Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: Feb. 1998, 8th full term.

Born: September 25, 1953, Harlem, NY

Home: St. Albans, NY

Education: Adelphi U., B.A., 1975, Howard U., J.D., 1978

Professional Career: Asst. dist. atty., Queens Co., NY, 1978–84; NY St. Comm. of Investigations, 1984–85; Judge, NY St. Workers Compensation Bd., 1985–92.

Ethnicity: Black/African American

Religion: African Methodist Episcopal

Family: Married (Simone-Marie) , 3 children

Democrat Gregory Meeks, first elected in 1998, is a liberal who has more of a pro-business orientation than other New York City Democrats. Ethics controversies have overshadowed his legislative work in recent years.

Meeks grew up in public housing projects in Harlem. He was inspired by his mother, who went back to school when her four children were older and who encouraged community service volunteerism. Meeks’ childhood hero was Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. After graduating from college and law school, Meeks moved to Far Rockaway. He became an assistant district attorney in 1978 and a workers’ compensation judge in 1985. He was elected to the New York state Assembly in 1992 and became an ally of Democratic Rep. Floyd Flake, a minister whose Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation grew from 1,400 members in 1976 to 12,000 in 2000.

When Flake retired, Meeks won a majority of Democratic committee members at a January 1998 endorsement meeting and thus became the party’s nominee. Democratic state Sen. Alton Waldon and Assemblywoman Barbara Clark ran as independents. With the support of Flake, Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, and civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Meeks won with 57% of the vote, to Waldon’s 21% and Clark’s 13%. Since then, he has had only token opposition.

Meeks has a liberal voting record, but he is a member of the commerce-oriented New Democrat Coalition. He backed the 2005 Central American Free Trade Agreement, citing increased traffic for JFK Airport, along with free trade pacts in 2011 with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he helped launch a caucus on U.S.-Russia trade and economic relations. He and New York Republican Michael Grimm got a bill into law in 2012 authorizing construction of natural gas pipelines in the state’s portion of the Gateway National Recreation Area. He also sought to help constituents facing foreclosure. “The worst thing that I’ve seen is families in my office crying because they are about to lose their house,” he said at an October 2011 town hall meeting. On the Financial Services Committee, Meeks has joined African-American members in seeking to ensure that minorities’ issues are addressed in the panel’s legislation.

Meeks has shown a desire to advance in the party. When several House Democratic leadership positions opened up in late 2002, he campaigned for vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus but was bested by Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina. In 2008, Meeks became chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus’s political action committee.

But his personal life has caused him some political problems. The Federal Election Commission in 2006 reprimanded him for using more than $6,000 in 2004 campaign funds for a personal trainer and other expenses. Meeks’ financial ethics have become fodder for New York’s major dailies in recent years. The New York Times wrote in March 2010 that despite acknowledging that he has no more than a few thousand dollars in his savings account, he “lives a life worthy of a jet-setter,” staying in luxury hotels, driving a taxpayer-leased $1,000-a-month Lexus and buying a $1 million house built by a developer who was a campaign contributor. He told the newspaper that he observed all campaign finance laws, and that “I am not going to raise the money in my district that I need to be a player here in Washington.” The New York Daily News reported in June that he described his failure to list $55,000 in personal loans as an “oversight.” And The New York Post found inconsistencies in his political action committee records, including $325 in monthly rent on a nonexistent Queens office. Meeks blamed the negative attention on conservative groups out to undermine Democrats.

The Post reported in January 2013 that Meeks had ties to several people who were either in jail or under indictment. One friend facing sentencing in a mortgage-fraud scheme, Edul Ahmad, gave Meeks $40,000 in 2007. The congressman said the money was a loan but did not pay it back until after the FBI inquired about it. The House Ethics Committee cleared Meeks of wrongdoing in the matter, although The Post said that a federal investigation was continuing. A Queens immigration lawyer, Albert Baldeo, who was arrested for campaign finance fraud in a 2010 bid to serve on the city council, told The Post he gave Meeks a break on rent for office space in a building he owned because he wanted the congressman to have a presence in his area. House rules prohibit members from receiving below-market rent. Meeks told the newspaper, “My office complied with the law and continues to do so.”

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3461

(202) 226-4169

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2234
Washington, DC 20515-3205

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3461

(202) 226-4169

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2234
Washington, DC 20515-3205

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3461

(202) 226-4169

153-01 Jamaica Avenue 2nd Floor
Jamaica, NY 11432-3870

DISTRICT OFFICE

(718) 725-6000

(718) 725-9868

153-01 Jamaica Avenue 2nd Floor
Jamaica, NY 11432-3870

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-3461

(202) 226-4169

67-12 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Arverne, NY 11692

DISTRICT OFFICE

(347) 230-4032

(347) 230-4045

67-12 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
Arverne, NY 11692

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-3461

(202) 226-4169

153-01 Jamaica Avenue Suite 535
Jamaica, NY 11432

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

153-01 Jamaica Avenue Suite 535
Jamaica, NY 11432

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Budget

Aymeric Saha
Policy Director for Financial Services

Commerce

Aymeric Saha
Policy Director for Financial Services

Communication

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Education

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Environment

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Family

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Finance

Aymeric Saha
Policy Director for Financial Services

Foreign

Philip Bednarczyk
Director of Foreign Policy

Sophia Lafargue
Chief of Staff

Govt Ops

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Gun Issues

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Health

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Housing

Aymeric Saha
Policy Director for Financial Services

Human Rights

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Immigration

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Veronica Beckford
District Office Administrator

Internet

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Labor

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Medicare

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Minorities

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Native Americans

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Public Affairs

Nathaniel Hezekiah
Community Liaison

Karla Reteguis
Community Liaison

Rules

Sophia Lafargue
Chief of Staff

Tax

Aymeric Saha
Policy Director for Financial Services

Telecommunications

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Trade

Sophia Lafargue
Chief of Staff

Veterans

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Women

Jordan Morris
Communications Director; Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Gregory Meeks
Votes: 72,454
Percent: 95.24%
2012 GENERAL
Gregory Meeks
Votes: 167,835
Percent: 89.72%
Allan Jennings
Votes: 17,875
Percent: 9.56%
2012 PRIMARY
Gregory Meeks
Votes: 9,920
Percent: 66.52%
Allan Jennings
Votes: 1,972
Percent: 13.22%
Mike Scala
Votes: 1,694
Percent: 11.36%
Joseph Marthone
Votes: 1,327
Percent: 8.9%
2010 GENERAL
Gregory Meeks
Votes: 85,096
Percent: 87.73%
Asher Taub
Votes: 11,826
Percent: 12.19%
2010 PRIMARY
Gregory Meeks
Unopposed
2008 GENERAL
Gregory Meeks
Unopposed
2008 PRIMARY
Gregory Meeks
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (88%), 2008 (100%), 2006 (100%), 2004 (100%), 2002 (97%), 2000 (100%), 1998 (100%), 1998 special (57%)

* Export counts will reset after 30 days. Please contact your Dedicated Advisor if you have reached your limit.

To order a print copy of the 2016 edition of the Almanac of American Politics, click here. For questions about print orders, call Columbia Books at 1-888-265-0600 ext 0266 or email customer service.

For questions about the digital Almanac, please contact your Dedicated Advisor or Membership@NationalJournal.com.

×