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Who Is Hakeem Jeffries?

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Hakeem Jeffries is a Democratic Congressman from Brooklyn. He is part of the Democratic leadership team. Some people believe he might be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, the successor to Nancy Pelosi. He is a favorite of hedge fund managers and the charter school industry. He recently was honored by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools as an African American charter school leader (why the organization established a racially segregated award is unclear, as it is unclear why Congressman Jeffries would accept it).

It is not “progressive” to support privatization of public services. It is not progressive to support schools staffed by non-union teachers. It is not progressive to support a “movement” that ignores racial segregation and even celebrates it. It is not progressive to support a movement financed by the anti-union Waltons, the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, and ALEC.

Progressives support public schools.

Dorothy Siegel, a longtime activist in the Working Families Party, wrote this comment about Congressman Jeffries:

“I know Hakeem well. I worked very hard to get him elected, first, to the NYS Assembly, and then to Congress, in order to defeat the even worse Democrat Ed Towns. I even raised a bunch of money for him. Then I saw him slip over to the dark side. But, make no mistake, I believe that his embrace of privatization is NOT (as he claims) primarily about wanting poor black and brown kids to get a good education, but about the fact that there is more money and power on that side than on the side of public education. That money, the hedge funders who provide it, and the corporatist establishment Democrats, were the drivers of Hakeem’s political rise. Money and power have totally corrupted him. Hakeem, like Cuomo and Booker, has and will continue to sell out our public schools when they are in the inner sanctum of their party leadership positions. Hakeem’s rise within Congressional Dem leadership is helping him to thwart ALL our efforts to reign in Congressional support for privatization. On education issues, he wis arguably more powerful than all the new progressive congresspeople we will elect in 2018, combined.

“Sad to say, we must recognize that Hakeem is THE ENEMY. He can not be defeated in his very safe Brooklyn seat, so we must all ORGANIZE to EXPOSE him as the corporate shill that he is. We must tell our progressive Congressional friends that it is NOT ok to go along with Dem leadership (Hakeem) on charters and privatization. Believe me, Hakim will have the tools he needs to fight harder for his corporate friends than anyone on our side will have, so we need to be loud and clear. We also have to insist that, for politicians to gain our support, it’s NOT ok to be “progressive” on reproductive choice and Medicare for All, etc, etc, but anything less than TOTALLY AGAINST corporatism and privatization. Time to take a stand!

“BTW, Hakeem was a key supporter of Zellnor Myrie, the victor in one of the races against the IDC traitors we defeated in the NYS Dem primary. We need to watch what Zellnor does in Albany to make sure he doesn’t pay back his mentor by supporting Hakeem’s education agenda. I’m not at all worried about the other five IDC-slayers. They are solidly and deeply pro-public education. Zellnor may be, too, but he will certainly get pressured by Hakeem and that ilk. So we need to let him know that “progressive” means 100% pro-public education.”

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