Mondaire Jones

U.S. House of Representatives, NY-17

Game Changer

Mondaire would be one of the first two openly gay, black Members of Congress in American history

Biography

Mondaire Jones grew up in a small working class community in New York’s 17th Congressional District called the Village of Spring Valley. He was raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to provide for their family, and still had to rely on a Section 8 housing voucher and food stamps. He went on to attend Stanford University, where he was active in student organizing and led efforts to increase faculty and graduate student diversity. Subsequently, Mondaire went to the Department of Justice under the Obama administration, vetting candidates for federal judgeships and working on criminal justice reform.

While a student at Harvard Law School, Mondaire represented defendants who could not afford counsel in criminal proceedings. Following graduation, he worked at a law firm and was honored by the Legal Aid Society for his hundreds of hours of pro bono legal work. Mondaire worked at the law firm long enough to pay off most of his student loan debt, which liberated him to pursue public service full-time in his next job. Most recently, Mondaire was an attorney in Westchester County’s Law Department. There, he litigated Westchester County’s biggest cases and served as a legal advisor to the County Executive, the County Board of Legislators, and the County Human Rights Commission. His role included drafting and advising on legislation. Mondaire is also the co-founder of Rising Leaders, Inc., which mentors and teaches professional skills to underserved middle-school students.

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