Yvette Clarke was first elected to the US Congress in November 2006 with 86% of the vote. Prior to being elected to Congress, she represented Central Brooklyn for five years as a New York City Councilwoman. Known in her community for speaking truth to power, she has been called the "authentic voice of Brooklyn." Rep. Clarke sits on the Homeland Security and Small Business Committees, as well as serving as Secretary of the Congressional Black Caucus and Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A champion for her Central Brooklyn community, Rep. Clarke has fought against the Republican majority's attacks on women, immigrants, and labor unions and stood up to preserve essential programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Her priorities for the 112th Congress include:
Standing Up for Working Families: Tired of seeing the privileged get bailed out while working families struggle, Rep. Clarke introduced the Alleviating Income Disparity Act in 2012. This legislation would provide a refundable tax credit based off the income disparity between the top 5% and bottom 5% of income earners, and effectively repeal the Bush tax cuts. She'll also continue to work to make sure student loan rates remain low for all students.
Creating Job Growth through Small Business: In 2011, Rep. Clarke introduced the Expanding Opportunities for Small Business Act. This legislation expands assistance for small businesses seeking procurement contracts, assuring these vital businesses have the tools they need to thrive and expand in a tough economy.
Fighting for Immigration Reform: Rep. Clarke is known as a champion for immigration reform, and bills she has introduced have included H.R. 1007, proving Homeland Security measures can be secure, fair, just and accurate; and H.R. 3297, a bill that would seek to reunite Haitian families separated after the devastating earthquake in 2010. She'll also continue to lobby for passage of the DREAM Act.
The daughter of successful Jamaican immigrants, Rep. Clarke was born and raised in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, where she still lives today.
A product of the New York City Public School System, Rep. Clarke received a scholarship to Oberlin College and was a recipient of the prestigious APPAH/Sloan Fellowship in Public Policy and Policy Analysis.
Prior to her election to the New York City Council, Rep. Clarke served as Director of Business Development for the Bronx Empowerment Zone (BOEDC). As the first director of the Bronx portion of the New York City Empowerment Zone, she administered the $51 million budget that resulted in the revitalization and economic development of the South Bronx.
Member, Board of Directors, The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated
Representative, United States House of Representatives, New York, 2006-present
Member, New York City Council, 40th District, 2001-2006
Candidate, United States House of Representatives, New York, 2004
Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Clarke served on the New York City Council representing the 40th District in Brooklyn.
As the Congressional Representative of the Ninth district, she is committed to continuing the district's legacy of excellence as set forth by the late Honorable Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman and Caribbean American elected to Congress. Rep. Clarke sits on the Committees of Homeland Security, Ethics, and Small Business.
In the 111th and 112th Congress, Rep. Clarke has served on several Committees including Education and Labor, Homeland Security and Small Business.
As a testament to what Representative Clarke has accomplished in her first term, she received an “A” rating from the Drum Major Institute and TheMiddleClass.org; a 100 percent rating by Peace Action, The Brady Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); and was the only Member of Congress in the New York Congressional delegation to receive an "A+" rating from the Institute of Policy Studies. She was also named After-School Hero by The After-School Corporation for her work on the House Education and Labor Committee. Rep. Clarke was a recipient of the prestigious APPAM/Sloan Fellowship in Public Policy and Policy Analysis. In May 2009, Rep. Clarke was also presented with an honorary Doctorate Law Degree from St. Francis College.