A Sit-Down with State Representative Thaddeus Jones
State Representative Thaddeus Jones (D) has represented the 29th district since 2011. The proud father of two sons, he was recently named Chairman of the House Insurance Committee. The IEJF has worked with Representative Jones on a series of legal aid seminars for his constituents with the help of grantee Center for Disability and Elder Law.
Your district includes communities such as Dolton, South Holland, Lansing, Calumet City, Crete and Monee. What civil legal issues do your constituents need the most help with?
I have found that my constituents are in need of legal services that focus on expungement, senior rights, youth incarceration, wills and trusts and property taxes.
Why is it important that the State provides funding for civil legal aid?
I believe it’s important for the State to fund legal aid because some constituents simply cannot afford legal assistance. There is a serious barrier to access legal services. By the State providing funding for civil legal aid, it can help remove that barrier.
You undoubtedly hear from many advocacy groups with funding requests. What’s the most effective way organizations can communicate the importance of their issue to elected officials?
The most effective way is serving the community by speaking to, and partnering with, elected officials to hold forums and workshops on available civil legal assistance. I focus on serving the constituents of the 29th district and making sure that organizations that can provide access have face to face contact with my constituents. Organizations should contact elected officials to share their services and focus on providing access to those services in the district.
You’ve served in the General Assembly since 2011. What do you enjoy most about being a state representative?
I mostly enjoy helping people; I believe that is what life is all about. I make sure I am a resource in helping people get the help and services they need.