Former New Orleans councilman, state rep. Johnny Jackson Jr. dies

Johnny Jackson Jr., photo courtesy University of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — Former City Councilman and community activist Johnny Jackson, Jr., has died. He was 74.

Funeral arrangements are pending, his family said.

Jackson, a civil rights leader who worked hard to improve the Ninth Ward, was elected to the New Orleans City Council for two terms (1986-1994) and served 14 years as a state representative, from 1972 until 1986, according to UNO’s Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies.

He was a member of the Ninth Ward political organization SOUL (Southern Organization for United Leadership) and was the executive director of the Desire Community Center in the neighborhood where he grew up.

The Midlo center notes that one of Jackson’s crowning achievements as councilman was raising the home ownership rate in the Ninth Ward.

He served as board member of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation and Total Community Action, an anti-poverty group,

He also chaired the “Gospel is Alive” program, was former president of WWOZ public radio, Captain of Zulu Diamond Cutters carnival krewe and an elected member of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club Inc. Hall of Fame.

Jackson earned his bachelor’s from Southern University in 1965 and his master’s degree in social work from Tulane University in 1980.