Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) is likely to succeed in the footsteps of a historical woman and create history for himself.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the first woman in history to hold the post, announced that she was stepping down in her role as top Democrat and opening the way for Jeffries 52 chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. The latter is the House Democratic Caucus chairman to run for the position. If she is elected as the next speaker by House Democrats, Jeffries would be one of the few Black lawmakers to head the party in Congress.
Hakeem Jeffries tributes to Nancy Pelosi
In the form of a statement, Jeffries paid tribute to Pelosi but did not make mention of his intentions to pursue the position of leader; however, his announcement has been widely discussed. According to Pelosi, “the United States is better off as a result of her extraordinary leadership.” Pelosi is “one of the finest successful speakers in American history.” She was “the continuous hand at the gavel at one of the darkest moments our country has ever seen,” according to Jeffries.
Jeffries as an acknowledgment of their historic rise to the House and added: “The Speaker often reminds us that our diversity is the strength of our country. We will take advantage of that wisdom when we unite as a Caucus to start an entirely new chapter.”
Nancy Pelosi confirms she would retire from the Speaker post.
One of Pelosi’s longest-running colleagues, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Hoyer (D-Md. ) announced that he would retire from his leadership position. Jeffries will be likely to be along with Reps. Katherine M. Clark (D-Mass.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) will be seeking the No. 2 and. three positions, respectively.
Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) is set to quit his position as House majority whip and become the assistant leader. This is a job that will be a fourth in the structure of leadership.
Jeffries, a lawyer, is located in Central Brooklyn in the heart of the city’s Democratic power. He’s self-described as a progressive who has developed connections with Democratic establishment people in Washington as he navigates the rising left in his backyard.
He was elected on January 13, 2013, and has been in charge of the House Democratic Caucus, a leader post since 2019. In this position, he is the youngest leader in the House.
Following the announcements on Thursday, House Democrats were on the brink of significant changes in generational status that would see octogenarians like that Pelosi, Hoyer, and Clyburn to Jeffries; Clark, 59, and Aguilar, 43. Leadership elections are scheduled for November 28, and the party seemed to be united in support of an updated slate.
When he spoke to the Atlantic in the year 2000, Jeffries described where his place was in the current political climate, saying, “I’m a Black progressive Democrat committed to addressing the issue of racial, economic, and social injustices with the urgency of the moment.” Jeffries stated, “There is never an instance where I bow the knee to left-wing democratic socialism.”
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Jeffries graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton, Georgetown, and New York University Law School. He was elected first as a member of the New York State Assembly in 2006, following a failed challenge to the Democratic incumbent favored by the Brooklyn Democratic party, Roger Green. When Jeffries was defeated in his previous challenge against Green, Democratic lawmakers promptly changed the district of the Assembly to exclude Jeffries’s residence in the state at that time.
The obvious attempt to shut down the young, aspiring political talent was the subject of an investigative documentary in 2010 on the gerrymandering process. In the movie, Jeffries was a reform-minded politician who fought against the established.
Jeffries got elected to Congress in 2012 following the resignation of long-time Rep. Ed Towns abruptly announced that he would no longer be running for his second term. Jeffries was widely predicted to be the winner following Towns’ departure. However, he suddenly faced an initial opponent in Charles Barron, a Black Panther and long-time officeholder in New York. The anxiety that Brooklyn could be able to send Barron to Congress led to an effort across the country by the establishment Democrats to vote for Jeffries and was a success.
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In the past, during Congress, Jeffries represented not just a mixture of establishment and liberal politics but also a youthful Brooklyn style.
He has made a tribute to the rapper killed in his district, Christopher Wallace, better known as the Notorious B.I.G. Jeffries described Wallace as “the iconic embodiment of the American Dream.”
He recited some of the famous stage names of the rapper in 2017, including: “Biggie Smalls and Frank White, the King of New York. He passed away just 20 years ago today in a tragic incident that took place in Los Angeles. His words are cherished forever.”
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Then Jeffries performed the lyrics of one his most popular tracks, “Juicy”: “It was everything was a dream for me, I used to go through Word Up magazine, Salt-N-Pepa, and Heavy D up in the limousine. I would hang images on my wall every Saturday. Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl.”
The year 2015 was the last time Jeffries thought about running for the office of mayor in New York City, as the Democratic mayor of his time Bill de Blasio, did not fulfill his campaign promise of mass adjustments to the city’s highly criticized policing strategies.
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In 2020 Jeffries was an impeachment officer in the first impeachment trial. This was a sign of Pelosi’s faith in him.
Jeffries also contributed to sharpening Democrats’ message, as often he was on campaigns and made himself readily available to talk with reporters.
The year 2020 was the first time House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to ask Joe Biden to suspend his presidential campaign in his Senate investigation into Trump. The New York Times reported that when a reporter questioned Jeffries about McCarthy’s remarks, Jeffries simply responded, “Who?”.
If elected Democratic leader, Jeffries will find himself tangling with McCarthy, seeking the speakership in next year’s Republican-controlled House.
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