A Political Analysis of New York Politicians
For staggered 6-year terms, each state elects two senators to the United States Senate. The senators serve the whole state. The Senators of New York are Charles “Chuck” Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. New York also has 27 representatives in the House of Representatives. The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts with a population of approximately 710,000 people each. Every district elects a representative (Congressman/congresswoman) to the United States House of Representatives for a period of two years. Of the 27 representatives, this essay focuses on Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (GovTrack.us, 2020).
Senator Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer born November 23, 1950 in Brooklyn, New York
is a Democratic member of the United States Senate from New York. Schumer is the representative of the Senate minority in the 116th Congress. He was first elected in 1998 to the Senate. In 2016 With 70.7 per cent of the vote, Schumer won re-election. Schumer is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, based on an analysis of many external rankings, suggesting he can be considered a safe vote in Congress for the Democratic Party (McNamee, 2020).
Prior to working in the United States, from 1975 to 1980, Schumer served in the New York State Assembly Senate and represented the 9th New York’s congressional district in the U.S. House from 1981 to 1999. Schumer attended Harvard College he became interested in politics and campaigned in 1968 for Eugene McCarthy. He went on to Harvard Law School after completing his undergraduate degree, receiving his Juris Doctor with honors in 1974. He has a Wife of 40 years: Iris Weinshall and has 2 Children: Jessica, Alison.
Politically, he has served at the following capacities. Minority Leader, United States Senate, 2016-present. Vice Chair, Democratic Leadership Team, Democratic Conference, 2006-present. Senator, New York Senate of the United States, 1998-present. Ex Democratic At-Large Whip, House of Representatives. Chairperson, Committee for Democratic Policy and communications, United States Senate, 2011-2017. Candidate, New York Senate, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2016. Chair, Committee for the Democratic Senate Campaign, 2005-2008. Representative, House of Representative of the United States, New York, 1980-1998 and Assembly Member, Assembly of the State of New York, 1974-1980 (McNamee, 2020). He has a net worth of about 950,000 US Dollars.
Chuck Schumer has a strong opinion on two policy issues. Abortion and gun control. He is prochoice (McCurdy, 2016). He believes Republicans want women to be forced to give their health choices to their superiors and even encourage women to be refused access to contraceptives by employers. According to him, if Republicans keep this up, just as they are driving the progressives out of their caucus, they are going to scare away independents. Schumer has been a leading supporter of common-sense gun reform for many years. The 1993 Brady Bill was written by Schumer, which modified the 1968 Gun Control Act to mandate background checks before a licensed gun dealer sells a gun (DeFrances and Smith, 1994). He also supports the ban on assault weapons to citizens and gun sales to felons.
Kirsten Gillibrand is a member of the U.S. New York Senate has 2. She took office on 26 January, 2009. Her current term is set to expire On January 3, 2025. She was born in Albany, New York, on December 9, 1966 (McNamee, 2020). She and her husband Jonathan have 2 Children namely Theodore and Henry. She has a net worth of about 600,000 US Dollars. Prior to working in the United States, Gillibrand worked for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development as an attorney, law clerk, campaign staffer, and special counsel. She also represented New York’s 20th Congressional District in the U.S. House from 2007 to 2009. She graduated with a degree in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College in 1988 and received her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1991 (McNamee, 2020).
Politically, she has served at the following capacities. Senator, New York Senate, 2009-present. Ran for office of the president before stepping down in 2019. Candidate, New York Senate, 2010, 2012, 2018. Candidate, House of Representatives of the United States, New York, District 20, 2006 and 2008 and finally becoming Representative, House of Representatives, New York, District 20, 2006-2009. She won her reelection for senate seat in 2018 with 67% of the vote.
She also has very strong opinions on abortion. She fights for the sexual rights of women and believes it is every woman’s right to access quality productive health care. She insists that a woman’s medical choices should between her, her family and her doctor and not a matter of discussion by politicians (McCurdy, 2016). She also strongly resists President Donald Trump’s policy of immigration that has seen him use billions of dollars to build a wall that is already showing signs of wear and tear (Kaba, 2019). She also supports comprehensive immigrant reforms that treat people diligently once they arrive in the United States instead of sending them back due to lack of immigration documents (Kaba, 2019).
Hakeem Sekou Jeffries is a U.s House member representing the 8th congressional district of New York. On January 3,2013, he took office. His current term will finish on the 3rd of January 2021. He was born in was born in Brooklyn, New York, on August 4, 1970. He has a wife (Kenissandra) and two children namely Jeremiah and Joshua. He has a net worth about 850,000 US Dollars. Jeffries obtained a B.S. Political science from State University of New York at Binghamton, a master’s degree from Georgetown University in public policy, and a J.D. From the New York University Law School. He has previously served as an administrator, clerk, associate and general assistant counsel (Hakeem Jeffries – Ballotpedia, 2020).
He has served at the following political positions. Democratic Chair of the Caucus, House
of Representatives, 2019-present. Representative, House of Representatives, New York, District 8, 2012-present. Candidate, House of Representatives, New York, District 8, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020. Assembly Member, New York State Assembly, District 57, 2006-2012. Candidate, New York State Assembly, District 57, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010.
Having been raised in Brooklyn in a predominantly black neighborhood he has admitted to having a soft spot for Hip Hop music especially the late Notorious B.I.G (Biggie) who hails from Brooklyn too (Anfitos, 2020). At that time, he witnessed the obvious discrimination against black people by police officers. As a policy, he believes the police should be held accountable for their actions while in their line of duty. He supports major police reforms basically push for police accountability and responsibility in arrests that lead to deaths and serious life changing injuries (Schwartz, 2020).
He also supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obama care (McIntyre and Song, 2019). The goal of the act was to provide all Americans with adequate health insurance coverage. ACA was also meant to shield patients from the practices of insurance firms that could push up medical costs or limit care. Through having insurance coverage through the ACA, millions of Americans have benefited especially those with low paying jobs and disabilities.
All three politicians being from the democratic party share the same school of thought in the aforementioned issues. Personally, due to relatability, I’d have to choose Hakeem Sekou Jeffries. A successful black man fighting the stereotype of black man being lazy and unemployed. He is in touch with culture going as far as quoting the Notorious B.I.G’s lyrics in rebuking President Trump’s alleged abuse of power (Anfitos, 2020). In deed if you don’t know now you know.
Anfitos, R., 2020. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries Makes A Biggie Reference During Trump Impeachment Trial. [online] Billboard. Available at: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/politics/8548625/rep-hakeem-jeffries-biggie-reference-trump-impeachment
Ballotpedia. 2020. Hakeem Jeffries – Ballotpedia. [online] Available at: <https://ballotpedia.org/Hakeem_Jeffries>
DeFrances, C. and Smith, S., 1994. Federal-State Relations in Gun Control: The 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 24(3), pp.69-82.
GovTrack.us. 2020. Members Of The United States Congress – Govtrack.Us. [online] Available at: <https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members> [Accessed 16 November 2020].
Kaba, A., 2019. United States Immigration Policies in the Trump Era. Sociology Mind, 09(04), pp.316-349.
McCurdy, S., 2016. Abortion and Public Health: Time for Another Look. The Linacre Quarterly, 83(1), pp.20-25.
McIntyre, A. and Song, Z., 2019. The US Affordable Care Act: Reflections and directions at the close of a decade. PLOS Medicine, 16(2), p.e1002752.
McNamee, G., 2020. Chuck Schumer | Biography & Facts. [online] Britannica. Available at: <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Chuck-Schumer>
McNamee, G., 2020. Chuck Schumer | Biography & Facts. [online] Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/ Kirsten-Gillibrand
Schwartz, S., 2020. Police brutality and racism in America. EXPLORE, 16(5), pp.280-282.
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