Wednesday, 14 October 2015


         BLACK    SOCIAL    HISTORY                                                                                                              

Emanuel Cleaver

Emanuel Cleaver
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded byKaren McCarthy
51st Mayor of Kansas City
In office
Preceded byRichard Berkley
Succeeded byKay Barnes
Personal details
BornEmanuel Cleaver II
October 26, 1944 (age 70)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Dianne Cleaver
Alma materPrairie View A&M University
St. Paul School of Theology
Emanuel Cleaver II (born October 26, 1944) is a United Methodist pastorAmerican politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives. Cleaver currently represents Missouri's 5th congressional district, where he's served since 2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and in January 2010, Cleaver became chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Cleaver previously served on the Kansas City Council from 1979 to 1991, until he was elected Mayor of Kansas City, serving from 1991 to 1999. In 2004, Cleaver was elected to Missouri's 5th congressional district, where his district includes the southern three-fourths of Kansas City, including all of the city south of the Missouri River. It also includes most of the city's suburbs in Jackson County.

Early life, education and career

Cleaver was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Marie (née McKnight) and Lucky G. Cleaver.[1] He grew up in public housing inWichita Falls, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University where he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Cleaver then moved to Kansas City, Missouri where he founded a branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and received a Master of Divinity degree from St. Paul School of Theology.
Cleaver has been the pastor at the St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City Missouri from March 1972 until June 28, 2009.[2]

Early political career

Cleaver served as Kansas City Councilman from 1979 to 1991 and as mayor of Kansas City for two terms from 1991 until 1999. He is the first African American mayor of Kansas City. During the last days of his tenure as Mayor, Reverend Cleaver agreed to an international visit to London, England. On the invitation of UK NGO Operation Black Vote he assisted in campaigning for increased electoral participation in the elections for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. His visit culminated in a keynote speech atWestminster City Hall alongside British political figures including Ken LivingstoneSimon Hughes and Lee Jasper. Cleaver is a cousin to exiled KC Black Panther leader Pete O'Neal. In 1997, Cleaver attempted unsuccessfully to obtain a pardon for O'Neal from President Clinton.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives

After the compromise Budget Control Act deal had been reached to resolve the 2011 United States debt ceiling crisis in August 2011, Cleaver wrote on Twitter calling it a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich".[4]

Committee assignments

Caucus membership


During his tenure, Cleaver has voted with the Democratic party 95.8% of the time.[5] He has been recognized as a Congressman who is "not shy about earmarks", and has brought many tax dollars back to Kansas City.[6]
Cleaver has called for ethics charges against Representatives Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters to be dropped, saying "The process has been tainted."[7]

Loan default

On April 6, 2012, the Kansas City Star reported that Bank of America had sued Cleaver Company LLC over a commercial real estate loan for a Grandview car wash. In a lawsuit filed March 30, Bank of America said Cleaver, his wife Dianne, and the company owed over $1.46 million on the loan.[8][9]

Office attack

On September 11, 2014 around 2:50 a.m. what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of Cleaver's Kansas City office. He was in Washington D.C. at the time and no staff members were present during the attack.[10]

Political campaigns

Earlier official photo of Cleaver
In late 2003, Karen McCarthy, who had represented the 5th district since 1995, announced her retirement. Despite having served in city government for 20 years, including eight years as mayor, Cleaver initially posted weak numbers in the Democratic primary and general elections. Cleaver went on to defeat former Clinton Administration official Jamie Metzl in the Democratic primary by a margin of 60-40 percent. In the general election, Republican Jeanne Patterson used her own fortune to fund her candidacy and made the race far more competitive than conventional wisdom would suggest for the district, which has long been reckoned as the second-most Democratic district in Missouri. The Democrats have held this seat for all but eight years since 1909, and without interruption since 1949. By comparison, McCarthy won 65 percent in 2002.
Cleaver has been reelected twice with some opposition. In 2010, Jacob Turk (Republican) received 45 percent of the vote, with Cleaver receiving 53 percent. In 2012, Cleaver received 60 percent of the vote, with Turk receiving 37 percent. [11]

2008 Presidential election

During the course of the Democratic Presidential Primary, Cleaver endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton.[12] Cleaver claimed that African American superdelegates who supported Clinton were subjected to harassment, threatened with primary opponents and called “Uncle Tom.” He said they were told, “You’re not black if you’re not supporting Barack Obama. … It's ugly.”[13] On March 30, 2008, he was interviewed on The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio and said he realized he was on the losing team: "Even though I don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Indianapolis Colts, I cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs." [14] According to,[15] U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois asked Cleaver, “If it comes down to the last day and you’re the only superdelegate? … Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?" “I told him I’d think about it," Cleaver explained. Cleaver said during the course of the primary he'd be shocked if Obama wasn't the next President but made it clear he still supported Clinton until she suspended her bid.

Electoral history

Kansas City Mayoral election, 1991
NonpartisanEmanuel Cleaver50,20453
NonpartisanBob Lewellen43,98947
Kansas City Mayoral election, 1995
NonpartisanEmanuel Cleaver51,05755
NonpartisanDan Cofran41,02445
Missouri's 5th congressional district election, 2004[16]
DemocraticEmanuel Cleaver161,72755.19
RepublicanJeanne Patterson123,43142.12
LibertarianRick Bailie5,8271.99
ConstitutionDarin Rodenberg2,0400.70
Total votes293,025100.00
Democratic hold
Missouri's 5th congressional district election, 2006[17]
DemocraticEmanuel Cleaver (inc.)136,14964.25
RepublicanJacob Turk68,45632.30
LibertarianRandy Langkraehr7,3143.45
Total votes211,919100.00
Democratic hold
Missouri's 5th congressional district election, 2008[18]
DemocraticEmanuel Cleaver (inc.)197,24964.37
RepublicanJacob Turk109,16635.63
Total votes306,415100.00
Democratic hold
Missouri's 5th congressional district election, 2010[16]
DemocraticEmanuel Cleaver (inc.)102,07653.32
RepublicanJacob Turk84,57844.18
LibertarianRandy Langkraehr3,0771.61
ConstitutionDave Lay1,6920.88
Total votes191,423100.00
Democratic hold
Missouri's 5th congressional district election, 2012[19]
DemocraticEmanuel Cleaver (inc.)200,29060.5
RepublicanJacob Turk122,14936.9
LibertarianRandy Langkraehr8,4972.6
NonpartisanAndrew Feagle60.0%
NonpartisanAndrew Thomas00.0%
Total votes330,942100.00
Democratic hold

Personal life

Emanuel Cleaver and his wife, Dianne, have four children. They reside in Kansas City.[20]
On June 25, 2000, a road in Kansas City was renamed Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard. The new route consisted of Brush Creek Blvd., E. 47th St., and the portion of Van Brunt Blvd. south of 31st St.[21]