Congressman Meeks acquired the compassionate and cooperative temperament that has served him so well throughout his career in his boyhood. During the Great Migration, his family relocated from South Carolina to East Harlem. He had a rough life, but he decided at an early age that he wanted to be a lawyer. His motivation stemmed from seeing his parents go to tremendous efforts to guarantee that he and his brothers received chances that they had been denied. Meeks’ parents instilled in him the ideals of justice, loyalty to neighbors, and sympathy for those who are less fortunate from an early age.
He used these guiding ideas as a compass while completing his bachelor’s degree in history from Adelphi University. While attending Howard University Law School, Meeks was strongly influenced by the writings of two of his legal idols, Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston. Meeks lists these writers as significant influences. Congressman Meeks then worked as an assistant district attorney in Queens County, a prosecutor for a special anti-narcotics taskforce, and the top administrative judge for the state of New York’s workers’ compensation system. Prior to being elected in a special election to represent New York’s 5th Congressional District in 1998, he served in the state assembly from 1992. He served in that position until 1998.
Gregory W. Meeks, a Democrat from New York, is now serving in the House of Representatives for the twelfth time, having relentlessly and successfully served one of the country’s most ethnically and demographically diverse congressional districts. Representative Meeks has won the respect of his constituents, the people of New York, and members of both the Democratic and Republican parties for his work on behalf of his district, the state and city of New York, and the country as a whole. He has earned a reputation in the community as a wise, ethical, and skilled leader. Meeks is a staunch supporter of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law under the Obama administration, and thinks it should be strengthened. Meeks is a progressive Democrat who favors economic development. He is a member of the New Democrat Coalition, the House’s most prominent ideological group. He presently serves as a co-chair of the NDCC’s Trade Task Force.
Rep. Meeks, the first African American elected to Congress, is currently the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Meeks is a staunch supporter of multilateralism and has spent many years working in foreign politics. According to him, the United States should form worldwide alliances based on our national interests and work with other countries to achieve a safe and prosperous future for all parties concerned.
He formerly chaired the House Financial Services Committee’s subcommittee on consumer protection and financial institutions. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, and consumer credit and banking sector concerns. Meeks previously served as a conferee in the Dodd-Frank Act debates. The provisions of the Wall Street reform law that Congressman Meeks helped write that are still in effect today include the requirement that US public companies that use natural resources report on their due diligence in stamping out conflict minerals, the requirement for stress testing, and the establishment of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion within financial regulatory agencies. Furthermore, the legislation requires public firms in the United States that utilize natural resources to report on their efforts to eliminate conflict minerals. Rep. Meeks has introduced legislation that would force publicly listed firms and government contractors to declare the racial and ethnic diversity of their corporate boards.
After Hurricane Sandy devastated the Fifth Congressional District, Congressman Meeks has made it a major priority to restore the local economy, generate new employment opportunities, and strengthen the district’s housing, transportation, and environmental infrastructure.
Congressman Meeks has always advocated for more workplace diversity. He successfully pushed for and was awarded a $250,000 federal grant to create the Science, Engineering, Mathematics, and Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) at York College of the City University of New York in 1999. The goal of this school is to increase the number of minority students in various disciplines. The SEMAA program may still be able to teach young people essential life lessons and act as a source of motivation.
In addition to his efforts to improve Jamaica, Congressman Meeks has shown a keen interest in expanding economic prospects in the nearby area of Far Rockaway. As a consequence, Congressman Meeks was pivotal in the historic Roadmap for Action in 2016, which invests $91 million for the rehabilitation of Downtown Far Rockaway. With the help of these funding, Meeks has been able to continue his work to enhance local transportation, create more affordable housing, and promote the local economy.
Furthermore, Congressman Meeks and the City of New York launched the brand new “NYC Boat” ferry service in the Rockaways one month ahead of schedule in the spring of 2017. Representative Meeks was successful in obtaining $15 million in federal financing for this essential project in 2005.
Congressman Meeks has spent years working on legislation to make natural disaster recovery more fair in order to help not just his own district, but also other regions affected by natural disasters.
Congressman Meeks is an active member of the Allen AME Church as well as an Alpha Phi Alpha brother. Meeks is an avid sports enthusiast who spends much of his leisure time watching the teams of New York City. He is married and has children.