|Name||Richard "Dick" Gephardt|
St. Louis, Missouri , United States
|| January 31, 1941
Jul 27, 2007 03:14pm
Caucasian - German - Liberal - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Choice - Pro-Labor - U.S. Army - Baptist - Straight -
|Info||Dick Gephardt grew up in the same working class neighborhood on the south side of St. Louis, Missouri, that he represents today in the U.S. Congress. |
Gephardt's father, a milk truck driver and Teamster, taught him the value of hard work. His mother, a secretary, taught him an appreciation for the value of community and caring about the needs and aspirations of others. While his parents didn't finish high school, they instilled in him a lifelong desire to strive and succeed.
Gephardt was able to continue his education past high school with the help of a church scholarship and student loans. Shortly after Gephardt graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Michigan Law School, he began a career in public service as a grassroots organizer in St. Louis politics.
Elected Alderman in 1971, Gephardt learned firsthand how government policies could help or hinder the working families he represented. He saw how families, senior citizens, small business owners, and others yearned to have lawmakers who would listen to them, care about their circumstances, and commit to working on their behalf.
From the very beginning, Gephardt understood that Democrats could be counted on to give people a fair opportunity, to defend Social Security and Medicare, and to make sure that government worked for the many, instead of the few.
Now, after 26 years in the Congress, Gephardt is an accomplished lawmaker and leader in the Democratic Party. Passionately committed to raising the level of debate in American politics, Gephardt has forcefully spoken of the need to put aside the "politics of personal destruction" and instead focus on the issues central to America's future.
In 1989, Gephardt was elected to be the House Democratic Leader. Among his most notable accomplishments was House passage of President Clinton's economic plan to slash the deficit, invest in education, cut taxes for working families and ask the wealthy to pay their fair share.
As the Democratic leader, Gephardt steered this initiative to passage without a single Republican vote. The GOP asserted it was a job killer, but in fact this economic plan led to the single longest economic expansion in history, the highest home ownership ever, the lowest inflation in a generation and over 24 million new jobs.
Gephardt has also used his leadership role in the U.S. Congress to:
Raise the minimum wage
Defeat Republican efforts to roll back affirmative action
Pass the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation
Include labor and environmental standards in U.S. trade agreements
Block White House efforts to roll back arsenic standards in drinking water
Win passage of environmental legislation to clean up Brownfield sites
Secure protections for family farms
A fiercely loyal Cardinals fan and Rams booster, Gephardt is an avid sports enthusiast. He has been married to Jane Gephardt for 36 years, and they are the parents of three children: Matt, a software developer; Chrissy, a social worker; and Kate, a teacher.
Health care for all
Our goal must be to provide every American with quality health care coverage.
The Bush economic plan offers tax cuts for the wealthy; if we help working families, we will help ALL Americans.
Defending our schools
Efforts to "leave no child behind" won't work when our school budgets are being slashed; we must re-think priorities.
Dr. King's dream
Democrats must protect diversity by supporting affirmative action.
Don't privatize Social Security!
Republicans want to privatize the greatest retirement security program ever conceived; we must stop them.
Fighting for America's working families
Dad was a milk truck driver, and mom was a legal secretary. Dick Gephardt has never forgotten the values of working families.
Hard work over a lifetime should be rewarded with safety and security in your retirement years.
Dependence on foreign oil is hurting our economy and our national security; we need renewable energy solutions.
International minimum wage
We can protect American jobs by promoting a liveable wage and human dignity in every country.
Medical malpractice insurance
Control medical insurance rates by reforming the medical insurance industry, not limiting access to justice.