At a Glance
- Career History: New York City Council (2001-2006), Bronx Overall Development Corp. (1997-2001), youth program director (1993-1997)
- Birthday: November 21, 1964
- Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
- Alma Mater: attended Oberlin College
- Religion: Protestant
- Committees: Homeland Security Committee ; Small Business Committee
- DC Office: 1029 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, Phone: 202-225-6231
- District Office: 123 Linden Boulevard Fourth Floor, Suite 200, Brooklyn, NY 11226, Phone: 718-287-1142
- Web site
Path to Power
A lifelong Brooklynite, Clarke was born in 1964 to Jamaican parents. Her interest in politics began early, when as a senior at Edward R. Murrow High School she was voted class vice president.
Clarke earned a scholarship to Oberlin College where she studied public policy and political science, but fell short of graduating in 1987, a fact that would become public nearly 20 years later.
Clarke has been a loyal Democrat, voting with her part 97.2 percent of the time in her first House term during the 110th Congress.
In 2007, Clarke and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) were the only co-sponsors of an unpopular bill presented by Rep. Charlie B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) calling for the reinstatement of the military draft amidst the continuing challenge of the Iraq war.
Clarke is close with several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including fellow New York City Reps. Rangel and Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) Towns endorsed Clarke in her City Council bid and was rumored to have been quietly supporting her over the veteran Owens in the 2004 House race.
On homeland security issues, she and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in the 112th Congress, have often agreed.