Who is Hakeem Jeffries?
Hakeem Jeffries represents New York’s diverse Eighth Congressional district, an area that includes large parts of Brooklyn and a section of Queens. Representative for his fourth term in the United States Congress, Rep. Jeffries is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and House Budget Committee.
Rep. Jeffries is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus after being elected to that position by his colleagues in November 2018. In that capacity, he is the fifth-highest Democrat in the House of Representatives. He is also the former Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus and previously co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, where he helped develop the For The People agenda.
In Congress, Rep. Jeffries is a tireless advocate for social and economic justice. He has worked hard to help residents affected by the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, reform our criminal justice system, improve the economy for ordinary Americans, and protect our healthcare system from right-wing attacks.
During the 116th Congress, Rep. Jeffries was one of the most effective lawmakers in Congress, passing multiple bills through the House of Representatives and into law with significant bipartisan and stakeholder support. These measures touched on a variety of topics and were designed with the intent of making meaningful improvements to our federal laws and programs. They include bills to create a copyright small claims board that allows the creative middle class to protect their works (HR 2426, Public Act No. 116-260), to expand the possibilities for scholarships for Pakistani women (HR 4508), to provide entrepreneurship counseling and training services to former incarcerated individuals (HR 5065), to ensure that attorney-client privilege is protected for incarcerated individuals who electronically correspond with their legal representatives (HR 5546) and to monitor the progress of recovery and efforts to address corruption, rule of law and media freedoms in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake (HR 5586).
In January 2020, Rep. Jeffries selected by speaker Nancy Pelosi as one of seven House Impeachment Managers in the Senate Trial against President Donald Trump, making him the first African-American man to serve in that role. During the nearly three-week trial, Congressman Jeffries argued that President Trump should be removed from office for abusing his power by pressuring a foreign government, Ukraine, as part of a corrupt plan to interfere in the 2020 election The House Impeachment Managers determined with a mountain of evidence that crimes were committed against the constitution. Nevertheless, the Senate failed to remove the chairman without hearing from a single witness at trial.
On June 25, 2020, the House of Representatives took over H.R. 7120 to the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.” Rep. Jeffries helped lead the charge related to the passage of this historic police reform bill, which includes legislation authored by the Congressman to criminalize the chokehold and other inherently dangerous tactics such as a knee in the neck. Rep. Jeffries remains dedicated to working with his colleagues to make transformational police reform a reality and to breathe life into the principle of freedom and justice for all.
Rep. Jeffries has been instrumental in shaping the Congressional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has fought hard to help state and local governments whose budgets have been ravaged by the virus, pushed for an expansion in emergency unemployment benefits, and supported efforts to keep everyday Americans in their homes. Rep. Jeffries also worked across the aisle with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to secure billions of dollars in funding for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the CARES Act (HR 748, Public Law No: 116-136) , which became law in March 2020. At home, Rep. Jeffries teamed up with Governor Andrew Cuomo to expand testing in hard-hit communities of color by establishing walk-in sites at houses of worship across New York City. He denounced discriminatory social distance police targeting communities of color and helped bring about a policy change. In the community, Rep. Jeffries continues to personally distribute food, masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to residents in need.
In the 115th Congress, Rep. Jeffries across the aisle as the lead Democratic sponsor of the FIRST STEP Act (S. 756, Public Law No. 115-391), a strong bipartisan criminal law reform bill passed by the president in December 2018. signed law. Rep. Jeffries teamed up with Congressman Doug Collins, a conservative Republican from rural Georgia, on legislation that is widely viewed as the most meaningful criminal justice reform effort in a generation.
The FIRST STEP Act provides retroactive relief for the shameful crack cocaine sentencing inequality that unjustly devastated lives, families and communities. The law shortens the sentences by ensuring inmates can earn the 54 days of good time credit each year Congress intended and applies the change retroactively, in favor of thousands of currently incarcerated mothers, fathers, daughters and sons. It offers $ 375 million over five years to expand re-entry programming, including education and vocational training, which has been proven to dramatically reduce recidivism and help prepare for a successful transition back into society. To strengthen and preserve family relationships, the bill requires the Bureau of Prisons to house incarcerated individuals within 500 rhyme of their relatives and allow the transfer of lower-risk inmates to home confinement. In addition, the FIRST STEP Act prohibits the immoral practice of chaining women for the duration of their pregnancy, during delivery, and for three months after partum.
Rep. Jeffries was also instrumental in the House passage of the historic Music Modernization Act (MMA) (H.R. 5447, Public Law No. 115-264), which became law in 2018. Billed as a major update to our copyright laws, the MMA will improve the licensing process so that songwriters, artists and musicians can continue to share their creativity with the world. Because of the MMA, songwriters will sooner be paid a fair price for their work and digital music providers such as Spotify and Pandora will be able to work more efficiently. In an era of crisis and dysfunction in Washington, the power of music brought Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together on groundbreaking legislation, ushering our music copyright system into the 21st century.
In April 2018, the president signed rep. Jeffries wrote Keep America’s Refuges Operational Act (H.R. 3979, Public Law No. 115-1689) into law. Every year, 47 million Americans visit wildlife shelters, generating nearly $ 2 billion in local economic activity. This law will keep America’s sanctuaries operational by supporting the volunteers who spend thousands of hours preserving our public lands. Passage of this bill was part of a two-pronged, bicameral effort to ensure Americans can visit, explore and study wildlife and experience our nation’s immense natural beauty for generations to come.
Several other pieces of Rep. Jeffries author passed legislation the House of Representatives in the 115th Congress, including bills to examine the public health impact of synthetic drug use by teenagers (HR 449, Public Law No. 115-271) and updating federal regulations to remove racially offensive terminology from use (HR 995). Rep. Jeffries’ H.R. 3229 (Public Law No. 95-521), which helps protect bailiffs from threats, harm and intimidation by those who wish to compromise the integrity of our judiciary, also passed the House in 2017 and was signed in March 2018 . Additionally, Rep. Jeffries H.R. 3370 (Public Law No. 95-921), the Fry Scholarship Enhancement Act, which became law as part of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. It will expand the availability of educational benefits to the children and spouses of service providers who killed while on duty.
In the 114th Congress, Rep. Jeffries teamed up with Congressman Peter King to pass the Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015 (H.R. 1508, Public Law No. 113-227), which President Obama signed into law. That law extended the tax term so that individuals who made charitable donations to organizations supporting the families of murdered New York Police Department (NYPD) Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, could apply such tax deductions to last year’s tax returns.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Jeffries successfully passed H.R. 5108 (Public Law No. 113-227), legislation enacting the Law School Clinic Certification Program of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) into law. This program has operated in a pilot capacity since 2008 and enabled students at participating law schools to gain experience in patent and trademark law, while providing legal assistance to inventors, tech entrepreneurs and small businesses. The bipartisan bill, which was signed by President Obama, expanded the program by removing its “pilot” status, making it available to all accredited law schools in the country that require the program to qualify.
Rep. Jeffries has been actively involved in the passage of a number of other important pieces of legislation, including the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (HR 152), a bill that provides billions of dollars in Superstorm Sandy recovery to the Eighth District and others. affected areas. The Congressman also sponsored – and passed as part of the National Defense Authorization package – the Prison Ship Martyrs ‘Monument Preservation Act, which is directing the United States Secretary of the Interior to consider the feasibility of designating the Prison Ship Martyrs’ mausoleum in Brooklyn as a national monument. Consisting of a 100 meter wide granite staircase and a central Doric column 149 meters high, the memorial in Fort Greene Park houses the remains of 11,500 Revolutionary War soldiers who were held as prisoners of war by the British.
While he remains committed to working diligently in Washington on behalf of New York’s Eighth Congressional District, Rep. Jeffries also works tirelessly to keep in close contact with voters. In January each year, the congressman begins with a well-attended State District Address. During the spring and summer, he holds “Congress on Your Corner” outside office hours throughout the neighborhood. At each stop, the congressman sets up a table in front of a local post office or on neighborhood corners where voters can meet him one-on-one. He also organizes regularly scheduled telephone town hall meetings that provide an opportunity for voters to speak directly with the Congressman on local and national issues.
Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Jeffries for six years in the New York State Meeting. In that capacity, he wrote laws to protect the civil liberties of law-abiding New Yorkers during police meetings, encourage the transformation of vacant luxury condominiums into affordable housing for working families, and improve the quality of justice in the civil justice system.
In 2010, Rep. Jeffries successfully led the first meaningful legislative reform of the NYPD’s aggressive and controversial stop-and-frisk program. Its law prohibits the NYPD from maintaining an electronic database of the personal information of individuals who were stopped, interrogated and searched during a police encounter, but not charged with a crime or violation.
The same year, Rep. Jeffries sponsored and defended groundbreaking civil rights legislation to end prison-based gerrymandering in New York State. This archaic practice of counting imprisoned individuals at the location of their imprisonment, rather than their homes, undermined the basic democratic principle of a person, a vote. After passage of Jeffries legislation, New York became the second state to count incarcerated individuals in their home districts in census calculations.
Congressman Jeffries received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he graduated with honors for outstanding academic achievement. He then received his master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. Afterwards, Rep. Jeffries attended New York University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and served on Law Review.
After completing law school, Rep. Jeffries clerk to the honorable Harold Baer Jr of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He then spent several years as an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, an internationally renowned law firm and served as counsel in the litigation department of Viacom Inc. and CBS. He also worked as a counsel at Godosky & Gentile, a well-regarded New York City litigation firm.
Rep. Jeffries was born in Brooklyn Hospital, raised in Crown Heights and is a product public school of New York City system, a graduate of Midwood High School. He lives in Prospect Heights with his family.
Full name: Hakeem Sekou Jeffries
Family: Woman: Kennisandra; 2 Children
Date of birth: 08/04/1970
Home City: Prospect Heights, NY
JD, New York University Law School, 1994-1997
MPP, Public Policy, Georgetown University, 1992-1994
BA, Political Science, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1988-1992
Democratic Caucus Chair, United States House of Representatives, 2019-Present
Representative, United States House of Representatives, New York, District 8, 2012-present
Candidate, United States House of Representatives, New York, District 8, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020
Member of Parliament, New York State Assembly, District 57, 2006-2012
Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 57, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010
Current Legislative Committees
Member, About Criminalization Task Force
Member, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and Internet
Member, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Internal Security
Caucuses / Former Commissions
Member, Congressional Progressive Caucus
Former Member, Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee, United States House of Representatives
Former Co-Chairman, Committee on Democratic Policy and Communications, United States House of Representatives
Former member, education and workforce committee, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Subcommittee on Higher Education and Personnel Development, United States House of Representatives
Former Member, Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Trade and Antitrust Laws, United States House of Representatives
Former Counselor, Columbia Broadcasting System
Former Of-Counsel, Godosky & Gentile
Former Employee, Office of Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly
Assistant General Counsel, Litigation Department, CBS / Viacom, 2004-2006
Lawyer, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Limited Liability Partnership, 1997-2004
Registrar, Judge Harold Baer, Southern District of New York, United States District Court, 1997-1998
Religious, Civil and Other Memberships
Member, 77th District Community Council, in attendance
Member, Cornerstone Baptist Church, in attendance
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Instructor, Crown Heights Youth Collective
Former Member, Law Review, New York University School of Law
“Bloody Lowndes” By Hasan Kwame Jeffries
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Hip-Hop music is an important part of what helped shape the man I am today.
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