Tiesha C. Jones is a very active leader in her Bronx community. Ms. Jones began advocating for the residents of NYCHA Fort Independences Houses in 2010, after her daughter was diagnosed with a .45 micrograms level of lead poisoning at the age of four.
Ms. Jones knew she had to bring awareness to the conditions in which her family and other residents were living. In 2012, she ran for the Residents’ Council, not concerned with which position she would hold as long as she was part of the change. She was elected President and has since successfully increased lead poisoning awareness, fought for security cameras, new appliances and repairs. Most importantly, she has worked to establish good working relationships with elected officials.
Ms. Jones was relocated to NYCHA Bailey Houses in 2013, and after four months in her new apartment, a pipe burst in the walls and the apartment was severely damaged. With no active resident council, Ms. Jones worked with her fellow residents to form the Bailey Houses Residents’ Council. Under her leadership, conditions in general began to improve. The Bailey Residents’ Council has only been functioning for three years and has already achieved several goals including obtaining new elevators, new appliances for many residents, security cameras, exterior and interior lights and repairs.
Ms. Jones is working diligently to pass her bill, called “Dakota’s Law,” named after her daughter. She hopes to protect all children from lead exposure and poisoning by having them tested every year and ensuring adequate inspections of apartments and homes as well. Ms. Jones exemplifies the true definition of community leader.