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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

EC from DC - November 2, 2012

Nov 2, 2012
EC from DC


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Helping a Family in Need


Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (left) meets with Henrius family

One of my biggest pleasures as a member of Congress is to assist my constituents when they are in a time of need. That is why I was so pleased to personally meet with the Henrius family (above) shortly after they were reunited. I became aware of the problem they were struggling with after hearing about it from a local television station. Cedanor Henrius’s teenage son, Luke, is currently in the care of Hospice. Cedanor had been tirelessly working to get visas for Luke’s grandparents to come from Haiti to visit. Time is a very pressing concern. The family was finding delay after delay with paperwork, fees, and many frustrations. I am so pleased that my office was able to get involved and assist them with the visa process. And just days ago, Luke’s grandparents made it to Kansas City for a joyous reunion.

If you have an issue with a federal agency, I want you to know that my staff and I are here to help. We can assist with an immigration visa, or a visitor visa for your family. We can help senior citizens get Social Security benefits, as well as disability, survivor and SSI benefits. If you are a veteran having trouble with your benefits, we can help you with information on eligibility requirements, health care availability at VA hospitals, and both retirement and survivor benefits.

You can call my office at (816) 842-4545. Or for more information please click here.


Education Is Hope


Ms. Jenny Mendes, Director of the Mattie Rhodes Arts Program, pictured with Congressman Cleaver.

On Oct. 5, the Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery hosted its 14th Dia de los Muertos festival at its facilities at 919 W. 17th St. in Kansas City, Mo. “We are excited and happy because it is a beautiful celebration, it is a meaningful exhibition,” said Jessica Manco, education coordinator and gallery curator.

This year’s exhibition featured paintings and altars from 30 area artists. The artwork showcased included black-and-white and color pieces. Some artists dedicated their altars to family members, athletes or artists.

As we approach the end of a long and divisive political campaign season, one issue has received little to no attention. We have a national crisis in education. The United States, once leading the world college graduates, has now fallen to the middle of the pack. With 63 percent of jobs requiring some sort of higher education by 2018, a projected shortfall of college graduates to meet this demand, and a gaping achievement gap between the rich and the poor, this is truly a crisis we cannot afford to ignore. Things must change and change quickly. I join Senator Harkin and my colleagues in the House in demanding better performance from the for-profit college industry that serves millions of students across this nation.

As we address these demands, it is imperative that we have a diverse set of educational institutions to serve all students, not just those walking the traditional four year path. It is clear that traditional educational institutions can't fulfill the demands of the 21st century and the global marketplace alone. More and more, these non-traditional students are being served by for-profit colleges. Over the years, high school graduates from our church have asked me about certain for-profit schools in our community. In an attempt not to discourage their hunger for more education, I have withheld my reservations. In spite of recent negative attention, the for-profit industry has proved their staying power. But if they are here to stay, if they want to become a vital part of our national system of education, they must do better.

This is part of an op-ed I wrote for the Huffington Post. You can read the full article here.

Back to the Classroom

It is with these students in mind that I penned the above op-ed. I enjoyed visiting with Van Horn High School seniors on a recent Wednesday morning. Principal Dr. Greg Netzer, Associate Principal, Patrick Layden and about 70 seniors were all present to discuss our government, the process for legislation and the different variables that impact our laws. I did my best to explain the dynamics of being a member of the House of Representatives and the how political majority and minority work together, and work against each other, alas, to promote or preclude legislation.

With the presidential election just a little over a week away, we talked about how the popular vote and the Electoral College can impact the outcome of the presidential election. The session concluded with questions from the students regarding the importance of voting and the division of our country between red and blue states. I am always grateful for a chance to talk with and to our young people, and this occasion was no exception.

The Jobs Numbers


As has become our habit every month, I would like to share an update with you about our economy and what can be done about it. Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. We lost more than 8 million jobs as a result of the Great Recession. Since the President has taken office, we have seen private sector jobs increase for 32 straight months, adding 5.4 million private sector jobs during that time period.

I remain committed to working together with my colleagues across the aisle to extend unemployment insurance benefits, payroll tax cuts, and infrastructure investments to help the middle class in the Fifth District and across the country. From the American Jobs Act to the Farm Bill, there are plenty of things we in Congress can do to help spur the economy and create jobs. If Congress could come together to pass the entire American Jobs Act, which includes further investment in infrastructure to rebuild our Nation’s ports, roads and highways, and assistance to state and local governments to prevent layoffs and to enable them to rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders, then we could create more than a million jobs. This month, I am back in Missouri’s Fifth District as Congress is in recess now. But I am ready to work together again, and soon, to address high poverty rates, a depressed housing market, and large household debt burdens experienced by all too many. Most of all, we must create jobs, restore confidence in our economy, and rebuild the middle-class.

According to the Labor Department’s most recent report, private employers added 184,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent, largely because more people entered the labor force. The number of people with jobs surged by 578,000 in October. Plus, in looking back at previous numbers, the Labor Department determined that the economy created 84,000 more jobs in previous months than they first estimated.

As you know better than anyone, there is more work that remains to be done. Long-term unemployment is still a problem, with 40 percent of the unemployed still looking for a job for more than six months. And the broader unemployment rate, known as the U-6 figure, decreased only slightly to 14.6 percent in October. This is unacceptable. I will continue to focus my efforts on creating jobs and keeping our economy moving in the right direction. It is what is necessary – and what is right for the people of Missouri’s Fifth District.


Emanuel Cleaver, II
Member of Congress

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Kansas City Office
101 W 31st St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-842-4545
Fax: 816-471-5215

Independence Office
211 West Maple Avenue
Independence, MO 64050
Phone: 816-833-4545
Fax: 816-833-2991

Washington Office
1433 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: 202-225-4535
Fax: 202-225-4403