Hansen Clarke

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Hansen Clarke

Template:30seconds Template:TOCnestleft Hansen Hashim Clarke was a pro socialist U.S. Representative, representing the 13th District of Michigan since Jan. 3, 2011. He was a Democratic State Senator representing the first district of Michigan from January 1, 2003 – January 3, 2011.

Early Life & Education

Hansen Clarke spent most of his life on the east-side of Detroit near Mack and Baldwin. His mother, who became a single parent after his father died when he was eight, raised him on her school crossing-guard salary. Clarke received a scholarship from Cornell University, where he majored in painting. Shortly after graduation, Hansen enrolled at Georgetown Law School were he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1987.[1]

Clarke was born to a Bangladeshi immigrant father Mozaffar Ali Hashem and an African-American mother Thelma Clarke. Clarke's father passed away when he was 8 years old, but he says his father greatly influenced him and that he strongly identifies with his father's culture.

Clarke, who was raised a Muslim and converted to Catholicism, says he also plans to work with local officials to end religious and racial profiling in Michigan.[2]

Political Career

Hansen Clarke began his career in politics as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative John Conyers. Hansen Clarke was elected as a State Representative in 1990, a position he held until 1992. In 2000, he came back to office and in 2002 he was elected to the State Senate.[3]

Clarke was elected three times to the Michigan House of Representatives. In 2002, he was elected to the Michigan State Senate by defeating an incumbent.[1]

As a result of redistricting after the 2010 Census, Clarke was placed into a congressional district with fellow incumbent Gary Peters. Clarke lost the 2012 Democratic Primary for the 14th congressional district.[4]

DSA electoral support


In 2002 Detroit Democratic Socialists of America contributed to the primary campaign of State Representative Hansen Clarke, who ran against incumbent State Senator Ray Murphy in the first district.The local did some early fundraising and conducted a postcard campaign on Rep. Clarke’s behalf to its members in the first senate district. Rep. Clarke achieved an upset victory, winning comfortably by thirteen points.[5]

Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America has a "simple but effective electoral strategy. We endorse progressive candidates in competitive races where the focused efforts of a small group such as ours can tip the balance in favor of the progressive candidate. This strategy has served us well in electing state representatives such as Steve Bieda, Alma Wheeler Smith, John Espinoza, Aldo Vagnozzi, and Fred Miller, and state senators such as Gilda Jacobs and Hansen Clarke."

We have expanded our efforts in 2008 by endorsing four candidates instead of two candidates as we traditionally do.

In 2008 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America endorsed state representative candidates Sarah Roberts (St. Clair Shores-Harrison Township), Vicki Barnett (Farmington-Farmington Hills), Lisa Brown (West Bloomfield-Harrison Township), and Jonathan Switalski (Warren-Sterling Heights). As a result, DSA members have been canvassing, phone banking, and stuffing envelopes for one of these four candidates almost every weekend since the late summer. To date, the following members have participated in at least one (and usually several) campaign dates: Brandon Moss, Selma Goode, Michelle Fecteau, Bob Alpert, Lon Herman, Maurice Geary, Helen Samberg, Bob Frumkin, Charlie Rooney, Julie Barton, David Elsila, David Green, Dave Ivers, Michael Dover, Bill Helwig, Bob Denoweth, and Marylyn Schmidt.[6]

Workers World Party foreclosure campaign connection

Workers World Party leader Abayomi Azikiwe with Hansen Clarke, Town Hall Meeting, June 14, 2008

In 2008 Hansen Clarke worked closely with Michigan leaders of the pro North Korean/Cuban Workers World Party on the house foreclosures issue. Clarke drafted and sponsored SB 1306 with Reverend Ed Rowe of Central United Methodist Church, one of the Moratorium NOW! initiators. Rowe further pledged ongoing support to the coalition, whose office is in his church. Most key leaders and personnel in Moratorium NOW! are also Workers World Party leaders.[7]

Writing in Workers World on Jan. 14, 2008, Workers World Party leader Kris Hamel discussed the origins of Moratorium NOW!,[8]

"More than 400,000 jobs have been lost in the state since 2001. Now, that economic crisis has extended nationwide... According to a report issued on June 5 by the Mortgage Bankers Association, approximately one of every 11 mortgages in the U.S. was past due or in foreclosure at the end of March... Falling home values have left many homeowners with mortgages in excess of the value of their homes...
The Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions is organizing around the state to win passage of SB 1306, a two-year moratorium introduced into the Michigan Legislature by state Sen. Hansen Clarke. In 2007, activists with the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice began to popularize the idea of a foreclosure moratorium based on the emergency powers invested in the governor by the state constitution during times of disaster. Demonstrations were held at the state capitol in Lansing demanding that Gov. Jennifer Granholm declare a state of economic emergency and impose a moratorium to stop foreclosures and evictions."

WWP Supporting Clarke's Bill

Workers World Party leader Abayomi Azikiwe, Sen. Hansen Clarke, Rubie Curl-Pinkins, WWP member Alan Pollock, Debbie Williams, unidentified man and WWP member Sandra Hines on the porch of the Curl-Pinkins home in Detroit, Aug. 22, 2008

According to the Workers World, "the dumpster was returned to the Maxwell home on the morning of April 23, one week after "community activists" successfully emptied it and moved the family’s belongings back into their foreclosed home on Detroit’s near northwest side".

An emergency demonstration called by the Workers World Party front Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions convened at the home in the afternoon in solidarity with the Maxwells and all those facing foreclosure in Detroit. Activists with the WWP front Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice , Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, ACORN, Call ‘Em Out and other groups participated.

An emergency motion was filed in Detroit’s 36th District Court to set aside the judgment for eviction entered by the court on Feb. 28. On April 25, community activists packed the courtroom with the Maxwell family as Judge E. Lynise Bryant-Weekes heard arguments on why the family should be allowed to stay in their home. A community attorney represented the Maxwells on a pro bono basis.

After the hearing, as supporters gathered in the corridor outside the courtroom, Maureen Taylor of MWRO stated: “This proves that poor people have no rights, that if you can’t afford an attorney, so be it. Poor people cannot get justice in a courtroom. We need to keep fighting.”

WWP Detroit leader Abayomi Azikiwe of MECAWI told Workers World: “This is precisely why we need a moratorium. There are thousands of families like the Maxwells all throughout Metro Detroit. We need to step up the struggle to force the state legislature to enact the two-year foreclosure moratorium law. We can’t wait another day.”

MECAWI organizer and WWP leader Jerry Goldberg spoke at the Labor and Community Conference held at UAW Region 1A on April 26. Sponsored by the Labor Studies Center of the University of Michigan, the conference linked community issues such as health care and the environment to the labor struggle. Goldberg spoke on the foreclosure crisis and motivated the audience to support the two-year mortgage foreclosure moratorium introduced by State Sen. Hansen Clarke. Participants "signed up to support the bill and responded enthusiastically to the developing struggle".[9]

Curl-Pinkins home

Workers World Party leaders Jerry Goldberg and Abayomi Azikiwe, with Hansen Clarke, June 14, 2008

Rubie Curl-Pinkins, 72, had lived in her home on Holden behind the James Cole Funeral Home on West Grand Blvd. for over 45 years.

“There was 45 years of loving and hugging and kissing in this house,” said Pinkins as she sat on the porch of the large frame house with her husband and daughter Nikki Curl July 18 2008. In front, hundreds of neighbors, relatives, church members, and activists from the Moratorium Now! Coalition, Call ‘em Out, ACORN, and State Senator Hansen Clarke and his staff rallied against Countrywide Home Loans/Bank of America, which planned to evict her family July 25.

“Now I know I will still have a home,” said Pinkins. “Without your support, this would not be possible.” The rally went on from 4 p.m. until almost midnight and was given extensive coverage by Detroit’s Channel Seven, which also interviewed Clarke about his pending bill for a two-year moratorium on foreclosures, S.B. 1306.

“I support Ms. Pinkins,” said Trina Bennett, one of the protesters. “She’s a member of my church. It’s not fair that she should have to leave her home after 45 years.”

Community activist and WWP supporter Sandra Hines added, “When you lose your house, it’s like a death. It’s criminal.”

Unlike many other Detroiters facing foreclosure, Ms. Pinkins had the money to pay what she owes on the home, obtained through a reverse mortgage. Her attorneys Vanessa Fluker, Jerry Goldberg and Bruce Feaster of Clarke’s office said Countrywide earlier lured her into a predatory adjustable-rate second mortgage at a 10 percent interest rate.

June 14 meeting

Abayomi Azikiwe and State Senator Hansen Clarke co-chaired a Town Hall Meeting on June 14, 2008 at UAW Local 7 in Detroit. The event, a a statewide organizers' conference, demanded the passage of Hansens' SB 1306 imposing a two-year moratorium on foreclosures in Michigan.[10]

Committee to Defend Diane Bukowski and Freedom of the Press

In 2009 Hansen Clarke was listed as a supporter of the Workers World Party and Democratic Socialists of America infiltrated Committee to Defend Diane Bukowski and Freedom of the Press[11]

Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center

In 2009, Hansen Clarke was a member of the Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction which was held at the Atlas Global Bistro, Detroit. The reception, which was held on Nov. 18, 2009 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. Remarks were made by Steve Tobocman and the Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award was presented to Marilyn Mullane, Executive Director, Michigan Legal Services.[12]

Van Jones award host committee

Screenshot of Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice reception (click image to enlarge)

On November 18, 2010, the far left Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice presented "The Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award" to Van Jones "Human Rights Activists and Green-Jobs Advocate", at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, 660 Woodward Ave, Suite 300.

Members of the Honorary Host Committee were;[13]

Endorsed by Hansen Clarke

Clarke has endorsed the following candidates:


As at Feb. 1, 2011, Senator Hansen Clarke, Detroit was listed as an endorser and ongoing supporter of MichUHCAN's Health Care Security Campaign Coalition.[16] The Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network is a state-wide network that promotes comprehensive health care for all and improved health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health through education, strategy development and advocacy. The leadership of MichUHCAN is heavily dominated by members of Democratic Socialists of America.[17]

CPC "Good jobs" tour

On June 27, 2011, Detroit was the second stop of the Congressional Progressive Caucus's "Good Jobs" tour. Reps. Hansen Clarke and John Conyers, D-Mich., joined with Keith Ellison, D-Minn., Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson listening to the "stories and thinking of the people".

In their brief remarks, the leaders issued a call to redirect money from wars, Wall Street and the rich to a rebuilding of America.

Jackson said war spending is "breaking our cities." He was seconded by Clarke who said the money we're spending in Afghanistan is ours, "it should come back to us."

Kaptor said we need to tax the financial giants asking, "Why can't we tax hedge funds like we do the corner bakery?"

Ellison emphasized that unity is required to win, saying being angry will not bring jobs but banding together, speaking together, and fighting together can. "We will use our strength in numbers to fight corporate greed," he said.

Conyers said we are "getting ready" to re-elect President Obama but we need the President to get behind job creating legislation like the Humphrey Hawkins jobs bill he has introduced.

"We are going to Washington to tell him we want him to lead in the fight for jobs. We will tell him we are ready to help," said Conyers.[18]

Black Caucus jobs campaign

In mid 2011, "demands to address the country's jobs crisis are accelerating with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) joining a growing number of groups calling for federal action". The CBC resolved to hosting a For the People Jobs Initiative in several urban areas stricken by high unemployment.[19]

Detroit event

Over 5,000 jobseekers showed up at the Wayne County Community College in Detroit for a jobs fair and town hall meeting yesterday. More than 7,000 attended last week's event in Cleveland, the second stop on the Congressional Black Caucus's "For the People" tour.

Over 1,000 positions were offered at the fair.

The event was hosted by Democratic U.S. Reps. John Conyers and Hansen Clarke. Also present from the caucus were Maxine Waters of California, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri and Gregory Meeks from New York.

Rep. Maxine Waters, noting the great love and admiration for President Obama in the African American community, called on the audience to "unleash us" to address the president on the jobs issue. "When you tell us it's alright and you unleash us and you tell us you're ready for us to have this conversation, we're ready to have the conversation. The Congressional Black Caucus loves the president too. We're supportive of the president but we're getting tired ya'll..." she said.

Rep. John Conyers called for a demonstration in front of the White House, "We should be in front, three to five, six thousand people the day before we open our 40th conference on Tuesday, September the 20th, in front of the White House, demanding jobs," Conyers said.[20]

2011 11th Annual Douglass-Debs Dinner

Greater Detroit DSA newsletter, November 2011

Over 200 people attended the 12th annual Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner on October 1st at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn. The dinner honored Reverend Ed Rowe, senior pastor at Central United Methodist Church, and the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-Michigan). Reverend Rowe was honored for his lifetime commitment to social justice, civil rights, and workers’ rights. The event honored ROC-Michigan for its recent successful campaign to improve wages and working conditions at Andiamo Restaurant. Congressman Hansen Clarke presented congressional citations to both awardees.

The dinner co-chairs were Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams and UAW Vice-President James Settles, Jr. The Bill Meyer Group provided entertainment and led the audience in singing “Solidarity Forever” and “The Internationale.” Keynote speaker was William Greider, national affairs correspondent at The Nation.

DSA National Director Maria Svart also addressed the Douglass-Debs Dinner.[21]

HR 365

HR 365 was introduced by Michigan Democratic Rep. Hansen Clarke, in 2011, in a YouTube video posted on the representative's page, he said "We need to cut, cap, and forgive student loan debt," and that "That is the true debt that is burdening American families. We cut student loan debt we'll have a freer more prosperous country."

The bill has been sponsored by House Representatives Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Keith Ellison of Minnesota John Conyers of Michigan, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland.[22]

Leading with Love

Leading with Love was an event to celebrate 5 years of the Marxist led National Domestic Workers Alliance. It was held in Washington DC, DC, November 14, 2012.

Members of the Host Committee included Hansen Clarke.[23]

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

In 2012, Hansen Clarke was listed as member the Executive Board of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.[24]

Honorary Board Asian American Action Fund

Circa 2013, Hansen Clarke served on the Honorary Board of the Asian American Action Fund;[25]

PDA endorsement

Progressive Democrats of America 2014 endorsements were;[26]

Praising CAIR

Foley: ‘What did you think about the swipe? Because it certainly seemed that [CAIR] is the group that this hearing was designed to go after.” Clarke: “Well I’m glad you mentioned that and that’s why in my statement I raised the fact that the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan worked with Federal law enforcement officials.

As a matter of fact just last year alone CAIR-Michigan met with the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security combined thirteen times to help coordinate work between law enforcement at the Federal level and the Muslim community. So CAIR in Michigan definitely had good relations with law enforcement and that has been helpful to protect our citizens from any type of likely threat.” - former Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.), Interview with the Craig Foley Show on WDET Detroit, March 11, 2011.[27]


The following are past and present staff:[28]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Hansen Clarke for Congress website: About Hansen Clarke (accessed on Jan. 20, 2011)
  2. VOA First Bangladeshi-American Elected to US Congress, VOA News 03 November 2010
  3. Allvoices Hansen Clarke wins Democratic Party elections for Congressional seat, Aug 04, 2010
  4. Huffington Post "Gary Peters Wins 14th Congressional District Race For U.S. House," August 8, 2012
  5. Democratic Left Fall 2002
  6. http://kincaidsite.com/dsa/nl-archive.html GDDSA newsletter, Nov. 2008]
  7. International Action Center - Boston: People tell Michigan legislators: ‘MORATORIUM NOW!’ (accessed on Feb. 10, 2011)
  8. Workers World: Moratorium NOW! Coalition fights to stop foreclosures and evictions, Jan. 14, 2008 (accessed on Feb. 10, 2011)
  9. http://emergingminds.org/Activists-support-family-facing-foreclosure.html Activists support family facing foreclosure, 03 May 2008 Kris Hamel]
  10. [ http://www.detroitgreens.org/node/4 Detroit Greens: MORATORIUM NOW COALITION TO STOP FORECLOSURES & EVICTIONS, June 13, 2011] (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
  11. Defend Diane Bukowski and freedom of the press: Supporters (accessed on Dec. 22, 2009)
  12. Sugar Law Center website: 2009 Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction (accessed on Feb. 11, 2011)
  13. Sugar Law Center for Economic k Social Justice website, accessed Jan 25, 2011
  14. Vote Sam Singh website: Supporters (accessed on Feb. 9, 2011)
  15. Vote Benson website: Supporters (accessed on Feb. 9, 2011)
  16. MichUHCAN: MI Health Care Security Campaign Coalition (accessed on Feb. 1, 2011)
  17. MichUHCAN: About Us (accessed on Feb. 1, 2011)
  18. PW "Good Jobs" tour: Detroiters say we need jobs, not spending on war John Rummel June 28 2011
  19. CBC website, accessed July 6, 2011
  20. [http://peoplesworld.org/detroit-demands-action-on-jobs/, Peoples World, Detroit demands action on jobs, by: Joe Sims August 17 2011]
  21. DSA Greater Detroit newsletter Nov. 2011, Volume 12, Issue 4
  22. PW, Forgive student loans and save the economy, by: Jordan Farrar September 27 2011
  23. LEL webpage, accessed Jan. 21st, 2012
  24. [Jump up ↑ http://capac-chu.house.gov/membership, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus website, accessed Feb. 10, 2012] ]
  25. American Action Fund
  26. https://votesmart.org/interest-group/1837/progressive-democrats-of-america#.Vcq59vmGOSw Vote Smart]
  27. [https://www.cair.com/images/pdf/What-They-Say-About-CAIR.pdf What They Say About CAIR (October 2014)
  28. http://www.legistorm.com/member/2765/Rep_Hansen_Clarke_MI.html. Accessed 12/12/2011