Corey Jackson Seeks 60th Assembly Seat
By Dianne Anderson
Now is the time when voters get to decide whether Black candidates will make it to the November election simply by filling in a circle and mailing or walking in their ballot.
It’s not complicated, but everyday people may have other things on their mind lately, like the surging cost of living.
Corey Jackson, who is running for the 60th Assembly District, is ready to roll up his sleeves in Sacramento to address the most pressing issues facing residents.
Housing is the bare essential.
He remembers when people used to move to the Inland Empire to find affordable housing, but many are being pushed out of the rental and real estate market.
“No doubt we have to deal with our homeless crisis, we have to deal with gas prices and inflation, and I think we’re not done yet,” said Jackson, a long-time youth advocate.
Recently, his nonprofit has been doing its part with plans to break ground on a youth housing project to impact homelessness.
He said the state and the federal government are talking about investing heavily to address the housing issue, but the question is how long until it kicks in.
“We’ve got to fight to make sure that we continue to make annual investments and continue to build, and continue to house,” said Jackson, founder and CEO of SBX Youth and Family Services.
Two of the other big issues facing his district is building up the community infrastructure to meet healthcare and childcare needs. He describes Moreno Valley, Perris, Hemet and San Jacinto as service deserts, meaning that if people need a critical service they have to leave their community to get it.
“We’ve got to build up institutions in the district and nonprofit infrastructure in the district just to make sure that people have what they need to be able to stabilize, and begin to work on a plan to build economic mobility,” said Jackson, who also serves as the Chair of the California Democratic Party Black Caucus.
Jackson partnered with the ACLU as the lead in a 2018 lawsuit settled against Riverside County’s YAT (Youth Accountability Team) program to restore constitutional rights to teens who were wrongly criminalized.
The ACLU reported over 3,000 youth were placed on probation for minor offenses in Riverside County, disproportionately African American and Latinx students between 2005 and 2016. That settlement continues to provide $1.4 million over a five year period that started in 2020-21 to support local community-based organizations through an RFP process.
A recent round of American Rescue Plan Act money is also supporting various programs and projects in increments from now until 2024. But, as with CARES Act funding, many in the Black community could end up missing out.
ARPA has $350 billion now coming down nationally to help states, counties, and cities cope with the pandemic. He said that states can also leverage those federal funds by incorporating state funds.
Even though California is seeing record surpluses, the funding needs to be more flexible, he said. With so many caveats to the federal one-time funding, it may not be enough to create lasting change, but the process needs to be sustainable.
“With Black equity funds, I think those have the ability to invest in Black led or Black serving organizations, however, we’re in a unique situation where there’s more money than people know what to do with,” he said.
Getting at the dollars requires more thinking outside of the box, he said, and the community needs to get out of its comfort zone to deal with various kinds of restrictions on funding.
“The question becomes how creative can people be,” he said. “We’ve got to be more creative, and get outside of what we’re used to doing and make this work because this is a once in a generation type of funding. We’ve got to make the best of it.”
Voters should have started receiving their Primary ballots in the mail May 9, which also opened in-person early voting at the regional Registrar of Voters offices. May 23 is the last day to register to vote at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration.
June 7 is the last day to vote by mail or at their polling places that open from 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
The top two vote-getters for all elected offices will then go on to compete in the November election.
Jackson, political action chair of the Riverside NAACP, also serves as Youth Minister at the Moreno Valley Church of Christ. He is a state executive committee member and an elected member of the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee.
This time around, he said one-third of the legislature is going to be newly elected, but many voters seem to be looking to the popular candidates, rather than the most qualified.
“The change starts with us,” he said. “We’ve got to be more responsible with our voice and with our power.”