Justice

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke believes we must uphold Justice as a virtue if our civil society is to grow and prosper. She believes that when we fall short of universal fairness under the law, we are all diminished as a society. Her mother, former Councilwoman Una S.T. Clarke, instilled this strong sense of justice in Congresswoman Clarke at a very young age. But the Congresswoman is compelled to advance legislation benefiting all of us by her personal experiences and observations of mistreatment in our community, and in communities all across this nation. She has established herself as a defining voice in the emerging progressive inclusionary movement for unity and diversity.

Fairness

One of Congresswoman Clarke’s greatest influences is former Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the pioneering champion of justice and fairness who famously said, “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”

Throughout her career, Congresswoman Clarke has done just that – she has taken action and fought to ensure all hardworking American families have an equal opportunity to thrive. For her efforts, she has received an “A” rating from the Drum Major Institute and TheMiddleClass.org. She helped draft the Affordable Care Act, which has reduced the number of uninsured New Yorkers by 850,000. She also recently introduced bills to combat income inequality, mandate paid sick leave, and protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Equity

Congresswoman Clarke knows the importance of equal access to economic resources, benefits, and services – and how that can change the trajectory of an individual, an organization or a small business. Standing on the shoulders of those who blazed a trail before her, Congresswoman Clarke fights in Washington, D.C., to secure support for our community. As a key member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Small Business Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, she has worked tirelessly to advance equity for all..

Small Business

Congresswoman Clarke understands that small businesses are vital to our economy, and she vows to keep advocating in Congress for their protection and equal access to opportunities. Congresswoman Clarke has been an active member of the Small Business Committee since 2007. From the beginning, she has championed the cause of small businesses, especially those in the 9th District and those owned by women and people of color. With those constituents and goals in mind, Congresswoman Clarke supported the Small Business Access to Spectrum Act. The legislation enforces updated Federal Communications Commission rules that make it easier for small broadcasting and communications businesses to transmit over the airwaves

Healthcare Reform

Congresswoman Clarke was very active in passing the Affordable Healthcare for America Act and ensuring that some key elements were added to this very important legislation. She was involved in the implementation of H.R. 3269, which guarantees coverage to 96% of Americans and incorporates a public health plan option.

To address the abuse of prescription drugs, Congresswoman Clarke introduced the Safer Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act. The bill would mandate medical professionals complete a training program before being allowed to prescribe controlled substances.

To address the abuse of prescription drugs, Congresswoman Clarke introduced the Safer Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act. The bill would mandate medical professionals complete a training program before being allowed to prescribe controlled substances.

Gun Violence Prevention

Gun violence, the illegal trafficking and use of firearms, and the trauma it inflicts on many people, is deeply troubling to Congresswoman Clarke. These problems need to be tackled at the source. For this reason, Clarke has decided to work jointly with congressional leaders and community activists. As a measure to prevent gun violence, she believes in universal background checks that would take private sales into account. Congresswoman Clarke firmly believes that assault weapons, like those used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, should not be available to the public.

As of now, there is no federal law that prohibits gun trafficking. Congresswoman Clarke believes lawmakers are obligated to protect the American people. While she will continue to respect and protect the rights of legal gun owners, she also is committed to protecting the rights all people have to be safe from rampant gun violence.

Energy and Environment

It is our responsibility as a society to protect our environment for future generations. As a member of Congress, Congresswoman Clarke has been an advocate for protecting our natural resources. She was among the members who blocked the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, because it not only undermined American workers’ rights but also posed considerable threats to our environment. Congresswoman Clarke also has been a strong supporter of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement. She also has backed legislation safeguarding our country’s rivers and streams, making industrial polluters liable, and allocating federal funds to restore contaminated sites.

As a member of House Committee on Homeland Security, Congresswoman Clarke believes in the importance of using alternative sources of energy for our economic recovery, national security, global competitiveness and the future of our planet. She supported and co-sponsored legislation to raise fuel efficiency standards, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and facilitate development of alternative fuel sources.

Caribbean Issues

Congresswoman Clarke is a first-generation Jamaican American representing one of the most diverse districts in the country, which also has a high concentration of Caribbean Americans. She is dedicated to working with her colleagues in Congress, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States, and the CARICOM Diplomatic Corps, and tackling the following issues critical for the successful future of the Caribbean nations:

  • Trade
  • Security
  • Economic Development
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Accurate Census Data

Affordable Housing

When it comes to affordable housing, Congresswoman Clarke is committed to fighting to ensure all low and moderate-income families and individuals in Central Brooklyn have access to affordable housing. She plans to develop new policies to not only preserve public housing but to expand it in order to help reduce the waiting list. She is committed to being the champion for the protection of Central Brooklyn homeowners and renters’ rights. Congresswoman Clarke co-sponsored the Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which protects homeowners from skyrocketing insurance prices as a result of flooding, and pushed for stronger rent regulations.

Education

Congresswoman Clarke vows to ensure that all of our children benefit from a first-class education. She promises to continue to hold schools and teachers accountable for their students’ progress, and to advocate for a growth model assessing students’ abilities and improvements. Congresswoman Clarke will also fight for a lower teacher-to-student ratio and better training programs for educators.

During her time in Congress, Congresswoman Clarke co-sponsored the Protecting Educational Loans for Underserved Students Act, which allows more students’ families to have access to college loans, and the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act, which lowers interest rates on federal student loans. She has supported a bill for universal early childhood education in New York and has voted against the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.