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Meet Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II

Photo: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II represents the 5th Congressional District of Missouri. First elected to Congress in 2004, he is completing his seventh term in Congress. Immediately recognized by his peers for his prior elected service, the Congressman was appointed to the exclusive Financial Services Committee, where he serves as the Ranking Member on the Housing Subcommittee.

In Congress, Cleaver has led the efforts to bring civility to the House of Representatives. He has been nationally recognized for being a champion of civility and bipartisanship. His experience and knowledge have been called upon through his service as Co-Chair of the National Prayer Breakfast and is the Past Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

His skills were honed by first serving for three terms on the City Council of Kansas City, Missouri. Cleaver was elected as the City’s first African American Mayor in 1991.

During two terms as Mayor, he distinguished himself as an economic development and job creation expert. He and the City Council brought a number of major corporations to the City, including Harley Davidson, Citi Corp, and TransAmerica.

Also during his tenure as Mayor, he focused on local businesses and worked on significant job-creating efforts including:

  • a new American Royal Arena;
  • replacement of the more than 100 year old Chouteau Bridge;
  • rehabilitating and saving Union Station;
  • restoration of the WWI Liberty Memorial;
  • the reconstruction and beautification of Brush Creek; and
  • the expansion and renovation of Bartle Hall.

The Congressman and his wife, Dianne, along with their four children and five grandchildren, have lived in Kansas City for more than forty years. For thirty-seven of those years, he served as the Senior Pastor at St. James United Methodist Church, a post which one of their sons now holds.

Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees in addition to his Bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M, and a Master’s from the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City.

Congressman Cleaver's Accomplishments