Nov 30, 2022

Brooklyn Congress Member to Become First-Ever Black Party Leader in Congressional History


New York, NY (Wednesday, November 30, 2022) – Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), today issued the following statement on the historic selection of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries to become the nation’s first-ever Black party leader in Congress. The Brooklyn Congress Member will lead Democrats in the House of Representatives, following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to step down from her long-held leadership position.

“Another barrier to equal representation has come down. Next year, Democrats will enter the House Chamber led by a Black representative for the first time. This has been a long overdue moment in America – more than 150 years after Joseph Rainey became the first Black American to serve in the House. I think today of one of my mentors, Brooklyn’s own Shirley Chisholm, who over 50 years ago became the first Black woman elected to the House. She fought to make sure Black voices didn’t only have a seat at the table – but that America listened when they spoke.

They and those who came in between laid the groundwork, so that today we can call Hakeem Jeffries the House Minority Leader. He grew up in the National Action Network, standing with us over the last 25 years to fight for justice. The NAN DC Bureau has worked with him and other members to push for policies that advances justice. All that time, Rep. Jeffries has been our ally in government who appreciates that legislation is the true pathway to change. Even with a GOP-led house, we are confident he will not give up on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act or the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. In turn, we will not give up there is more diversity and inclusion in House leadership.”

About National Action Network (NAN) 

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.

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