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Democrat

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D)

Yvette Clarke Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-6231

Address: 2351 RHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (718) 287-1142

Address: 123 Linden Boulevard, Brooklyn NY 11226-3888

Yvette Clarke Staff
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Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Davis, Shelley
Chief of Staff
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Davis, Shelley
Chief of Staff
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Davis, Shelley
Chief of Staff
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Davis, Shelley
Chief of Staff
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Abramson, Adam
Legislative Correspondent
Bishop, Mary
District Representative
Collis, Julia
Community Liaison
Davis, Shelley
Chief of Staff
DeGale, Dale
Director, Community Development
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Jackson, Charles
Deputy District Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Rheaume, Patrick
District Representative; Press Secretary
Slavin, Eli
Community Liaison
Taylor, Anita
District Director
DeHart, Bridgette
Senior Legislative Advisor
Davis, Shelley
Chief of Staff
Jackson, Charles
Deputy District Director
DeGale, Dale
Director, Community Development
Taylor, Anita
District Director
Lee, Mark
Legislative Assistant
Abramson, Adam
Legislative Correspondent
Ofosu, Asi
Legislative Director
Collis, Julia
Community Liaison
Slavin, Eli
Community Liaison
Rheaume, Patrick
District Representative; Press Secretary
Bishop, Mary
District Representative
Rheaume, Patrick
District Representative; Press Secretary
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Yvette Clarke Committees
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Yvette Clarke Biography
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  • Elected: 2006, 4th term.
  • District: New York 9
  • Born: Nov. 21, 1964, Brooklyn
  • Home: Brooklyn
  • Education:

    Attended Oberlin Col.

  • Professional Career:

    Childcare specialist, Erasmus Neighborhood Fed., 1987-89; Leg. aide, state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery, 1989-91; Exec. asst., NY Workers' Compensation Bd., 1992-93; Youth program dir., Hospital League/Local S.E.I.U. 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund, 1993-97; Bus. devel. dir., Bronx Overall Devel. Corp., 1997-2001.

  • Political Career:

    NY City Cncl., 2001-06.

  • Ethnicity: Black/African American
  • Religion:

    Christian

  • Family: Single

Democrat Yvette Clarke, elected in 2006, is a liberal who concentrates on immigration and other issues important to her diverse constituency. She is active in the Congressional Black Caucus and is now one of its senior leaders. Read More

Democrat Yvette Clarke, elected in 2006, is a liberal who concentrates on immigration and other issues important to her diverse constituency. She is active in the Congressional Black Caucus and is now one of its senior leaders.

She was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents from Jamaica. As a young girl, she tagged along to political meetings and events with her mother, Una Clarke, who in 1991 became the first Jamaican elected to the New York City Council. Yvette Clarke attended Oberlin College in Ohio but fell short of graduating by six credit hours. She returned to New York, helped train child care workers, worked as a state legislative aide, and served as business development director for the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. In 2001, when term limits forced her mother off the City Council, Clarke defeated four other candidates to succeed her in the predominately Caribbean area of Flatbush and East Flatbush.

Since its creation in 1968 until 2006, the 11th District had been represented by just two people, both Democrats—trailblazer Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and a 1972 presidential candidate, and Major Owens, who succeeded her in 1982. Owens had announced in 2004 that he would serve just one more term and hoped that his son, Chris, a health industry administrator, would succeed him. But Clarke was also part of a political family that had designs on the seat. Her mother had run unsuccessfully against Owens, an African-American, in the 2000 Democratic primary, a bitter contest that exposed divisions between the local Caribbean-American community and the African-American community. Four years later, Yvette Clarke and fellow City Councilwoman Tracy Boyland challenged Owens in the Democratic primary. The incumbent won the low-turnout primary with an unimpressive 45%, to 29% for Clarke and 22% for Boyland. When Clarke faced reelection to the council in 2005, Owens retaliated by unsuccessfully backing her primary opponent.

Clarke ran again in 2006, but she first had to navigate a competitive primary field. New York City Councilman David Yassky, who is white, jumped in and was called a “colonizer” by Owens for running in a majority-black district that had been created in response to a Voting Rights Act lawsuit. The black community feared that the well-financed Yassky, who had moved three blocks into the district to run for the seat, would be the beneficiary if the black vote splintered among the three prominent black candidates: Clarke; Chris Owens, running as his father had predicted he would; and state Sen. Carl Andrews. By the end of August, Yassky had raised over $1.3 million, more than the other three candidates combined.

But Yassky had an awkward campaign style that made it difficult for him to connect with voters. Clarke’s status as the only woman in the contest and her support among Caribbean-Americans were helpful. Clarke stumbled when she was forced to backtrack from her claim that she had graduated from Oberlin. But she picked up the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union’s powerful Local 1199, which worked to turn out votes. In the September primary, the only election that mattered in the heavily Democratic district, Clarke defeated Yassky 31%-27%, while Andrews finished third with 23% and Owens last with 19%.

In the House, Clarke has had a solidly liberal voting record and tied for most-liberal member in National Journal’s 2012 rankings. She was among the Black Caucus members who expressed frustration with President Barack Obama’s work on helping minorities during his first term. “What we are asking for is that the president use his bully pulpit to look at a more far-reaching, deeper-penetrating jobs initiative. … The level of unemployment in our communities is unacceptable,” she told National Public Radio in March 2010. She became the CBC’s secretary in 2011 and its second vice chair in 2013.

One of Clarke’s priorities is immigration, specifically the DREAM Act providing in-state college tuition breaks and other benefits to children of illegal immigrants. She said in February 2013 that any immigration reform bill needed to take into account the nation’s African as well as Hispanic immigrants. She traveled to Alabama in November 2011 as part of a Democratic effort to focus attention on the state’s aggressive new immigration law, which she blasted as “just a step below apartheid.” She is the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity. In June 2008, the House passed her bill to create an appeals process for individuals wrongly denied rights in homeland security investigations.

Clarke was reelected easily in 2008. In April 2010, the New York Daily News reported that she had spent more than $3,500 to treat campaign donors to a Broadway show and $5,000 for a Jay-Z concert, and that her campaign was more than $28,000 in debt. But she won easily with 91% of the vote that year. She was also among the five House Democrats who were investigated by the House Ethics Committee in 2010 for accepting Caribbean trips from corporations; they were later exonerated. She and the other lawmakers said they were unaware of the corporate funding.

Clarke has continued to draw occasional interest from New York’s tabloids. The Daily News reported in October 2011 that in the first six months of the year, her office spent the most among New York-area House members—nearly $35,000, compared to her colleague Nydia Velázquez’s $2,274—in traveling between Washington, D.C., and her district. Clarke’s office attributed the costs to staffers shuttling back and forth. She drew more attention a year later when she said on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report that Brooklyn blacks lived in slavery in 1898, more than three decades after emancipation. She also said that the Dutch, who last controlled the city three centuries earlier, were responsible. Her spokeswoman said her boss was just trying to be humorous. It didn’t matter to voters; she was reelected in 2012 with 87% of the vote.

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Yvette Clarke Election Results
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2012 General
Yvette Clarke (D)
Votes: 186,141
Percent: 87.27%
Daniel Cavanaugh (R)
Votes: 24,164
Percent: 11.33%
2012 Primary
Yvette Clarke (D)
Votes: 15,069
Percent: 88.32%
Sylvia Kinard (D)
Votes: 1,993
Percent: 11.68%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (91%), 2008 (93%), 2006 (90%)
Yvette Clarke Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 88 (L) : 12 (C) 89 (L) : - (C) 92 (L) : - (C)
Social 68 (L) : 32 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 94 (L) : - (C) 93 (L) : - (C) 84 (L) : 12 (C)
Composite 84.3 (L) : 15.7 (C) 94.5 (L) : 5.5 (C) 90.7 (L) : 9.3 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV10083
CFG1811
ITIC-42
NTU1515
20112012
COC13-
ACLU-92
ACU80
ADA10095
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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