Hansen Clarke’s Story

Congressman Hansen Clarke represented the 13th Congressional District of Michigan for the 112th Congress.  He previously served in the Michigan Senate and Michigan House of Representatives.

Congressman Clarke was born, raised, and currently lives with his wife on Detroit’s east side.  As a member of Congress, he worked toward a vision for America where every person has a fair chance to reach his or her potential.  Clarke is the only child of an African-American mother from Detroit and immigrant father from India, now Bangladesh.

Rep. Clarke led the effort in Congress to cut student loan debt for millions of Americans by authoring the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012.  This bill inspired a national movement, including a petition supporting his legislation that received more than one million signatures.

Clarke fought foreclosures to save family homes and neighborhoods.  He established himself as one of the nation’s strongest advocates for struggling homeowners and distressed communities with the Save Our Neighborhoods Act, a bill that would allow many homeowners to stay in their homes by suspending the foreclosure process and reducing their mortgage principal.

Hansen championed initiatives to increase investment in the City of Detroit which resulted in millions of dollars of federal assistance being awarded to the city and the region.

He won approval in Congress to increase funding to improve nutrition for low-income families, provide housing for homeless veterans, and better equip and staff local police, fire, and emergency medical providers to bolster homeland security.

Clarke worked to reduce crime and restore hope by addressing the urgent crisis of illiteracy among African-American and Hispanic men.  He co-authored a bipartisan resolution initiating national action for literacy.  Rep. Clarke also introduced the first federal legislation to “Ban the Box,” which would prohibit unfair discrimination against job applicants with certain criminal backgrounds.


Hansen Clarke’s Public Service

  • Elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1990
  • Re-elected to the Michigan House in 1998 and 2000
  • Elected to the Michigan Senate in 2002
  • Re-elected to the Senate in 2006
  • Elected to U.S. House of Representatives in 2010
  • Served on Committee on Homeland Security and Committee on Science, Space and Technology
    • 196 co-sponsored bills, 3 made into law

Sponsored Legislation-112th Congress

  • H.R. 4848- Save Our Neighborhoods Act of 2012 – to save neighborhoods and keep families in their homes by encouraging mortgage loan modifications and suspending foreclosures and evictions.
  • H.R. 4308 – Detroit Growth and Stability Act of 201 2– to provide $500 million in federal aid for Detroit.
  • H.R. 4170 – Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 – to increase purchasing power, strengthen economic recovery, and restore fairness in financing higher education in the United States through student loan forgiveness, caps on interest rates on Federal student loans, and refinancing opportunities for private borrowers.
  • H.R. 3462 – to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to make tuition payments for veterans enrolled in institutions of higher learning who are receiving assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program by not later than the tuition due date for the quarter, semester, or term.
  • H.R. 2920 – Detroit Jobs Trust Fund Act – to divert federal taxes collected in Detroit into a fund for long-term economic development of the city and suspend most local taxes during the five-year term of the program.
  • H.R. 2890 – to expand homeland security at public water systems and treatment works by allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to include these facilities in the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program.
  • H.Res. 365 – to express the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should cut the United States’ true debt burden by reducing home mortgage balances, forgiving student loans, and bringing down overall personal debt.
  • H.Res. 331 – to express the sense of the House of Representatives that the President should immediately reassess the United States mission in Afghanistan and redirect funding to strengthen homeland security, to create jobs, and to reduce the Federal deficit and debt.
  • H.AMDT.370 to H.R.2017-Amendment strikes the provison that limits the Urban Areas Security Initiative to the top 10 urban areas by risk. Passed on 6/2/2011 by recorded vote: 273 – 150 (Roll no. 389).
  • H.AMDT.426 to H.R.2112– Amendment increases funding for the Women, Infants and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program by $5 million offset by a reduction in the Departmental Administration account by a similar amount.Passed on 6/14/2011 by voice vote.


Hansen is still an avid artist and supporter of the arts. Hansen draws and paints in watercolors. In 2007, Hansen married Choi Palms-Cohen.