House Democrats have voted for American attorney Hakeem Jeffries to
succeed Nancy Pelosi as leader of the Democrats in the chamber next year.

This will
be a historical event as it will make Jeffries the first-ever black person to
lead one of the two major parties in either
chamber of Congress.

Jeffries will be representing a generational change from the current trinity of House Democratic leaders, who are three decades older than him. 

Also Read | Georgia schools receive active shooter on campus hoax calls, triggers lockdown

Who is Hakeem Jeffries?

Hakeem Sekou Jeffries is an
American politician and attorney who was born on August 4, 1970, in Brooklyn,
New York to Marland Jeffries, a state substance-abuse counselor, and Laneda
Jeffries, a social worker. He has a younger brother, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, who is an associate professor at Ohio State University. 

He graduated from Midwood High
School in 1988 and went on to study political science at Binghamton University.
After earning a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University, he
then studied at the New York University School of Law, earning a Juris Doctor
degree in 1997. After graduation, he worked as a law clerk for a year.

Also Read | US Senate passes bill to protect same-sex marriage, 12 Republicans vote in favour

When Jeffries’ close friend and political ally James Davis was murdered in 2003, Jeffries was named as a potential successor on the New York City Council. However, he did not put his name forward and Tish James was ultimately elected.

After Roger Green’s retirement from the Assembly in 2006 to run for US House, Jeffries ran for the 57th district and won the Democratic primary, securing 64% votes. He was re-elected in 2008 and 2010. 

Also Read | Seattle area to experience one of the coldest November 29s in recorded history

In January 2012, he announced that he would give up his assembly seat to run for the US House. Having been named ‘Barack Obama of Brooklyn’, he said during his campaign, “Other than the fact that we were both born on August 4, it’s not clear to me that there’s much of a professional resemblance”. In January 2013, he was sworn into the 113th Congress. 

Jeffries is a supporter of banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2019, he voted in favor of the Equality Act, urging other Congress members to do the same. 

Jeffries is married to Kennisandra Arciniegas-Jeffries, a social worker. They have two sons.