For the first time in years, Crown Heights’ representative in Congress, Yvette Clarke, will face a Democratic challenger for reelection.
Crown Heights resident Adem Bunkeddeko, 29, kicked off his campaign this week to unseat Rep. Yvette Clarke from the Ninth Congressional District, which she’s represented since 2006. Before her time in Congress, Clarke served on the City Council in Flatbush, following in the footsteps of her mother, Una Clarke, a long-serving councilwoman from the same district.
As is common in deep-blue Brooklyn, Rep. Clarke has faced little opposition in election campaigns since taking office 11 years ago. But Bunkeddeko — a Harvard-educated native New Yorker with experience in community organizing and nonprofit work — is hoping to change that in the 2018 election.
Born and raised in Queens by parents who fled war-torn Uganda in the 1980s, Bunkeddeko has spent the bulk of his adult life in Brooklyn, working as a political organizer and campaign worker after college. He then had a brief stint in the banking world before moving on to work at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the Empire State Development Corporation and most recently Brooklyn Community Services. He is also a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 8.