MONDAIRE JONES is an American attorney and politician, born on this date, serving as the U.S. representative for New York’s 17th congressional districut since 2021. The district includes most of central and western Westchester County and all of Rockland County. A member of the Democratic Party, he and Ritchie Torres are the first openly gay Black members of Congress.

Jones was born in Nyack, NY, and grew up in Spring Valley, New York where he was raised by a single mother. After his mother became ill, Jones lived with his grandparents, who worked multiple jobs to support him. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in 2009 and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 2013.

Jones worked in the U.S. Department of Justice during the presidency of Barack Obama. He also worked for Davis, Polk & Wardwell, as a law clerk for Andrew L. Carter, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and for the Westchester County law department. Jones also provided pro bono legal aid through The Legal Aid Society.

Jones came out as gay when he was 24. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Spring Valley. In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named Jones among the fifty heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people.