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Chaka Fattah


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1995
Preceded by Lucien Blackwell

Member of the Pennsylvania Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 3, 1989 – August 31, 1994
Preceded by Freeman Hankins
Succeeded by Vincent Hughes

Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 192nd district
In office
January 3, 1983 – November 30, 1988
Preceded by Nicholas A. Pucciarelli
Succeeded by Louise Bishop

Born November 21, 1956 (1956-11-21) (age 53)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) i) Michelle Fattah
ii) Renee Chenault-Fattah
Children Frances Fattah
Cameron Fattah
Chandler Fattah
Chaka Fattah Jr.
Residence Philadelphia
Alma mater Community College of Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Legislator
Religion Baptist

Chaka Fattah (born Arthur Davenport on November 21, 1956 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), has served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1994, representing the 2nd congressional district of Pennsylvania (map), which includes North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, a very small portion of Northeast Philadelphia and Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County.

Contents

Public life

He served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1983 to 1988 and as a State Senator from 1988 to 1994. He has served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 2nd district in Pennsylvania, since 1995, after defeating Lucien Blackwell in the 1994 Democratic primary.

In November 2006, he declared his candidacy for Mayor of Philadelphia[1], where two-term incumbent Mayor John F. Street was barred from re-election by term limits, amid pressure from Democratic voters to keep his Congressional seat in order to maintain a Philadelphia representative on the powerful Appropriations Committee in the House. His candidacy announcement took place next to the recently-completed Microsoft School of the Future in the city's Parkside neighborhood to emphasize his campaign platform of better educational opportunities for city youth.

After emerging as a mayoral candidate, Fattah came under fire from the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police for his repeated calls to grant a new trial to Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of murdering police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981[2]; he also was criticized for possibly unethical campaign spending, based on new campaign finance rules adopted by the city of Philadelphia. The Fattah campaign defended itself, claiming that it had followed less restrictive federal rules in spending the money,[3] but eventually returned a portion of the excess contributions to the exploratory committee following a settlement with the city's Board of Ethics.[3] Fattah eventually came in fourth in the Democratic primary, close behind fellow Congressman Bob Brady but well behind former city councilman Michael Nutter, who went on to win the fall general election handily.

Congressman Fattah, who represents an overwhelmingly Democratic district, opposed the War in Iraq and supports Congressman John Murtha's call for troop withdrawal.[4] He has publicly supported the “Bring Our Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Act” a bill that called for bringing the troops home within six months and transitioning the Iraqis to self government.

He endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008.[5] He has also proclaimed that NASA's voting contest for naming rights for a module on the International Space Station should be honored by naming one "Colbert" in honor of TV personality Stephen Colbert. [6][7]

In 2002, he was named to the PoliticsPA list of Best Dressed Legislators, noting his "excellence in haberdashery."[8]

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Committee assignments

Personal

Fattah's parents, David Fattah (born Russell Davenport) and Sister Falaka Fattah (born Frances Brown, also known as Queen Mother Falaka Fattah), are community activists in West Philadelphia, where they are building an "urban Boys' Town" through their organization, the House of Umoja.[9] Chaka Fattah has lived all his life in the city, attending Overbrook High School, the Community College of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government, where he received an MGA in 1986.[10]

He has four brothers.

He is the father of three daughters, Frances, Cameron, & Chandler and one son, Chaka Fattah Jr. His two youngest daughters go to private school.

He has been married twice. His current wife is Renee Chenault-Fattah, a local Philadelphia television news broadcaster on WCAU-TV (NBC 10).

He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans. Representative Fattah is a Prince Hall Freemason, Scottish Rite.

Election Results

  • 2008 Race for US House[11]
    • Chaka Fattah (D) (inc.), 89%
    • Adam Lang (R), 11%
  • 2006 Race for US House
    • Chaka Fattah (D) (inc.), 89%
    • Michael Gessner (R), 9%
  • 2004 Race for US House
    • Chaka Fattah (D) (inc.), 88%
    • Stewart Bolno (R), 12%
  • 2002 Race for US House
    • Chaka Fattah (D) (inc.), 88%
    • Tom Dougherty (R), 12%
  • 2000 Race for US House
    • Chaka Fattah (D) (inc.), 98%
    • Ken Krawchuk (Libertarian), 2%
  • 1998 Race for US House
    • Chaka Fattah (D) (inc.), 86%
    • Anne Marie Mulligan (R), 14%
  • 1996 Race for US House
    • Chaka Fattah (D) (inc.), 88%
    • Larry Murphy (R), 12%
  • 1994 Race for US House
    • Chaka Fattah (D), 79%
    • Lawrence Watson (R), 18%

Ideological ratings

References

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lucien E. Blackwell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

1995 – present
Incumbent
Pennsylvania State Senate
Preceded by
Freeman Hankins
Member of the Pennsylvania Senate for the 7th District
1989–1994
Succeeded by
Vincent Hughes
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nicholas A. Pucciarelli
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 192nd District
1983–1988
Succeeded by
Louise Bishop

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