You may not know Chaka Fattah but you should. Fattah has helped more than 25 million individuals through programs and initiatives he has created since being elected to public office three decades ago. He is currently serving his 10th term in the U. S. House of Representatives, where he has fought to make education more accessible to low-income students, and increase the number of college-going students nationwide. Beloved in his district, in his last election, Fattah received 318, 176 votes – more than anyone else in the history of the U. S. House of Representatives.
Below are 10 other things you should know about the public servant.
- In 1983, at 25, Fattah became the youngest person ever elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where he served six years.
- He was later elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 1988, where he spent another six years before winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994.
- Fattah has received honorary degrees from 10 universities, including Drexel and Lincoln University.
- He is the architect of GEAR UP, a program signed into law by President Clinton in 1998 that prepares low-income students for college by providing academic support and financial awareness. Over 12 million students have been served by the GEAR UP program. Policy experts point to GEAR UP as one of the most innovative educational programs on record.
- With education as a signature issue, Fattah also created CORE Philadelphia, a scholarship program which offers college financial assistance to thousands of Philadelphia-area students. To date, CORE has awarded 17,000 students more than $28 million in scholarships.
- He also founded the Fattah Conference on Higher Education more than 20 years ago. The program has provided more than $33 million in scholarships to minority graduate students.
- In 2011, he created the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative which coordinates federal agencies to promote medical research in the areas of brain development, disease and injury.
- Congressman Fattah’s most significant legislative achievements—GEAR UP and the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative—were all achieved when Republicans had legislative control of Congress.
- Rep. Fattah is a senior member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for allocating over $1 trillion in government funds annually.
- The Congressman is married to Renee Chenault-Fattah and has four children. She is a news anchor at NBC 10 in Philadelphia.
Learn more about Congressman Chaka Fattah in the first installment of the Reality Radio “Living History” segment by Cathy Hughes.