D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray announced his reelection campaign late in December. With eight mayoral candidates competing in the April 1 primary, Chuck Thies, Gray’s campaign manager has his work cut out for him. Gray has named, as Deputy Campaign Director, Rahim Jenkins. A lifelong activist Jenkins sits in the District’s Commission on Human Rights and is a member of the Mayor’s Commission on Religious Affairs.
Early in his career, Rahim found the Righteous Men’s Commission—a local alliance of urban men dedicated to helping black youths. He has worked at grassroots level with youth, gangs, ex-offenders and has a shining resume of community service. He implemented the Abridging Program, which offered incarcerated fathers the opportunity to remain present and active in their children’s lives. This widely acclaimed program had multiple benefits. “Participating inmates realized the impact of positive parenting on their children’s personal, social, and educational development, with the children having tangible evidence of their father’s love, dedication and investment in their overall development,” explains Jenkins.
Best known for his role in “The Peace Treaty”, which was brokered between such notorious Southeast Los Angeles gangs as the P J Watts Crips, Bounty Hunter
Bloods, Vice Lords, and Gangsta Disciples. It was marked by celebrations, by families and friends being able to visit each other in different projects without fear.
In 1993, he was chosen by former D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelley to serve as the District’s representative to the National Association of Urban Peace and Justice’s Gang Summit. He continues to serve on this organization’s board, which is dedicated to negotiating peace between previously existing and newly formed gangs throughout the nation. According to Jenkins, many former gang members have become ambassadors for change, traveling around the country advocating non-violence and other peaceful alternatives to destructive activity.
Currently on leave from his job as the Program Manager at the Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services, Department of Transportation , he also served a Senior Policy Advisor of Ex-Offender Affairs, at the Office of the Mayor, and is an Ombudsman of the DC Department of Corrections.
The mayor of DC, knowing his background and experience in political and community outreach, made him responsible for Ward 7 and 9; building relationships with those that vote in the district.
Born and raised in Washington D.C. he went to college in Alabama. Married with 5 children, 4 of whom reside in Washington DC. Bro. Rahim, a Muslim for 35 years attends Masjid Muhammad. Describing his evolution from a life of violence and crime, he says that Islam helped him see that he was a part of the problem. In the 1980s, Jenkins said he was involved in the drug scene. “I grew up with gun violence, Islam attracted me and played heavy on my heart.”
His participation in the Muslim Advocacy Commission with Imam Johari Malik, amongst other endeavours makes him an influential leader in the Muslim community.
Mayor Gray’s 2010 campaign is tainted with unanswered questions, hopefully the inclusion of Bro. Rahim Jenkins will bring a righteous element to the team.