Brooklyn Representative Yvette D. Clarke, joined by family members, on Wednesday was administered the ceremonial oath of office for her 6th term in Congress.
The ceremony was presided over by New York State Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten in the Theodore Roosevelt District Courthouse at Cadman Plaza East.
Congresswoman Clarke, a native of Brooklyn and of Jamaican descent, was born in a family with distinguished history of public service. Her mother, Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, was the first Caribbean-born woman elected to the New York City’s legislature. Congresswoman Clarke was elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2006 and today represents the Ninth Congressional District of New York, which includes neighborhoods of Brownsville, Flatbush, Crown Heights, among others.
Leslie Clarke Jr., the Congresswoman’s brother served as the master of ceremony. Speakers at the ceremony included Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, Congressman Joseph Crowley, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stinger, the Public Advocate for the City of New York Letitia “Tish” James, Bishop Hugh Nelson from Church of God of East Flatbush, Imam Souleimane Donate Council of African Imams. Guests of the ceremony included but not limited to New York City Council member Laurie Cumbo, New York State Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley and acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez.
Each of the speakers gave humorous yet heartfelt accounts on the Congresswoman’s loyalty and dedication to the communities, and the Broadway rising star Ms. Sade DeMorcy gave a moving performance.
In her remarks followed by the oath, the Congresswoman criticized the new administration’s hostile stance on health care and immigration, DACA in specific. She vowed to work towards legislation that “mends” rather than “ends” the Affordable Care Act; keeps New York as a “sanctuary city” for undocumented immigrants; defies stereotypical portraits of African-Americans in the media and “engage” the new administration during her term.
Clarke also called for more African-American business ownership and development in New York City and is working on legislation which will allow the establishment of a African-American owned radio station in the city.
Finally, Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James and Congresswoman Clarke urged the constituents to make their voices heard and become active in civic life, which was resounded by hundreds of attendees in the room.