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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Civility Message

Mar 10, 2015 Civility Message

Dear Friends,

We play this trick on ourselves — falling back and springing forward — but our time here is of course limited. Each morning, as the day begins, all of us receive a deposit of 86,400 seconds to spend. Think about it: 604,800 seconds a week or 2,592,000 a month.

Feb 24, 2015 Civility Message

Dear Friends,

A Kansas City jury had been out a week and struggling to get the twelfth juror, the only holdout, to convict. At 6:00 pm the court officer entered the jury room and asked the foreman for the jury’s food orders. “What shall I bring the jury for dinner?”

“Make it eleven fish plates and one bale of hay!” someone yelled.

Feb 2, 2015 Civility Message

This past weekend, a former elected official asked me which airport in D.C. I use.

Jan 28, 2015 Civility Message

Preachers tell the story of the passion play, presented in a big city park during the holy week of the Christian tradition. As the actors processed up a hillside, the young man portraying Christ carried a heavy cross.

Jan 16, 2015 Civility Message

Although these weekly missives are intended for 435 Members, this writing is directed more to the 58 newly elected Representatives.


Dec 12, 2014 Civility Message

I shall never forget the question someone asked our sixth grade science teacher: “Mr. Freeman, why is it that we can’t kill all the flies around our House?” The teacher responded that there are way more flies than people. Each female fly, he said, lays about 150 eggs, three times a month during the summer. The eggs hatch and bring forth similar numbers and the beat goes on and on and on.

Nov 20, 2014 Civility Message

This witty English saying has been quoted for at least 400 years.

“A stitch in time saves nine” means that a small rip in a garmet, should be repaired quickly or it will become a spacious tear. A one inch, almost unnoticeable snag, might become a nine inch unruly breach tomorrow.

Jul 11, 2014 Civility Message

As an ordained United Methodist Church minister, when I speak at home or around the country, I am exceedingly particular about the language I use to express my support for, or opposition to, political or policy positions.

Jul 11, 2014 Civility Message

Growing up, in a love-strong but financially-fragile family, my mother had “good dishes.” My three sisters and I rotated the responsibility of washing dishes after each meal.  During one of my times to do the dishes, my mother witnessed me carelessly carrying an armful of dishes from the table to the sink; she banned me from washing the good dishes. “Thank you Jesus!”

Jun 20, 2014 Civility Message

This Memorial Day I discovered, at long last, why incumbents sometimes hold an advantage over challengers. Following my keynote address at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, also known as the Liberty Memorial, I spoke with a number of the nice people who attended the program. Amongst those who took the time to respond to my speech was a woman who shared a story with me.