Charles D. Jones
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State Senator Charles D. Jones

A Brilliant strategist and advocate for the poor!

Charles D. Jones was perhaps one of the most gifted strategists in the Black leadership of Louisiana. in the 20th century.

A graduate of Southern University law school, Jones came to Monroe from dirt poor roots in Lake Providence to serve a term as an assistant district attorney. He left the DA’s office and entered private practice. He was catapulted into the public eye when he defended a local principal, Gregory Hobson, in a tenure case before the school board which was televised nightly on the evening news. Jones saved Hobson’s job and gained a reputation of being a sharp lawyer.

Immediately following the Hobson case, Jones seized upon his new found popularity and ran for state representative and won in 1979. He introduced a flurry of bills, many of which became law. He proved to be an effective legislator that could bring home big dollars to his district. He became the head of the Legislative Black Caucas and used the position to lobby for concessions for the poor and needy across the state. He pushed for improved health care, a sickle cell study program at Southern University, juvenile diversion programs, and minority set asides.

He devised elaborate reapportionment plans that increased Black political clout, orchested efforts to get more Blacks in the judiciary. His devotion to his work nearly destroyed him as he suffered family and health problems that ended with divorce, treatments, and mountains of tax problems.

Jones rebounded, remarried and was elected state senator. In 1992 he made a bid for Congress, but was defeated.

In a whirlwind of activity he became overwhelmed with the poverty of his hometown of Lake Providence and for two years put together a plan to lift his constituents completely out of poverty by getting over $600 million in federal help. It involved getting commitments from the state and even the President of the United States.

In 1995 , with commitments in hand, political enemies unleashed a newspaper attack to stop the plan. Just days away from nearly eliminating the poverty of Delta he saw his efforts crushed as the avalanche of protests sparked by his political enemies caused the government to back out of its promises. As a political and legislative strategist and advocate for the poor Jones has proven to be one of the most effective representatives of the poor in modern times.