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Fattah, Chaka

Chaka Fattah

1956—

Politician

After serving twelve years in the Pennsylvania state legislature, Chaka Fattah earned a seat in 1995 in the U.S. House of Representatives, where, in 2006, he was elected to his seventh term. During his tenure in the House Fattah has distinguished himself as a champion of educational and housing reform. In July of 2008 he oversaw the bipartisan reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which included funding for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a national college preparatory program for underprivileged high school students that Fattah created in 1998. Also in 2008 Fattah was appointed chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Fattah also serves on the House Appropriations Committee and on the subcommittees on Homeland Security; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; and Energy, Water, and Development.

Even prior to his election to Congress, Fattah demonstrated his commitment to urban issues by organizing national conferences on cities and making proposals to the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton presidential administrations. Aware that he was asking for more federal and state aid to urban areas, at a time when government belt-tightening had become fashionable, Fattah offered passionate arguments for his position. "The majority of Americans live in metropolitan areas, and therefore, are impacted to the degree that as the core decays—crime, poverty, drug abuse—it moves out, it spreads to the suburbs surrounding that core," he commented in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. "So, the suburbs are inextricably tied to the cities, and this beating up on cities is a false political argument.…. The country would be much more productive if we had everyone in the game, if we focused our resources on lifting those boats stuck at the bottom."

Followed Path of Activist Parents

Fattah was born Arthur Davenport, the fourth of six sons of a U.S. Army sergeant named Russell Davenport and a journalist and activist named Frances "Frankee" Brown. His mother worked for the Philadelphia Tribune and as an occasional publicist for musicians such as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. The Davenport marriage failed while Arthur was still young, and his mother became deeply involved in the civil rights movement. At a 1968 national conference on black power, she met a fellow activist named David and married him two months later. Together they founded the magazine Umoja, a Swahili word for unity. They also decided to take new names that would emphasize their African roots. Frankee Brown became Falaka Fattah; Arthur became Chaka Fattah, named after the Zulu warrior Chaka.

For Fattah, the African-inspired name became not only a source of racial pride but also a means by which to establish his individuality. "I think my name is an advantage," Fattah noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. "It makes people pay attention. All ethnic groups in this country have ethnic names.… Had it not been for slavery, my name would have been more African anyway."

As a young teen, Fattah moved with his family to the 1400 block of Frazier Street in West Philadelphia. There his mother began a study of Philadelphia's gang wars for her magazine. When she discovered that another of her sons was a member of a gang, she took an unusual step to keep him off the streets: She invited his whole gang to live in the Frazier Street row house. Fattah's home was suddenly a makeshift hostel for as many as twenty-five youths at a time. "I thought it was great," the congressman remembered in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. "All my older brothers and their friends, they were my idols.… Having more than a dozen people with all kinds of perspectives and experiences—good and bad—was helpful in getting a more dynamic view of life."

Falaka Fattah's personal war on gangs became the House of Umoja, an urban "Boy's Town" that developed into a nationally known youth program. Chaka Fattah himself played a part in the project's success. As the need for space quickly outpaced his mother and stepfather's modest home, he began to eye the twenty-odd abandoned houses on his block that were simply rotting away. It seemed to him that the House of Umoja might expand into some of these empty dwellings if they could be donated to the project. After consulting with his parents—who admired his initiative, but doubted that anyone would listen to him—Chaka produced a slide presentation and written report on his idea and asked to see the president of the First Pennsylvania Bank, which held the mortgages to some of the houses. Fattah was fourteen years old at the time, but Jim Bodine, the bank president, agreed to see him. Bodine was impressed by the earnest young man and his proposal. A few months later the bank turned over several of the properties to Falaka Fattah.

At a Glance …

Born Arthur Davenport on November 21, 1956, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Russell (a U.S. Army sergeant) and Frances Brown (a social activist; now named Falaka Fattah) Davenport; stepson of David Fattah; married second wife, Patricia Renfroe (an attorney); children: (first marriage) Frances, Chaka Jr.; (second marriage) Christian (stepson). Politics: Democrat. Religion: Baptist. Education: Attended Community College of Philadelphia and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; University of Pennsylvania, Fels School for State and Local Government, MA, government administration, 1985; studied at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Career: Office of Housing and Community Development, Philadelphia, PA, special assistant to managing director, 1980-82; Pennsylvania General Assembly, Harrisburg, PA, state representative, 1982-88, state senator, 1988-94; U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC, congressman, 1995—. Former assistant director of House of Umoja, Philadelphia, PA.

Awards: Outstanding Young Leader Award, Philadelphia Jaycees, 1995; Outstanding contribution award, Pennsylvania House of Representatives; Simpson Fletcher Award for religion and race; State Legislator of the Year Award, Pennsylvania Public Interest Coalition; Excellence in Education Award for distinguished service, Philadelphia Board of Education.

Addresses: Offices—(2nd District Office) 4104 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; (Capitol Office) 2301 Rayburn House Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20515.

Gained Interest in Politics

Fattah became interested in politics while he was a student at Shoemaker Junior High School in Philadelphia. He signed on as a campaign volunteer for mayoral candidate Hardy Williams and learned grassroots politicking by handing out leaflets, tacking up posters, and cheering at rallies. After his parents founded the House of Umoja, Fattah met influential congressman Bill Gray, who helped them to secure a federal grant to fix up the abandoned houses they had received from the bank. Fattah supported Gray through some of his early campaigns, and the two remained friends. As a student at Overbrook High School, Fattah helped to organize the Youth Movement to Clean Up Politics, a junior wing of the black political movement aimed at ousting the old-style, white-run Democratic machine in Philadelphia. Fattah and his friend, Curtis Jones, participated in voter registration drives and helped black constituents to get to the polls on Election Day in an effort to give citizens in their community more power over the political process.

Fattah decided to run for elected office himself. In 1978 he persuaded Jones to join him as a candidate for city commissioners. The commissioners' race was a citywide contest in which the top two vote-getters from each party face off for three open slots. Tens of thousands of votes would be required for either Fattah or Jones to win a position. Undaunted, the two young men found a benefactor who bought each of them a business suit and dress shoes. A local printing company, called the Resistance Press, printed their campaign flyers at cost. With the Youth Movement behind them, the pair raised about $7,000 and posed together for a poster in which they appeared pushing brooms—as if to imply they would sweep the established candidates out of office. So persistent were the two young men that they won endorsements from the Philadelphia Inquirer and its rival, the Philadelphia Bulletin. On election day Fattah placed fourth in a field of twenty-four Democrats. Only after the election did anyone bother to find out his age—at twenty-two, he was three years too young even to qualify for the commissioner's job.

Reflecting on those days, Fattah observed in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine: "We had a lot of fun, we got to see the city and meet a lot of people. It was the foundation for the beginning of a political organization that has a great deal of credibility in Philadelphia today." Fattah learned from his experience in the commissioners' campaign. For his next try at public office, he assembled an effective grassroots team from block captains to wards and district leaders. These volunteers helped him spread his message in door-to-door fashion and provided him with enthusiastic teams of helpers at special events in the city. According to Vanessa Williams in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Fattah went on to establish "one of the city's most effective independent political operations." Williams added that Fattah had the services of "an almost unlimited supply of talent, time, and tenacity" among his many volunteers. Indeed, high-ranking workers in any Fattah campaign were asked to sign "mission statements" in which they pledge to work diligently and display "intelligence," "initiative," and "caring."

In 1982 Fattah—who was then working for Philadelphia's Housing and Community Development office—announced his plans to run for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. It was the first of many occasions when the maverick Fattah would challenge the veteran politicians in the Democratic Party. Fattah won a seat in the state House of Representatives by fifty-eight votes over Nicholas Pucciarelli, an established politician with a widespread power base. At age twenty-five, Fattah became the youngest person ever elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. As he learned the process of shaping state government, Fattah also completed his education, earning a master's degree in government administration from the Fels School for State and Local Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

Fattah served as a state representative until 1988, when he won an election for state senator in the Seventh District, comprising parts of West and North Philadelphia, East Falls, Germantown, and Manayunk. By the time he assumed his senate seat, Fattah was a seasoned lawmaker with the education and experience to handle politics in Harrisburg. In an arena where hundreds of pieces of legislation are proposed in any given term, Fattah saw seven bills he had sponsored become law, including a job-training bill, an act that toughened regulation of for-profit trade schools, and an act intended to protect the rights of people without credit cards.

With Fattah's new responsibilities also came increased publicity for his ideas—and he had plenty of them. It was Fattah who in 1990 persuaded more than twenty corporations, colleges, and foundations to make advance payments on their city wage taxes in order to help Philadelphia meet its payroll when funds ran short. Fattah crusaded against high-rise public housing projects, launching a campaign to relocate families from the grim public apartment complexes in the city to rehabilitated single-family neighborhood homes. The audacious state senator also proposed a Big City Initiative, challenging the federal government to invest $100 billion per year for ten years to rebuild one hundred of the nation's largest cities. The proposal won Fattah an invitation to the White House to discuss the issue with an aide to then-president George H. W. Bush. Fattah also organized a 1992 national conference during which urban officials from all over the country described their ideas about fixing America's crumbling cities.

Won Seat in Congress and Ran for Mayor

State Senator Fattah's interests were obviously leaping beyond the bounds of his Philadelphia senatorial district. In 1991 no one was particularly surprised when he announced himself as a candidate to fill the congressional seat vacated suddenly by his old mentor, Bill Gray. Fattah was one of three candidates in a special congressional election held that year. In the race he finished a distant second to Lucien Blackwell, a "longtime party warhorse," according to Williams. Blackwell finished the rest of Gray's term and won a subsequent term as well. In 1994 Fattah challenged him again. Williams described the primary election, held on May 10, 1994: "Fattah and his machine emerged like a stealth bomber. He annihilated Blackwell, beating him by 16 percentage points. And in November, when a [Republican] GOP [Grand Old Party] juggernaut crushed Democrats from coast to coast, Chaka Fattah defied the trend: He won his seat with 85 percent of the vote, the largest margin of victory for any incoming freshman in [the 1995] Congress."

Just a few years after winning his seat, Fattah gained national prominence when he developed GEAR UP, his college readiness program for low-income students in seventh through twelfth grades. The legislation was signed into law in 1998 and went on to become a hallmark grant and scholarship program of the U.S. Department of Education. According to Fattah's congressional Web site, GEAR UP has served millions of students in impoverished urban areas, contributing, as of 2008, at least $2 billion in grant and scholarship money. In keeping with his interest in developing educational opportunities for inner-city youths, Fattah created two subsequent educational aid programs: the CORE (College Opportunity Resources for Education) Philly Scholarship and the College Retention Program. The former offers scholarships to low-income Philadelphia students attending Pennsylvania state colleges and universities, while the latter is a financial assistance program that offers resources such as work-study opportunities and low-interest loans to help students continue their educations.

In 2006 Fattah announced his intention to run for mayor of Philadelphia the following year, despite his popularity as a representative and the fact that he had just been reelected to serve another term. Fattah ran on a platform promising to lower both crime—at the time Philadelphia was experiencing an average of one murder per day—and poverty and to clean up corruption in the mayoral office after the convictions of twelve members of the administration of Philadelphia's Mayor John Street. Initially Fattah was the frontrunner in the race, but his public statement regarding his belief that Mumia Abu-Jamal, who had served twenty-five years on death row for the murder of a police officer in 1981, should be granted a new trial due to widespread controversy over the fairness of the original trial drew the ire of many, including Philadelphia's Fraternal Order of Police. Despite receiving support from former president Bill Clinton and the endorsement of Senator Barack Obama, Fattah's campaign was plagued by charges of corruption similar to that of the administration he sought to replace. In the end, Fattah finished a disappointing third and returned to his seat in the House.

Sources

Periodicals

Associated Press, May 7, 2007.

Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25, 1991, p. 1B; October 29, 1991, p.8A; January 16, 1993, p.1B; May 12, 1994, p. 1B; January 5, 1995, pp. 9A, 15A.

Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, January 15, 1995, pp. 23-28.

Philadelphia Magazine, February 1992, pp. 49-53.

Washington Post, May 16, 2007.

Online

Congressman Chaka Fattah, 2nd District of Pennsylvania, http://www.house.gov/fattah/index.htm (accessed August 11, 2008).

"Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)," U.S. Department of Education, http://www.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html (accessed August 11, 2008).

—Anne Janette Johnson and Nancy Dziedzic

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Fattah, Chaka 1956—

Chaka Fattah 1956

Politician

Social Activism Brings a Name Change

Politics Was Fun

State Senator with National Vision

Ambition Is an Asset

Sources

The Republican party may have won a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, but a seat was still found for a liberal named Chaka Fattah. The freshman Democratic congressman from Philadelphia is a lawmaker who has advanced through the rocky terrain of Philadelphia politics without help from party or celebrity endorsements. In a year of unprecedented Republican gains in Congress, Fattah won 85 percent of the bote in his district on a platform that is brimming with liberal ideology. Nevertheless, he is viewed as an independent thinker who is willing to listen to any serious discussion of the issues. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Acel Moore described Fattah as a seasoned legislator and a skillful politician who has earned the respect and support of a diverse group of constituents from his Second Congressional District. Moore concluded that Fattah has an impressive record and has established expertise in housing and education issues and has a reputation of being bright, thoughtful, and innovative about urban issues. Fattah wants to be a shaper of urban public policy.

Even prior to his election to Congress, Fattah has demonstrated his commitment to the issue by organizing national conferences on cities and making proposals to the Bush and Clinton presidential administrations. Aware that he is asking for more federal and state aid to urban areas--at a time when government belt--tightening has become fashionable, the new Philadelphia congressman offers passionate arguments for his position. The majority of Americans live in metropolitan areas, and therefore, are impacted to the degree that as the core decays-crime, poverty, drug abuse--it moves out, it spreads to the suburbs surrounding that core, he commented in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. So, the suburbs are inextricably tied to the cities, and this beating up on cities is a false political argument. The country would be much more productive if we had everyone in the game, if we focused our resources on lifting those boats stuck at the bottom.

Social Activism Brings a Name Change

Chaka Fattah was born Arthur Davenport, the fourth of six sons of a U.S. Army sergeant named Russell Davenport and a journalist named Frances Frankee Brown.

At a Glance

Bom Arthur Davenport, November 21, 1956, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Russell (a U.S. Army sergeant) and Frances (a social activist; now named Falaka Fattah) Davenport; married, second wifes name Patricia Renfroe (an attorney); children; (first marriage) Frances, Chaka Jr.; (second marriage) Christian (stepson). Education: Attended Community College of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Community Education Program; University of Pennsylvania, Fels School for State and Local Government, M.A., 1985. Religion: Baptist.

Office of Housing and Community Development, Philadelphia, PA, special assistant to managing director, 1980-82; Pennsylvania General Assembly, Harrisburg, PA, state representative, 1982-88, state senator, 1988-94; U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC, congressman, 1995. Former assistant director of House of Umoja, Philadelphia, PA.

Selected awards Pennsylvania House of Representatives outstanding contribution award Simpson Fletcher Award for religion and race.

Addresses: Home Philadelphia, PA.Office 1205 Long-worth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515-3802.

His mother worked for the Philadelphia Tribune and as an occasional publicist for musicians such as Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. The Davenport marriage failed while Arthur was still young, and his mother became deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement. At a 1968 national conference on black power, she met a fellow activist named David and married him two months later. Together they founded the magazine Umoja, a Swahili word for unity. The couple also decided to take new names that would emphasize their African roots. Frankee Brown became Falaka Fattah; her fourth son became Chaka Fattah, named after the Zulu warrior Chaka.

I think my name is an advantage, Fattah noted in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. It makes people pay attention. All ethnic groups in this country have ethnic names. Had it not been for slavery, my name would have been more African anyway. In another era, a name like Chaka Fattah may have been a political liability, but in the days of such political figures as Kweisi Mfume of Maryland, Julius Caesar Watts of Oklahoma, and Newt Gingrich of Georgia, a unique name is becoming a handy political tool. For Fattah, the African-inspired name is not only a source of racial pride, it is also a means by which to establish his individuality.

As a young teen, Fattah moved with his family to the 1400 block of Frazier Street in West Philadelphia. There his mother began a study of Philadelphias gang wars for her magazine. When she discovered that another of her sons was member of a gang, she took a drastic step to keep him off the streets-she invited his whole gang to live in the Frazier Street rowhouse. Fattahs home was suddenly a makeshift hostel for as many as 25 youths at a time. I thought it was great, the congressman remembered in Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. All my older brothers and their friends, they were my idols. Having more than a dozen people with all kinds of perspectives and experiences--good and bad--was helpful in getting a more dynamic view of life.

Falaka Fattahs personal war on gangs became the House of Umoja, an urban Boys Town that has developed into a nationally-known youth program. Chaka Fattah himself played a part in the projects success. As the need for space quickly outpaced his parents modest home, he began to eye the 20-odd abandoned houses in his block that were simply rotting away. It seemed to him that the House of Umoja might expand into some of these empty dwellings if they could be donated to the project. After consulting with his parents--who admired his initiative, but doubted that anyone would listen to him--Chaka produced a slide presentation and written report on his idea and asked to see the president of the First Pennsylvania Bank, which held the mortgages to some of the houses. Fattah was 14 at the time, but Jim Bodine, the bank president, agreed to see him. The bank president was impressed by the earnest young man and his proposal. A few months later, the bank turned several of the properties over to Falaka Fattah.

Politics Was Fun

Fattah became interested in politics while he was a student at Shoemaker Junior High School in Philadelphia. He signed on as a campaign volunteer for mayoral candidate, Hardy Williams, and learned grass-roots politicking by handing out leaflets, tacking up posters, and cheering at rallies. Later, when his parents founded the House of Umoja, Fattah met influential congressman Bill Gray, who helped them to secure a federal grant to fix-up the abandoned houses they needed for their project. Fattah supported Gray through some of his early campaigns, and the two have remained friends ever since. As a student at Overbrook High School, Fattah helped to organize the Youth Movement to Clean Up Politics, a junior wing of the black political movement aimed at ousting the old-style, white-run Democratic machine in Philadelphia. Fattah and his friend, Curtis Jones, participated in voter registration drives and helped black constituents to get to the polls on election day in an effort to give citizens in their community more power over the political process.

Fattah decided to run for elected office himself. He persuaded Jones to join him as a candidate for city commissioners. The commissioners race is a city wide contest in which the top two vote-getters from each party face-off for three open slots. Tens of thousands of votes would be required for either Fattah or Jones to win a position. Undaunted, the two young men found a benefactor who bought each of them a business suit and dress shoes. A local printing company, called the Resistance Press, printed their campaign flyers at cost. With the Youth Movement behind them, the pair raised about $7,000 and posed together for a poster in which they appeared pushing brooms--as if to imply they would sweep the established candidates out of office. So persistent were the two young men that they won endorsements from the Philadelphia Inquirer and its rival thePhiladelphia Bulletin. On election day, Fattah placed fourth in a field of 24 Democrats. Only after the election did anyone bother to find out his age--at 22, he was three years too young even to qualify for the commissioners job.

Reflecting on those day, Fattah observed in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine: We had a lot of fun, we got to see the city and meet a lot of people. It was the foundation for the beginning of a political organization that has a great deal of credibility in Philadelphia today. Fattah learned from his experience in the commissioners campaign. For his next try at public office, he assembled an effective grass-roots team from block captains to wards and district leaders. These volunteers helped him spread his message in door-to-door fashion and provided him with enthusiastic teams of helpers at special events in the city. According to Vanessa Williams in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Fattah has since established one of the citys most effective independent political operations. Williams added that Fattah has the services of an almost unlimited supply of talent, time, and tenacity among his many volunteers. Indeed, high-ranking workers in any Fattah campaign are asked to sign mission statements in which they pledge to work diligently and display intelligence, initiative, and caring.

In 1982, Fattah--who was then working for Philadelphias Housing and Community Development officeannounced his plans to run for the Pennsylvania General Assembly. It was the first of many occasions when the maverick Fattah would challenge the veteran politicians in the Democratic party. Fattah won a seat in the state House of Representatives by 58 votes over Nicholas Pucciarelli, an established politician with a widespread power base. At 25, Chaka Fattah became the youngest person ever elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. As he learned the process of shaping state government, Fattah also completed his education, earning a masters degree in government administration from the Fels School for State and Local Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

State Senator with National Vision

Fattah served as a state representative until 1988, when he won an election for state senator in the Seventh District, comprising parts of West and North Philadelphia, East Falls, Germantown, and Manayunk. By the time he assumed his senate seat, Fattah was a seasoned lawmaker with the education and experience to handle politics in Harrisburg. In an arena where hundreds of pieced of legislation are proposed in any given term, Fattah saw seven bills he had sponsored become law, including a job-training bill, an act that toughened regulation of for-profit trade schools, and an act intended to protect the rights of people without credit cards.

With Fattahs new responsibilities also came increased publicity for his ideas--and he had plenty of them. It was Fattah, who in 1990 persuaded more than 20 corporations, colleges, and foundations to make advance payments on their city wage taxes in order to help Philadelphia meet its payroll when funds ran short. Fattah crusaded against high-rise public housing projects, launching a campaign to relocate families from the grim public apartment complexes in the city to rehabilitated single-family neighborhood homes. The audacious state senator also proposed a Big City Initiative, challenging the federal government to invest $100 billion per year for ten years to rebuild 100 of the nations largest cities. The proposal won Fattah an invitation to the White House to discuss the issue with an aide to then-president George Bush. Fattah also organized a 1992 national conference during which urban officials from all over the country described their ideas about fixing Americas crumbling cities.

State Senator Chaka Fattahs interests were obviously leaping beyond the bounds of his Philadelphia senatorial district. No one was particularly surprised in 1991, when he announced himself as a candidate to fill the congressional seat vacated suddenly by his old mentor, Bill Gray. Fattah was one of three candidates in a special congressional election held that year. In the race he finished a distant second to Lucien Blackwell, a longtime party warhorse, to quote Williams. Blackwell finished the rest of Grays term and won a subsequent term as well. In 1994, Fattah challenged him again. Williams described the primary election, held on May 10, 1994: Fattah and his machine emerged like a stealth bomber. He annihilated Blackwell, beating him by 16 percentage points. And in November, when a [Republican] GOP [Grand Old Party] juggernaut crushed Democrats from coast to coast, Chaka Fattah defied the trend: He won his seat with 85 percent of the vote, the largest margin of victory for any incoming freshman in [the 1995] Congress.

Ambition Is an Asset

Those who have criticized Fattah claim that he has put his personal ambitions ahead of Democratic party protocol. His challenge to the popular Lucien Blackwell was deemed premature, and he is still viewed by some Philadelphia Democrats as being too independent-minded. Ambition can be a cross or a crown--and more often than not its both, Fattah explained in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. Yeah, Im ambitious. I think theres nobody in politics who is not ambitious. The question is, What has my ambition and other positive and negative attributes been able to produce in terms of results? He added: Its funny how people admire ambition in most professional circumstances. People who are ambitious in business create companies, in journalism they win Pulitzer Prizes. In politics we win elections.

As a Democrat passionately involved in urban revitalization, Fattah joins a Congress expected to propose a veritable landslide of conservative, cost-cutting legislation. The congressman from Philadelphias Second District has revealed that he plans to work hard for his agenda, whether it be from a majority or minority position. Im not at all in awe of the Republican majority, he confided to the Philadelphia Inquirer. I believe that the only majority that counts is the majority of American people who want change. Elsewhere in the Philadelphia Inquirer he concluded: I would like to be in the majority, but I dont feel handcuffed in terms of my ability to do anything because Im in the minority. Hey, Ive been a minority all my life. Lets get it on.

Sources

Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25, 1991, p. 1B; October 29, 1991, p. 8A; January 16, 1993, p. 1B; May 12, 1994, p. 1B; January 5, 1995, pp. 9A, 15A.

Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, January 15, 1995, pp. 23-28.

Philadelphia Magazine, February 1992, pp. 49-53.

Anne Janette Johnson

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"Fattah, Chaka 1956—." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Fattah, Chaka 1956—." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/fattah-chaka-1956

"Fattah, Chaka 1956—." Contemporary Black Biography. . Retrieved November 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/fattah-chaka-1956