairs Committee. He was appointed to a vacated seat in the powerful Appropriations Committee in order to bring his unique tribal and regional perspective to budget discussions. Jackson says his greatest joy was working along side his father, Senator Jack C. Jackson, Sr., who served at the Arizona State Legislature from 1985 to 2004. He and Senator Jackson became the first father and son to serve together in the Arizona State Legislature. In 2005, he ran for Congress as a Representative for Congressional District One.

In October 2007, Jackson was confirmed by the Navajo Nation Council to serve on the Navajo Gaming Enterprise Board. He and the other board members worked at establishing the first Navajo Nation casino. The Fire Rock Casino opened on November 19, 2008. This was the first Native American gaming enterprise in the United States ever to be funded solely through tribal monies.

Last February, Jackson was appointed to serve on President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He previously sat on President Clinton’s HIV/AIDS Council in 1999. He has also served on the boards of the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center, Phoenix Body Positive, Arizona Real Estate Advisory Board, Arizonans for Cultural Development, and Arizona League of Conservation Voters.

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Air Date: 
September 22, 2010

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