While Brooklyn’s economic make-up has shifted dramatically during Congresswoman’s Clarke’s time in office, she has been a relentless voice to ensure that Brooklyn remains affordable for everyday working families, including low-income communities. In 2019, she introduced a landmark piece of legislation, H.R.4984 (the Affordable Housing and Area Median Income Fairness Act), which aims to cut rents in subsidized developments in the five boroughs by more than a third.
Additionally, she is an advocate for the reformulation of the area median income by which HUD determines affordable housing. She is also a proud cosponsor of the Public Housing Emergency Response Act (H.R.4546), which will appropriate funds to reinvest in public housing, provide the money needed to fulfill outstanding capital needs, and to again ensure that all Americans have a decent home and suitable living environment.
Additionally, she introduced legislation to prevent use of biometric recognition technology in certain federally assisted dwelling units (H.R.4008). She introduced H.R. 5200 (Hardest Hit Housing Act), which will provide additional funds for various housing programs, including grants to large public housing agencies for specified capital activities, grants for foreclosure mitigation counseling and legal assistance, and incremental vouchers for rental assistance for large public housing agencies.
Our immigration crisis has come to a head. When children are being separated from their parents and forced to represent themselves in courts, substantial action must be taken to prevent these atrocities. We are a nation of immigrants, however, this Administration's current policies or lack thereof consistently fail those looking to become a part of the American dream. As the daughter of immigrants, Congresswoman Clarke has boldly led the charge to protect DACA recipients and those impacted by deferred enforced departure.
Further, she introduced the ASPIRE Act (H.R.4384), a bipartisan solution that would provide relief to all temporary protected status eligible individuals. She is a co-sponsor of the Access To Council Act of 2020, which will ensure undocumented individuals have the right to a fair and just legal trial and the Bahamas TPS Act of 2019 (H.R.4303), which would allow for those affected by the devestation of Hurricane Dorian to be eligible for temporary protected status.
Keeping in mind the barbarities taking place on the southern border and in the 9th District, she is a proponent for the abolishment of ICE and co-sponsored H.R.1013, the ICE and CBP Body Camera Accountability Act, which will force agents and officers to wear body cameras when engaged in official operations, in order to reduce instances of mistreatment and abuse.
Yvette is also the Co-Chair of the Caribbean Caucus, where she has worked 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.
Our healthcare crisis is at an all-time high. Pharmaceutical companies and private health insurance providers make it virtually impossible for everyday Americans, including Brooklynites, to afford adequate physical and mental healthcare. Access to affordable and adequate healthcare should be a right for all Americans - not a privilege. Congresswoman Clarke is a strong supporter of Medicare for All and fought relentlessly against the repeal of the ACA.
Additionally, she introduced a resolution that would add Black Women’s Health Week to the roster of national health observances, in order to highlight the disparities that black women routinely experience across mortality rates post-childbirth and more.
She supported the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 which requires group health plans to apply the same treatment limits on mental health or substance-related disorder benefits as they do for medical and surgical benefits (parity requirement).
Yvette has also introduced and passed H.R.5583, which requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand and annually report on its core set of adult health quality measures for Medicaid-eligible adults to include measures specific to behavioral health.
Additionally, she is an active fighter in the opioid crisis, introducing and helping to pass the Opioid Addiction Action Plan Act which requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop an action plan to enhance the treatment and prevention of opioid addiction, and the coverage and reimbursement of medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction.
Congresswoman Clarke has been a strong advocate for critical services that support women’s reproductive rights. As such, she has earned high ratings from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America due to her votes against legislation that would place restrictions on abortion rights, such as the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act of 2011, which would have prohibited federal funds from being used to cover abortions.
She is a strong proponent for Paid Family Leave and voted yes to extend four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. She is also an advocate for the decriminalization of sex work and a proponent for shifting efforts to focusing on the crimes that too often take place around sex workers, including sex trafficking.
She is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Black Women and Girls which tackles the issues that disproportionately affect black women, including safety, economic opportunities, healthcare and criminal justice.
Regardless of who you love or how you identify, Congresswoman Clarke is a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights. Since her time in office, she has supported legislation that encourages the celebration of the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month, the EMPOWER Act which aims to deter, prevent, reduce, and respond to harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and harassment based on protected categories, and the Equality Act which will prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity across education, housing and employment.
Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane during the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Unbeknownst to some, NY-9 was hit hard on its southern most border. In fact, many experts have weighed in on how climate change actually worsened the storm’s impact which caused millions of dollars in damage and lost lives.
Congresswoman Clarke is a strong supporter of the Green New Deal which will reduce the United States dependence on fossil fuels and aims to guarantee new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries.
She also introduced the FEMA Climate Change Preparedness Act (H.R. 4823) which would require the agency to factor climate change into all its official policies, the BREATHE Act (H.R. 585) which calls for the amend the Clean Air Act, and H.R. 4737 which would require DHS to research and evaluate existing federal research regarding approaches to mitigate climate change.