Mondaire is a lawyer, nonprofit leader, activist, and champion of children and working families.
Mondaire was born to a young, single mother at Nyack Hospital and raised in the working-class Village of Spring Valley, which is in Rockland County. Life wasn’t easy, but the Jones family managed. And Mondaire’s mother always encouraged him to dream big in spite of their circumstances.
After Mondaire was born, his mother dropped out of college. She worked multiple jobs just to make ends meet—even with the aid of a Section 8 housing voucher from the federal government. Mondaire learned early on that, in a low-wage economy that doesn’t work for the average American, government assistance is necessary to fill in the gaps. When he was two years old, Mondaire’s mother was diagnosed with a devastating mental illness.
Like many single moms, Mondaire’s mother leaned heavily on her parents for help raising her kid. Both grandparents had left Jim Crow in Virginia to start a family in New York, where their community in Rockland County embraced them. Mondaire’s grandfather was a janitor at Pomona Middle School. His grandmother cleaned homes in the hamlets of Congers and Hillcrest. When daycare was too expensive, as it is for millions of parents in the United States, she took her grandson to work. In the wealthiest nation on Earth, people should not have to make this absurd choice. Later, Mondaire’s grandmother served lunch in East Ramapo public schools. She did this well into her 70s, on bad knees, just to cover the costs of over-priced medical procedures and prescription drugs. This showed Mondaire the immorality of our nation’s healthcare system.
In addition to being born and raised in Rockland County, which is in New York’s 17th congressional district, Mondaire has lived in the district for most of his life. He attended public schools in East Ramapo throughout his childhood, and remains proud of the education he received. He is also a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Spring Valley.
After college, Mondaire served in the Obama Administration. In the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice, Mondaire worked on judicial nominations for the White House, including that of future Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. The slow pace of judicial confirmations, in those early years, showed him what can happen when Democrats in Congress allow Republicans to block progress instead of fighting tooth-and-nail for the American people. At DOJ, Mondaire also co-authored a report to Attorney General Eric Holder on reducing the recidivism of people leaving federal prisons and helping them rejoin society.
Why I'm Running
I’m running for Congress to fight for bold, progressive policies that will help everyday people and allow all children in New York’s 17th congressional district to dream big like I did.