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Rangel: 'I will seek re-election in the new 13th congressional district

Rep. Charles Rangel | 3/22/2012, 2:10 p.m.
The court has spoken. I have full confidence that those who have made the decision...
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The court has spoken. I have full confidence that those who have made the decision did the best they could for my constituents and the people of New York to protect their voice and representation, as guaranteed by the Voting Rights Act. I am formally announcing again, and after talking with my county leaders, political and community leaders, that I will seek reelection in the new 13th congressional district.

Over the years, I have been privileged to receive the broad-based support of so many friends and neighbors in our Manhattan congressional district. I am proud of the resources that I have been able to bring to Harlem and our community. I hope to continue representing the people I have been honored to serve in Congress and earn the support of my new constituents in the newly drawn district.

A little over 40 years ago, I ran for Congress because I believed I could make a difference in our community and country. Since then, much has changed--technology is making the world smaller, we are competing in a global economy and America is still in recovery--which is the reason I have decided to continue using my experience and influence to help improve the lives of people in our district and America.

Whether by securing hundreds of million dollars for the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone or expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for millions of American families across the country, I have always been committed to fighting for the little guy.

As the third most senior member in the House and as chairman emeritus of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, I will be able to maintain my strong track record of passing significant pieces of legislation. For our community, I have been able to secure millions of dollars from the Recovery Act fund and millions more in grants to revive the Taino Towers, 125th Street corridor, Harlem Pier, La Marqueta, El Museo del Barrio, Borinquen Health Care Center, Renaissance Ballroom and Small's Paradise, Frederick Douglass Memorial Circle, East River Plaza Mall, New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Harlem Hospital Center Modernization Project and the Apollo Theater, just to name a few.

In addition, I spearheaded the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which generates investments in low- and moderate-income housing construction and rehabilitation. This permanent program is responsible for the most affordable housing construction nationwide in the last decade, including more than 5,000 apartment units in Upper Manhattan.

I have never lost my conviction to leaving this world a better place than when I entered it, both in life and in Congress. One of my most recent accomplishments was as a prime contributor to the new health care law, in which as chairman I was able to push the bill out of the Ways and Means Committee. Also under my chairmanship, I oversaw the increase of the federal minimum wage, as well as small business tax cuts, and authored the Haiti Economic Lift Program Act and the Haiti Relief bill.

I have always been a leading supporter of improving U.S. trade preference programs, including the General System of Preferences, the Caribbean Basin Initiative programs, Andean trade preference programs and the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

While I am very proud of the many positive contributions I have made, there remains much work left for me to do. In addition to helping President Barack Obama pass his jobs bill, improve our health care system and provide affordable housing for working families and quality education for our students, there are numerous services I would like to keep providing my constituents, such as the Rangel Career Fair and the Social Security Fair that I recently hosted in our district.

I will stand up with President Obama to push against Republican threats to cut valuable programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention unemployment insurance. I will keep working hard to make my new constituents proud.

Just as President Obama needs more time to get our country back on track, my job in Congress is not done. I will continue to fight hard for what's at stake: the very fabric of our community and the future of our country.