Congressman Mondaire Jones – an upstate House member who is running as a candidate in the Democratic primary for a district that includes Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn – said Tuesday he sees similarities between what constituents in his old district and his potentially new district want.
Jones currently represents New York’s 17th District in the Hudson Valley, but chose to run in the 10th District after Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney opted to run in the redrawn version of Jones’ current district, which includes Maloney’s home. Jones moved from the Hudson Valley to live in the redrawn 10th District.
In an interview with Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall,” Jones said that constituents in Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Rockland County and Westchester County alike all want “an economy that works for everybody.”
“Everyone is concerned about inflation. Everyone is concerned about making sure that their local schools are high quality. Everyone is concerned about ending the epidemic of gun violence in America,” Jones said. “It’s why I’ve been so grateful to be in conversation with people in my neighborhood, in Carroll Gardens, and, of course, throughout the district talking about the work I’ve been doing that has been directly in service of the people of this district.”
Jones said his favorite part of being on the campaign trail has been “knocking on doors and engaging directly with voters.”
“It is a progressive district, as you know,” he said. “It’s also a district where people are disillusioned with Washington, and they want someone who is going to be at the forefront of bringing federal dollars home, whether it is to help invest in our environmental justice communities in Sunset Park and in Red Hook, or to clean up the Gowanus Canal, or to make sure that we are able to reimagine the BQE.”
When asked what a member of Congress can do about rising inflation levels, Jones discussed being a member of the subcommittee on antitrust, which he said “has been on the forefront on holding large corporations and very concentrated industries accountable,” such as the oil and gas industries and the meat processing industry.
“When you look at the price at the pump and you look at groceries at the store, those prices exceed what inflation would require,” Jones said. “It’s why I’m so proud to have, alongside colleagues like Ro Khanna, introduced the Big Oil Windfall Profits tax, which would capture that difference between what inflation requires or justifies and what is actually being charged, and convert that into stimulus money for the American people.”
Jones identifies as a progressive, but said he can work across the aisle with members of his own party. As examples, he said he worked to bridge divides in the House for the Build Back Better bill and the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs bipartisan infrastructure law.
“No one questions whether I’m a progressive, right? I’m one of the more progressive members of the entire Congress. But it’s also the case that I’ve been laser focused on actually delivering,” he said. “That’s not requiring a compromise in my values. It means I’m a serious policy maker that does more than tweet. I’m someone who actually legislates and bridges the divides that exist in Congress, and that’s the kind of representation that people – progressives and moderates – in New York’s 10th district deserve.”
Jones is running in a crowded primary field that includes City Council member Carlina Rivera, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, former Rep. Liz Holtzman, and Dan Goldman, who was the House Democrats’ lead counsel for then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out of the race last week.