Hakeem Jeffries ContactBack to top
Address: 1339 LHOB, DC 20515
Phone: (718) 237-2211
Address: 55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn NY 11217
Phone: (718) 373-0033
Address: 445 Neptune Avenue, Community Room 2C, Brooklyn NY 11224
Hakeem Jeffries StaffBack to top
Hakeem Jeffries CommitteesBack to top
Hakeem Jeffries BiographyBack to top
- Elected: 2012, 1st term.
- District: New York 8
- Born: Aug. 04, 1970, Brooklyn
- Home: Brooklyn
Binghamton University, B.A., 1992; Georgetown University, M.P.P., 1994; New York University, J.D., 1997
- Professional Career:
Assistant general counsel, CBS Broadcasting, 2006; counsel, Viacom, 2004-05; practicing atty., 1999-2003
- Political Career:
New York Assembly, 2006-2013
- Ethnicity: Black/African American
- Family: Married (Kennisandra Jeffries); 2 children
Democrat Hakeem Jeffries was elected in 2012 to New York’s 8th District seat to replace Democrat Edolphus Towns, who retired after 20 years in Congress. During his six years in the New York State Assembly, Jeffries was viewed as a rising star and sometimes called “Brooklyn’s Barack.”
Jeffries was born and raised in Brooklyn and enrolled at Binghamton University in 1989. He pledged Kappa Alpha Psi, the predominantly African-American fraternity, where he received the nickname “Kool Ha,” for his measured speech. “I’d like to think … I’ve been able to remain relatively calm, cool, and collected under pressure,” Jeffries said in an interview with National Journal. Each year, Jeffries made the short trip to Syracuse University with his fraternity brothers to perform at Greek Freak, a step show with mostly African-American dance groups. In his senior year of college, a widely covered event in the news solidified his commitment to public service: the not-guilty verdict for the two police officers accused in the beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King.
Jeffries went to Georgetown University for a master’s degree in public policy and later earned a law degree from New York University. After a one-year clerkship with a federal judge, he went to work for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a law firm known for launching the careers of prominent Democratic New York politicians, such as ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer and former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman.
Jeffries endured what he called “knock-down” but not “knockout” blows when he twice challenged multi-decade Democratic Assemblyman Roger Green in 2000 and 2002. Perched outside Brooklyn subway stops every morning, Jeffries spent both campaigns calmly insisting that Green was well-intentioned but complacent and unresponsive. Despite losing both races, Jeffries earned a reputation as a strong campaigner and efficient fundraiser. When Green stepped down in 2006 to run for Congress, Jeffries won the seat easily.
Within a few years, Jeffries appeared in City and State magazine’s list of 40 rising political stars under 40. In the legislature, he worked on affordable housing issues and got a bill signed into law forcing the elimination of the New York City Police Department’s “stop-and-frisk” database, which contained personal information from each police stop since 2004. He also took on political reforms and introduced legislation to establish an independent congressional redistricting process.
After Towns announced his retirement, Jeffries faced another African-American politician, New York City Councilman Charles Barron, in the Democratic primary for Towns’ seat. A former Black Panther, Barron had a history of making inflammatory statements against Israel; as a result, nationwide campaign donations flooded into Jeffries’ coffers. Many national politicians backed Jeffries, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee even tapped him as a fundraising “all-star,” asking him to help campaign around the country in other important congressional races. Jeffries won the primary race in a rout, getting 72% of the vote to just 28% for Barron. In the heavily Democratic district, he easily won in the fall with over 90% of the vote.Show Less