Congressman Hansen Clarke was elected to represent the 13th Congressional District of the United States House of Representatives in November 2010. The district covers the East Side of Detroit, Harper Woods, all the Grosse Pointes, Ecorse, Lincoln Park, River Rouge, and Wyandotte.
Born and raised in the 13th Congressional District, Congressman Hansen Clarke spent most of his life on the lower eastside of Detroit. As the son of an African-American mother and Indian father, he was exposed to diverse experiences and ways of thinking. His mother, Thelma Clarke, was a school crossing guard, and his father, Mozaffar Ali Hashim, was an UAW member who worked in the Ford foundry. Hansen’s mother raised him as a single parent after his father died when Hansen was only eight years old.
Recognizing that her son had a gift for the arts, Thelma Clarke secured private lessons for him at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Based on his artistic talent, Mr. Clarke received a scholarship from Cornell University where he graduated with a degree in fine arts. At Cornell, he was elected to the student seat on the University Board of Trustees. Congressman Clarke worked to ensure that Cornell provided financial aid to students whose families needed assistance. He later earned his law degree from Georgetown Law School.
After passing the Michigan Bar, Mr. Clarke returned to Detroit and dedicated his career to public service. He has worked on the staff of Wayne County Executive Edward H. McNamara and U.S. Representative John Conyers. Mr. Clarke was elected three times to the Michigan House of Representatives and twice to the Michigan Senate.
Congressman Clarke is married to Choi Palms-Cohen.