By Nelson A. King / CMC
NEW YORK, Jul 3, CMC – Just under a week after she narrowly defeated a relatively unknown challenger in New York Democratic Primary elections, Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has thanked her friends and supporters for her victory.
Last Tuesday, Clarke, the 53-year-old daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, beat Adem Bunkeddeko, 30, the son of Ugandan war refugees, by 3.8 percentage points.
In a letter to friends and supporters on Monday, Clarke said she was grateful for her re-election as the Democratic nominee.
In a predominantly Democratic New York City, the winner of the primary is usually a shoo-in to win the general elections in November.
“I have proudly represented my hometown in the Congress for the last 11 years, and I am both honored and humbled that you have continued to place your trust in me,” Clarke said. “Thank you to those who volunteered their time and talents to this campaign.
“You invested in me and the future of Brooklyn, and I will forever be indebted to you for your sacrifice, support and love,” she added.
Clarke also congratulated Bunkeddeko on “running a hard-fought campaign,” thanking him for his “commitment and desire to serve.”
“I’ve heard my constituents loud and clear,” she said. “You want a fighter to represent you. You also want someone who is in touch with the needs and concerns of our district. You want someone who can get the job done; someone who truly understands what’s at stake.
“I take my responsibility very seriously,” she added. “I will work even harder to ensure that you have no doubt I am representing you with tenacity, dedication and fidelity.
“Now that the primary is behind us, we must look forward to November,” Clarke continued. “We are at a critical time in our nation’s history. We must secure Democratic wins in districts across this city, state and nation and take back the House [of Representatives] and Senate.
“This is the only way to protect our interests, hold the Trump administration accountable, keep families together, protect a woman’s right to choose, save Social Security, ensure Medicare for all, and establish truly affordable housing across our district and great nation,” she said. “We are in the fight of our lives; but, together, we will continue to uphold the values that matter most to our community.”
In her victory speech last Tuesday night, Clarke said the US was at a “crossroads,” stating that, under the current Trump administration, citizens are “confronted with assaults on our rights on a daily basis.
“Whether we are working people, people of color, women, immigrants, or anyone who believes in their heart in the tenets of fairness and opportunity for all, we all share the sobering awareness that we are in the fight of our lives,” she said.
“Now, more than ever, we have to choose whether to change course or keep moving forward together as allies in the struggle we share,” she added.
For the past 11 years, Clarke said she devoted her life to serving the people of New York’s 9th Congressional District “in ways that have been positive and productive for all of us.
“It has tested me personally and professionally as a human being, working hard every day to prove myself to my constituents as a woman who can effectively serve their needs at home and in Washington,” she said.
“These experiences have done much to ready me for the challenges we now face, as I have battled on the front lines with my fellow Democrats in Washington in a congressional minority where every small victory we earn is hard fought, and takes our fullest persistence, maturity, perseverance and resiliency,” Clarke added.
“We have mobilized as a population against the current administration and made our voices heard loudly in clearly in Washington,” she continued. “We have put the rights of people before the rights of corporations; and, as a sanctuary city [New York], we have fought to protect our immigrants from unfair prosecution and deportation.” – CMC
Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke addressing a victory party last week Tuesday night. (Photo credit: Nelson A. King)