SHIRA KARSEN / THE EAGLE
The A Voice 4 U campaign’s South side candidate is new to D.C. but not to politics.
Deon Jones, a freshman in the School of Public Affairs, is eager to be a candidate for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D 07.
Jones said when campaign field director Stephen Bronskill first approached him about being a candidate he was already feeling overwhelmed with other activities.
“What really changed my mind was me having the belief that I can play a small part in making the community a better place,” Jones said.
Jones feels that entering politics shouldn’t be about just wanting to hold an elected position. “I think one thing about politics is that you should run when you can do a better job than someone already in office,” Jones said.
In his Atlanta high school, Jones was student body president and served as the director of student affairs for city Councilman Scott Vaughan and student adviser for Sen. Kasim Reed.
His senior year, he started a nonprofit organization called Man of Destiny that brings resources to low-income students in the Atlanta public school systems.
“I have experience making sure students are heard and making sure students have a seat,” Jones said.
Jones was drawn to AU because of it’s location in D.C. and the opportunities the University offers for professional and career development, especially the alumni connections and networking opportunities in SPA. After college, Jones would like to work with Teach for America to give back to the public school system he graduated from and eventually become a district attorney in order to ensure fair convictions are provided. Jones said his high school was a product of the Teach for America system.
”I’ve seen a lot of the things that inhibit students [at his high school],” Jones said. “It’s a way to give back to the community that gave to me.” At AU, he is also a gospel choir member, an undergraduate senator for SPA, a member of College Democrats and part of the SPA leadership program. If elected as a commissioner, Jones hopes to influence the approval of the campus plan. He feels building more residence halls should be a priority. Jones said he wants the AU community to be able to hold more outdoor activities. He wants to have outside events that could benefit both students and the community.
“Inviting them [the community residents] to AU events would allow them to see they are also part of our community,” Jones said. He believes the A Voice 4 U campaign has done a lot to get the candidate names out, and feels he has a strong chance of being elected. “I knew D.C. would bring lots of opportunities, but I never thought it would be anything official,” Jones said.
Jones plans to continue speaking with South side students and hopes to hold small town halls to hear from students and community members.
“We all live in this community together,” Jones said.