Election: Defeated Alan S. Bellone, R, to succeed Rep. Edolphus Towns, D, who retired.
Born: Aug. 4, 1970; Brooklyn, N.Y.
Family: Wife, Kennisandra Jeffries, two children
Education: State U. of New York, Binghampton, B.A. 1992 (African studies & political science); Georgetown U., M.P.P. 1994; New York U., J.D. 1997
Political highlights: Sought Democratic nomination for N.Y. Assembly, 2000-02; Independence and Libertarian nominee for N.Y. Assembly, 2000; N.Y. Assembly, 2007-present
Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y. (8th District)
Hakeem Jeffries' top priority is a familiar one: boosting the economy. To that end, he touts an Obama administration proposal to fund states that rehire firefighters, teachers and police officers, along with more parochial ideas such as greater participation by public housing authorities in providing residents with job opportunities.
Housing is an equally prominent concern for Jeffries, who wants the federal government to do more to help distressed homeowners in his urban district. He wants the Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate the New York City Housing Authority for mismanagement of funds; supports loan modification through refinancing and principal reduction by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and backs higher funding for Section 8 affordable housing programs.
"The affordable housing crisis in New York City continues to ravage working families, the middle class and senior citizens, he says. Federal government intervention to promote, preserve and create affordable housing is absolutely critical.
The Energy and Commerce and Judiciary panels are of interest to Jeffries, who says they would clearly provide vehicles through which I could strongly advance the interests of the neighborhoods.
He describes his ideological leanings as progressive Democrat interested in social and economic justice but who also recognizes the importance of promoting the private sector in order to ensure a strong American economy.
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Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.