During the controversial vote to hire legislative aides for City Council members late last year, councilman Michael Jackson argued he did not need an aide. Last week, members of the City Council approved a budget that allows Jackson to hire an aide.
Jackson said he plans to hire a young attorney as an aide. He joins four other council members who will have or are in the process of hiring part-time aides for $25,000.
“I never said my constituents would not allow me. I said, I didn’t feel my constituents would be happy with or be in approval of me having an aide,” said Jackson on Thursday.
In Sept. 2019, Jackson said, “I’m not in need of an aide.” He also said, “My voter base would not approve of me having an aide.” Jackson was the deciding vote in Oct. 2019 to hire aides.
On Thursday, Jackson said his position “slightly” changed.
“I have looked at it from a different perspective,” said Jackson. He said his constituents are facing issues such as illegal eviction and poor treatment from landlords. An aide with a legal background will be able to assist them, he said. “It’s a bigger gain for the people I represent.”
Four of Jackson’s constituents have picked up petitions to run against him in the May election.
When asked if she approves of Jackson hiring an aide, school board member Nakima Redmon, who is challenging Jackson, said, “I just think it’s unnecessary. I know I wouldn’t have gotten an aide that’s what I can tell you.”
Redmon stopped short of criticizing the controversial incumbent. She said voters should look at his record on the City Council. Other potential candidates in the race are Mosleh Uddin, Demetrius Davis, and Sharonda Roberts. Deadline to enter the race is Mar. 9.