This story was updated on 11/20/19 with Congressman Jim Cooper’s statement.
Local social justice activist Justin Jones has officially launched his 2020 congressional bid.
He’s focusing on the working class and some of the city’s marginalized neighborhoods — like North Nashville.
Jones is challenging Congressman Jim Cooper, D-Nashville. He’s been in Congress for 28 years and has shown willingness to break with party lines.
Jones, meanwhile, is 24 years old. He will turn 25 next year, the minimum age to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
He told reporters Monday he wants to build a diverse, intergenerational movement to win the seat.
“We have a lot of leaders with a lot of book experience. They know the statistics, they have degrees,” Jones said. “They don’t know the experience of what is like for average working-class people in this district.”
Jones is running on a six-issue platform, which includes Medicare for All, abolishing ICE and eliminating student debt.
“This campaign is not about those who are comfortable — we are not going to change Green Hills and Belle Meade,” Jones said. “This election is about those who feel the friction and pain on the margins of our community. Those who’ve checked out of politics because it’s always the same faces, the same names, doing the same old nothing for our communities.”
Jones’ campaign is still a work in progress; there’s no set manager yet. And it’s unclear how much money they have raised or want to raise. He did say he will not accept money from corporations.
Cooper said in a statement that he welcomes the competition.
“I work hard every day to help everyone, and I mean everyone, in the Nashville area live a better life,” Cooper said. “I welcome competition from the three candidates so far who also want to serve.”
The primary between Jones and Cooper will take place in August 2020.