Jeffries: A Skilled and Trusted Leader Devoted to Environmental Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Democrats elected Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York to become their leader, the first Black American to head a major political party in Congress.

Manish Bapna, president and CEO of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), made the following statement:

“The people’s house tells an American story. Rep. Jeffries is writing a vital new chapter: a descendant of enslaved Americans leading a major party in Congress at a moment of generational change, extraordinary challenge, and boundless opportunity.

“The resounding support that rallied around him is a tribute to his habit of listening to others and building consensus among a diverse caucus. His rise as the head of a new generation of leadership speaks to the confidence he’s engendered across all age groups. The mantle he’s been entrusted to bear reflects his commitment to environmental justice, democracy and the Constitution.

“His policymaking and political skills have been instrumental in the landmark legislation enacted over the past two years to help the nation recover from a brutal pandemic, rebuild aging infrastructure, invest in a manufacturing renaissance, and confront the climate crisis. He can be counted on to tap those abilities, and more, as he helps shape House action to build on those gains while the Congress, and the nation, face a promising yet uncertain future, at home and abroad.”

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.