ENG: Gregory Weldon Meeks (born September 25, 1953) is the U.S. Representative for New York's 5th congressional district. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district formerly included in the last congress most of southeastern Queens, including Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway, and the John F. Kennedy International Airport. His district is made up mainly of middle and upper middle-class African-American communities, but also included a small part of Ozone Park and part of Howard Beach known as Old Howard Beach--both of which are predominantly middle-class Italian-Americans communities. In addition, he represented much of Kew Gardens and northern Richmond Hill.
Early life, education and career
Born in East Harlem, New York City and raised in a housing project, Meeks attended Adelphi University and obtained a law degree from Howard University School of Law. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
He worked as an Assistant District Attorney and Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York before joining the Investigations Commission on official misconduct and organized crime. He then was Supervising Judge for the New York State Workers Compensation System.
Meeks was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1992.
U.S. House of Representatives - Caucus memberships
- Co-chair of the Dialogue Caucus
- Co-chair of the Malaysia Caucus
- Co-chair of the Middle East Economic Partnership Caucus
- Co-chair of the Services Caucus
Meeks is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the International Conservation Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition.
On the Federal Budget, Meeks supports Social Security and Medicare and wants to balance the budget, lower national debt while sending money to education, environment and national defense. He is also against the privatization of Social Security.
On Homeland Security, Gregory Meeks has unwavering support of on-ground troops and a large supporter of veterans and emergency responders. Finally, Gregory Meeks is a strong supporter of the Health Care plan and is currently working to promote the extension and expansion of the State’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. He has also worked hard to increase the federal funding to research fields to speed cures.
Meeks is pro-choice on abortion and he supported Planned Parenthood all throughout his career. His votes, such as voting against the prohibition of late-term or partial birth abortions, twice in 2003 against the Republicans, support and strengthen his position on abortion. However, in the recent 2008 election for funding federal money to abortions, he voted against it.
He is supported by NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association. He is the not supported by National Rights to Life Committee.
Meeks is for animal rights and he never supported or voted for the organizations supporting hunters and animals owners based on his votes in Congress. He is also a supporter of endangered species and voted to protect them. In the 2005 Endangered Reauthorization Species bill, he voted against the Republicans in vain. He is supported by the Humane Society of the United States, Big Cats Rescue and is not supported by Sportsmen and Animal Owner’s Voting Alliance.
Meeks is not supported by the Americans for Fair Taxation, which wants to the change the tax system, so a clean slate is given to every American and he or she is taxed equally by using retail sales tax.
However, this banishes Social Security, Medicare and other government supported plans. Also, the National Taxpayers Union does not support Meeks.—the National Taxpayers Union strives to change the current tax system to make it simpler to the individual Similarly, he is not supported by the National Tax Limitation Committee and Americans for Tax Reform, which have supported more Republicans than Democrats. None of these groups have overwhelmingly supported Gregory Meeks since he has been a representative of New York.
Meeks supported the Bush Administration wiretapping programs that were undertaken without the attainment of a warrant.
During the 2008 electoral campaign, Meeks appeared in a television advertisement endorsing the reelection of Puerto Rico Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá.
On August 25, 2007, Silvestre Reyes, chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Armed Services Committee and four other US Congressmen visited American troops deployed in the southern Philippines to overview the US-Philippines relationship. Reyes headed the bipartisan delegation which included New Jersey Rep. Rodney P.
Frelinghuysen, member of appropriations committee and the select intelligence oversight panel; New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson of the committee on energy and the intelligence committee; New York Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, a Democrat, of the financial services and international relations committees; and Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of the appropriations and intelligence committees. They drove to the base of the Joint Special Operation Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP), a US-led body, which trains Filipino soldiers against terror, in Barangay Upper Calarian.
Letter to "Tirofijo"
On December 20, 2007, together with two other US representatives (Bill Delahunt and Jim McGovern), Meeks wrote a letter thanking the head of the leftist Colombian guerilla organization, FARC (Revolutionary Army of Colombia, in Spanish), for the release of evidence that confirmed the survival of several of the forty-five hostages that the terrorist groups held captive (including three US citizens), some of them for over a decade. The group is considered a terrorist organization by the US government and the European Union (EU).
Congressional Auto Lease
It was recently noted by the New York Times that Meeks utilizes the option to use tax dollars to lease a car, for use as a member of Congress. This option does not exist for Senate members. The lease is forgone by many members of Congress, but Meeks presently holds the most expensive lease among all members. He currently uses tax dollars to lease a 2007 Lexus LS 460, at $998 per month. Meeks was unwilling to provide further comment when questioned by the New York Times, on the lease arrangement, saying "These are never lighthearted stories."
2008 House Primary election
Meeks was criticized for initially supporting Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. His House primary election challenger was Ruben Wills, a former chief of staff for State Senator Shirley L. Huntley and an organizer for Obama. Wills said “I was on board with Obama from Day 1. Meeks had to be dragged across the line.” Some suggest that a young black political class is seeking to assert the neighborhood’s power against what it sees as an older establishment, based in Harlem, that has long exercised disproportionate influence in New York City.
Investigations and Fraud and 2010 elections
In late 2009, and ongoing through 2010, Greg Meeks has been investigated by a House ethics committee on loans with New York Senate Temporary President Malcolm Smith and the local Jamaica Rev. Floyd Flake. Meeks has also been investigated about his mortgage loans to a Guyanese immigrated real estate tycoon Edul N. Ahmad of Century21 Ahmad Realty and Ace Mortgage, Inc. Meeks has denied this, although being investigated by the New York State Attorney General's office and the House Ethics Committee. In 2010, Meeks faced Republican Asher Taub and won reelection despite his investigation.
2012 House Primary election
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Meeks one of the most corrupt members of Congress in 2011. It was subsequently reported that Meeks' continuing ethical and criminal probes would cause his premature exit from Congress; however, Meeks has denied this. Hip hop artist and law school graduate, Mike Scala, announced in October, 2011 that "he is seeking the Democratic endorsement for the sixth Congressional district in Queens."
According to a DNA analysis, he descended, mainly, of people from Sierra Leone.
January 16, 2013