Brandon began his career as a public school teacher, first at Jenner Academy in Cabrini-Green and then at Westinghouse College Prep on the West Side, where he experienced firsthand how school closures, unemployment and gun violence impacted his students and their communities. Brandon went on to become an organizer with the Chicago Teachers Union, where he led multi-racial coalitions to defend neighborhood schools from privatization, reduce high-stakes standardized testing and expand access to state funding.
In 2018, Brandon was elected commissioner of the 1st District of Cook County, where he led the effort to pass the Just Housing Ordinance, which prohibited housing discrimination against formerly incarcerated people. As commissioner, he also collaborated with colleagues to eliminate the gang database, secure legal representation for immigrants facing deportation and advance recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brandon convened a statewide “Save Our Seniors” response to the crisis in low-income nursing homes. In the wake of civil uprisings in the summer of 2020, he organized the Cook County Board to commit to the “Budget for Black Lives,” bringing new investments in health care, public transportation, internet access, and affordable housing.
Brandon and his wife Stacie live in the Austin community, where they are raising their children Owen, Ethan and Braedyn.