Chaka Fattah, U.S. Representative   Leave a comment

Chaka Fattah (born Arthur Davenport on November 21, 1956) is the U.S. representative for Pennsylvania’s 2nd congressional district, serving since 1995. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served in the Pennsylvania Senate and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The district includes North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and a small part of Northeast Philadelphia and Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County.

 Early life, education and career

Fattah has lived all his life in the city, attending Overbrook High School, the Community College of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania‘s Fels Institute of Government, where he received an MGA in 1986.[2] He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[citation needed]

His parents, David Fattah (born Russell Davenport) and Sister Falaka Fattah (born Frances Brown, also known as Queen Mother Falaka Fattah), are community activists in West Philadelphia, where they are building an “urban Boys’ Town” through their organization, the House of Umoja.[3] He has four brothers.[citation needed]

  Pennsylvania Legislature

Fattah served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1983 to 1988, and as a State Senator from 1988 to 1994.

  U.S. House of Representatives

  Committee assignments

Fattah has represented the 2nd district in Pennsylvania, an overwhelmingly Democratic district, in the United States House of Representatives since 1995.

  Political positions

In 2004, Fattah introduced a bill titled the “Transform America Transaction Fee,” (H.R. 3759) which proposed to have the U.S. Treasury conduct a one-year feasibility study of a 1 percent transaction fee imposed on transactions made at any financial institution. He touted the possibility that such a system would bring in so much money it would allow for greatly increased federal spending, saying the “excess funds” would “provide universal health care, support an equitable public school finance system, and fund economic development in urban and rural areas,” in addition to extinguishing the national debt and eliminating all other federal taxes.[4] The bill died without becoming law, or even attracting a single co-sponsor. In 2005, Fattah introduced the bill again with H.R. 1601, and again in 2007 with H.R. 2130 which had a single cosponsor, Democratic Rep. Brian Baird of Washington. Both bills died without any action being taken. In 2009, Fattah introduced a fourth bill to require having a study conducted, H.R. 1703, which attracted no cosponsors. On February 23, 2010, Fattah reincarnated the bill as the “Debt Free America Act,” (H.R. 4646) which proposed to repeal the federal income tax and replace it with a 1 percent “transaction tax” on every financial transaction — whether paid by cash, credit card or any form of financial transfer, the only exception being transactions involving the purchase or sale of stock.[5] The latest bill places more focus on eliminating the federal debt. Fattah has also added a 1 percent tax credit designed to eliminate the impact of the measure on couples making less than $250,000 a year. As of September 5, 2010, none of the House committees have scheduled any action on the latest bill.

In 2005, Fattah opposed the War in Iraq and supported Congressman John Murtha‘s call for troop withdrawal.[6] He publicly supported the “Bring Our Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Act” a bill that called for bringing the troops home within six months and transitioning the Iraqis to self government.

 Recent local and national campaigns

Fattah unsuccessfully challenged fellow Democrat Lucien E. Blackwell in a 1991 special election for the 2nd district, but later defeated him in the 1994 U.S. House election.

 2007 mayoral campaign

Main article: Philadelphia mayoral election, 2007

In November 2006, he declared his candidacy for Mayor of Philadelphia,[7] where two-term incumbent Mayor John F. Street was barred from re-election by term limits, amid pressure from Democratic voters to keep his Congressional seat in order to maintain a Philadelphia representative on the powerful Appropriations Committee in the House. His candidacy announcement took place next to the recently-completed Microsoft School of the Future in the city’s Parkside neighborhood to emphasize his campaign platform of better educational opportunities for city youth.

After emerging as a mayoral candidate, Fattah came under fire from the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police for his repeated calls to grant a new trial to Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of murdering police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981;[8] he also was criticized for possibly unethical campaign spending, based on new campaign finance rules adopted by the city of Philadelphia. The Fattah campaign defended itself, claiming that it had followed less restrictive federal rules in spending the money,[9] but eventually returned a portion of the excess contributions to the exploratory committee following a settlement with the city’s Board of Ethics.[9] Fattah eventually came in fourth in the Democratic primary, close behind fellow Congressman Bob Brady but well behind former city councilman Michael Nutter, who went on to win the fall general election handily.


See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania, 2008#District 2

Fattah endorsed Barack Obama for President in 2008.[10]


See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania, 2010#District 2

Fattah was challenged by Republican Rick Hellberg, the CEO of a small financial firm.


Posted February 20, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Uncategorized

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