In response to Jack Lessenberry
Re: In response to Jack Lessenberry's essay on the 14th Congressional District election, there are three reasons why Hansen Clarke will win the 14th District Congressional race this year: he has the roots, the record, and the vision.
Unlike his primary opponent in this race, Clarke grew up in the heart of Detroit, facing difficult realities including poverty, racism, and the riots. He overcame unemployment and the death of both his parents at an early age to win scholarships to great schools. But, unlike his opponent—who spent time serving Wall Street bankers—Clarke came right home to serve his community, and he has remained here ever since.
As a public servant, Clarke has amassed an extraordinary record, fighting for people who are struggling to get by. When he saw home evictions destroying the Detroit, he made history by launching the first-ever "foreclosure moratorium" bill in the Michigan Senate to keep people in their homes and save our neighborhoods. In Washington, he has launched successful initiatives that have won support from both parties and brought real resources to our community. These include funding for low-income women and children to purchase food at local markets, funding for Detroit police and firefighters to respond to emergencies, and a new test program to provide training funding for unemployed workers. He's been a leading advocate of proposals like President Obama's American Jobs Act and the Shield Our Streets Act to fund real investments in our city. He's put his focus on constituency services to provide support for people in need.
What matters most about Clarke is his vision. While most Members of Congress are content to play by the rules and pad their credentials in order to win higher office, Clarke is focused on changing the game. That's why he authored the courageous Student Loan Forgiveness Act that has won a near whopping one million signatures across the country. That's why he was the only Congressman to launch a bill to fight against Michigan's emergency manager law with federal money to invest in saving Detroit. That's why he's launched his Detroit Jobs Trust Fund to allow our city to keep its own tax dollars in order to improve roads and schools and to create jobs.
Hansen Clarke is not content with politics as usual. And he's simply not your usual politician. As the son of an African-American mother from the Eastside of Detroit and a South Asian immigrant father who worked hard in the Ford Foundry, Clarke represents the diverse background of our community—at a time when unconstitutional redistricting in Lansing and elsewhere threatens to keep people of color out of positions of power.
But what truly matters is the content of his character. I can say one thing for sure about Hansen Clarke: His heart and soul are all about service.