Yvette D. Clarke is a Brooklyn native whose roots are firmly planted in her Jamaican heritage. A product of the New York City Public School System, Rep. Clarke graduated from Oberlin College and was a recipient of the prestigious APPAM/Sloan Fellowship in Public Policy and Policy Analysis.
Rep. Clarke was first elected to Congress in November 2006 and represents the new Ninth Congressional District of New York. Prior to being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Clarke served on the New York City Council representing the 40th District in Brooklyn. She succeeded her pioneering mother, former City Council Member Una S. T. Clarke, making them the first mother-daughter succession in the history of the Council.
As the Congressional Representative of the Ninth district, she is committed to continuing the district’s legacy of excellence as set forth by the late Honorable Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman and Caribbean American elected to Congress. As an activist, a community organizer and now as a legislator, Rep. Clarke’s boldness, compassion and love for humanity has allowed her to become an effective leader and an outspoken advocate on numerous issues of great importance to her constituents.
Currently in the 113th Congress, Rep. Clarke sits on the Committees of Homeland Security, Ethics, and Small Business. In the 111th and 112th Congress, Rep. Clarke has served on several Committees including Education and Labor, Homeland Security and Small Business.
An unwavering champion for her native Brooklyn, she has worked with non-profit organizations, local community groups and appropriators to secure millions of dollars in essential federal support for the district. Clarke is an advocate for the empowerment of women and minorities and introduced legislation that resulted in the Council’s Minority & Women-Owned Business Empowerment (MWBE) study that that found women and minority-owned businesses are not awarded their fair share of city contracts. This finding forced New York City to end its system of economic discrimination. As co-chair of the New York Council’s Women’s Caucus, Clarke secured $9.5 million in funding for organizations that addressed the issues of domestic violence prevention, breast cancer awareness, housing and HIV/AIDS counseling for women.
As a testament to what Representative Clarke has accomplished in her first term, she received an “A” rating from the Drum Major Institute and The MiddleClass.org; a 100 percent rating by Peace Action, The Brady Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); and was the only Member of Congress in the New York Congressional delegation to receive an “A+” rating from the Institute of Policy Studies. She was also named After-School Hero by The After-School Corporation for her work on the House Education and Labor Committee. In May 2009, Rep. Clarke was also presented with an honorary Doctorate Law Degree from St. Francis College.
Rep. Clarke currently resides in the neighborhood where she grew up, in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. She reports in her official biographical listing that she is a member of the AME Church.