John Jackson is a long-time employee of C.R. England, a trucking company, one of Utah's oldest and finest companies.
John was born in Utah's neighboring state of Colorado, and grew up in Utah's neighboring state of Idaho. He was blessed with parents and family who were choice and humble, growing up on a farm in the Magic Valley, setting siphon tubes, hauling hay, hoeing beets, and herding sheep.
The farm was part of a homestead project for veterans of World War II, the largest such project in the United States.
His hometown would prefigure political beliefs John Jackson would adopt later in life. The community had a migrant camp for workers who came from south of the border, and migrants were also scattered in other places throughout the community. These migrants -- many of them lacking permission to be in the United States -- moved sprinkler pipes and labored on the farms adjacent to the farm on which John grew up. After he grew up and left the Mini-Cassia community, it grew to become even more populated by those from south of the border.
John's interest in the immigrant has also grown. In the past 15 years, he has turned much of his interest and attention in life to the belief we should be more inclusive of the immigrant, more agreeable to letting them come and live among us on American soil.
Speaking of his community prefiguring political beliefs he would later adopt, his hometown of Paul had once served as a World War II prisoner of war camp. And, a neighboring community, Eden had served as a Japanese internment camp, housing American citizens who were rounded up and imprisoned in fear that since they were of Japanese descent, they should not be trusted from turning on America during the war.Even so, later in life, John became concerned with both immigrant detention centers and prisons in general.
While growing up, John served as president of the high school chess club, being accomplished enough at that game that he could play many of his opponents blindfolded -- and win.
He served a mission in South Florida. Returning home, he served as sports editor at both Ricks College and Brigham Young University. After graduating, he worked on newspapers in Cedar City, St. George, and Provo in Utah, and in Santa Clarita, Calif., before opening a one-man newspaper in California, The Castaic Light.
He was there during the Rodney King riots, and officers involved in the King beating lived in the Castaic area.
This, too, would be a prefiguring of a community he lived in with his political actions later in life. As we speak, John is heavily involved in the movement to bring justice to Black people and reform to police departments. And, as we speak, he dedicates his first session in the Legislature -- should he be elected -- to Rodney King.
King was beaten March 3, 1991. That means it will mark 30 years from then when the Utah Legislature meets in its coming session.
Justice for Rodney King.