Hansen Clarke (born March 2, 1957) is a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan. He is a Democratic member of the Michigan Senate, representing the 1st District since 2003. Previously he was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1991 through 1992, and from 1999 through 2002.
Hard work and innate artistic ability eventually lead to a scholarship offer from Cornell University. During his time there, he received the devastating news that his mother Thelma had died. "I felt that I was alone as a person," said Clarke. "I can see now how all of that impacted the person I became. That's why I'm so quick to protect other people. When I see someone alone and vulnerable I can relate to what they are going through."
Clarke worked through that pain, and graduated with a degree in fine arts. However, while there, he became interested in politics when was troubled by how few minorities there were on campus. Concerned that the university might be moving away from providing need-based scholarships to disadvantaged students, he decided to run for the student seat on the Cornell University Board of Trustees. After beating out another political dynamo, Ann Coulter, he with served with great distinction throughout his senior year. His undergraduate success led to his membership in the Quill and Dagger society.
Clarke was first elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives in 1990 and served one term before being defeated in the Democratic primary in 1992 by Joe Young Jr. In 1998 and 2000, Clarke was re-elected to the Michigan House.
Hansen Clarke was then elected to the Michigan Senate in 2002, defeating incumbent Senator Ray Murphy. After an unsuccessful mayoral bid in 2005, Senator Clarke was re-elected to his seat in the Senate in 2006.
During his time in the Senate, Clarke has argued that voters need to hold their elected officials accountable, otherwise the problems of the inner city will not be properly addressed. "I tell my constituents that I want them to hold me accountable," says Clarke. "You don't normally see problems with blighted buildings or under-performing schools in the suburbs. That's because voters in the suburbs hold their elected officials accountable."
Another major issue the Senator has worked on is the divestment of the State of Michigan's pension funds from the nation of Sudan. Ever since the genocide began in 2004, there has been an outcry to pull US assets out of the country. Seeing the continuing failure of the federal government to act, and seeing the continuing humanitarian crisis, Senator Clarke felt that it was time for the state of Michigan to act if the federal government would not. His legislation proposed in the State Senate, along with a similar bill in the House from Rep. Wheeler-Smith, would pull all monies from State pension funds out of companies that do business in the country of Sudan.
|Hansen Clarke (D) (inc.)||95.5%|
|Cynthia Cassell (R)||4.5%|
|Hansen Clarke (inc.)||66.0%|
|Lamar Lemmons, III||22.9%|
|Hansen Clarke (D)||93.7%|
|Cynthia Cassell (R)||6.3%%|
|Raymond M. Murphy||33.1%%|
|Ellen M. Logan||17.4%|
Rep. Hansen Clarke Urges the FCC to Preserve Free, Local Television Access for Metro Detroiters during Homeland Security Committee Hearing
Sep 17, 2012; WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the office of Michigan Rep. Hansen Clarke: This week, Congressman Hansen...
Rep. Hansen Clarke Calls on President Obama to Replace Federal Housing Finance Agency Head Following Efforts to Block Homeowner Relief
Aug 02, 2012; WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the office of Michigan Rep. Hansen Clarke: This week, Rep. Hansen Clarke...
Rep. Hansen Clarke Celebrates Wyandotte Student and Detroit Artist at the 2012 National Congressional Art Competition
Jun 20, 2012; WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the office of Michigan Rep. Hansen Clarke: Rep. Clarke is excited to...