News Americas, NEW YORK, NY. Weds.. Oct. 18, 2017: A 29-year-old Ugandan-American is challenging Brooklyn, NY Caribbean-American Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, 52, for her seat.
Adem Bunkeddeko is running with an aggressive agenda as a Democratic challenger to Clarke.
He has made affordable housing a top priority including the creation not just of vaguely affordable rental apartments, but of routes to ownership for families making between $30,000 and $80,000 a year, according to the New York Times,
Bunkeddeko is a graduate of Haverford College and the Harvard Business School, and worked briefly as an investment banker before he became a community organizer and member of Brooklyn Community Board #8. His parents are refugees who fled Uganda’s civil war to seek sanctuary and opportunity in the United States.
“I want to bring new ideas into a party that has lost its way,” Bunkeddeko said in a recent press release. “The pioneering Brooklyn Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm once ran for president to be ‘a catalyst for change.’ That inspired me and should inspire all of us. Politicians cannot get elected, take a check, and do nothing. They have to answer to the people and make their lives better. We forgot that we’re the party of working people and, when push came to shove, we didn’t know how to help them and their kids prosper in a changing world. The answer is community ownership: ownership by working people of the means of their own support.”
Clarke, who mother is Jamaican-born former NY City Councilmember Una Clarke, represents the 9th Congressional district of New York that includes Crown Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood that is suffering from one of the most acute housing crises
in the country. Clarke is currently the chair of the Multicultural Media Caucus; Co-Chair, Black Women & Girls Caucus and the Co-Chair of the Caribbean Caucus where, according to her bio, she
works to build the relationship between the United States and the Caribbean community (CARICOM) on matters of trade, immigration reform, and direct investment through development programs.”
Congresswoman Clarke has been a Member of Congress since 2007. She has sponsored a few bills in congress including recently, the ‘Protect Our Sanctuary Cities Act’ and the ‘Haiti Emergency Relief Act of 2017’ but has seen none become law.
The two will face-off on the ballot in the Democratic Primary next June.