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The Honorable Chaka Fattah

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Information about The Honorable Chaka Fattah

Profile image of The Honorable Chaka Fattah

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
11/21/1956
Birth Location:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
U.S. Congressman

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Seafood
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Home
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
11/21/1956
Birth Location:
Philadelphia
See how The Honorable Chaka Fattah is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah, United States Representative of Pennsylvania’s second District, was born November 21, 1956 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fattah’s mother, Falaka Brown Fattah, and stepfather, David Fattah, raised him in the commitment-driven environment of The House of Umoja (Unity), one of the only urban boys homes in the country. David Fattah was a leader in The House of Umoja’s “No Gang War Campaign” and “The Youth Movement to Clean Up Politics.” Fattah attended city public schools, the Community College of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government where he earned a Master’s Degree in Government Administration. He also completed the Senior Executive Program for State Officials at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

In 1977, at age 21, Fattah ran unsuccessfully for the Office of City Commissioner of Philadelphia. He was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1982 and to the Pennsylvania Senate in 1988. In 1995, Fattah defeated an incumbent to win his United States congressional seat. Fattah, in 1998, spearheaded educational initiatives such as GEAR UP, which partners low income high school students with colleges and universities and The William H. Gray College Completion Grant. His top legislative priority is the Student Bill of Rights, which identifies seven fundamentals for learning. Fattah supported the Reauthorization to Higher Education Act and the Workforce Investment Partnership Act. Fattah co-sponsored the African Growth and Opportunities Act, the Drug Free Communities Act of 1997, and the District of Columbia Financial and Management Assistance Act, which became law in 1995. Fattah designed “Read to Lead,” a free summer reading program, and since 1986, convened the annual Fattah Conference on Higher Education. He has also played a key role in both the Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Committee and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Authority.

Fattah is co-chair of the Friends of the Caribbean Caucus and serves on the House Appropriations Committee, the Subcommittee on Virginia/U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies and is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia. He also co-chaired The Web-based Education Commission. Identified by Ebony magazine as one of the 100 most important African Americans and by Time magazine as one of the 50 most promising leaders in the country, Fattah is married to Renee Chenault Fattah and has four children.

U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2005.

See how The Honorable Chaka Fattah is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Chaka Fattah's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his mother's civil rights work
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his biological father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his stepfather, David Fattah
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes how his parents influenced him
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his parents' political activism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his childhood activities in Philadelphia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at Philadelphia's Durham Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at William H. Shoemaker Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes the origins of the House of Umoja
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah remembers growing up in the House of Umoja as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah recalls meeting leaders of the Black Power Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes the structure of the House of Umoja
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah reflects on the legacy of the House of Umoja
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at Overbrook High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his early political campaigns
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah remembers working for the Youth Citizenship Fund in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his academic ambitions at Overbrook High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah describes his experiences at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Chaka Fattah recalls being elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives