Eliot's extraordinary story has lifted him from a NYC housing project to becoming a leader in the U.S. Congress.
From teacher and guidance counselor to State Assembly then on to the halls of Congress
He is the son of an ironworker and a homemaker, born in the Bronx and raised in public housing. Eliot’s family instilled in him a love of country and the importance for community service. After attending New York City public schools, Eliot earned a BA degree from Hunter-Lehman College, followed by an MA degree from Lehman College of the City University of New York. He later attended New York Law School part-time, earning his law degree at night.
Eliot began his career as a teacher, then a guidance counselor in New York City public schools in the South Bronx.
He became active in his community, working with activist groups and neighborhood organizations to improve peoples’ lives. With his dedication, talent and enthusiasm Eliot quickly became a leader in the community, with a reputation for getting things done. Years later, the Wall Street Journal would go on to call Eliot the ”Mayor of his District” because of his community work as a Congressman.
His community involvement led Eliot to become a candidate for State Assembly in a 1977 Special Election. As an independent reform Democrat, he ran as a third-party candidate defeating the handpicked candidate of the old Bronx Democratic Party machine and a Republican.
Eliot realized he could do even more for people on the Federal level. In 1988 was elected to Congress, again as an independent reform Democrat. He has dedicated his time in Congress to pursuing progressive values, driven by a true commitment to humanity, justice and equality.
He has earned a reputation as an effective Member
of Congress who knows how to get results. Eliot’s record of achievement resulted in him being named one of the “The Top Ten Most Effective Democratic Member of Congress” for two Congresses in a row by the independent Center for Effective Lawmaking at Vanderbilt University and University of Virginia.
Eliot is Chair of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, as well as its Subcommittee on Health.
He has worked to bring millions in Federal funds for our communities: New senior housing has been built, education improved, critical repairs have been made to our schools, bridges have been constructed and streets repaired, our mass transit has been improved, community health care services expanded and preserved, and funds secured for flood control and for our police and fire departments. Eliot’s work is making a difference for the people of our Congressional District. Eliot’s commitment to serve the people he represents is so strong he has taken the unusual steps of having his Chief of Staff work in the district rather than in Washington, DC.
He has offices in the Bronx and Westchester to help people and communities solve problems. Hundreds of community issues have been solved and thousands of people have been assisted. Eliot believes that every problem solved, whether large or small, improves all of our lives.
Eliot wants everyone to live the American Dream and that is what he is working for in Congress. He is dedicated to creating a world where we can all live in peace and security, regardless of the color of our skin, who we love, how we worship, or our gender.
Eliot has earned 100% ratings during his work in Congress from such diverse groups the:
- Alliance for Retired Americans
- Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- League of Conservation Voters
- Human Rights Campaign
- Planned Parenthood
- American Public Health Association
- Disabled American Veterans
And he has an “A” rating from End Citizens United and the NAACP
Eliot’s numerous honors include:
- Congressional Defender of Women’s Rights Award from WCLA-Choice Matters
- AJC Congressional Leadership Award
- Outstanding Public Service Award – Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Board AFL-CIO
- Community Health Campion Award – Bronx Community Health Network
- Outstanding Political Leadership Award – Caribbean American Heritage
- Cavaliere (knighthood) – The Government of Italy
- La Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca – The Mexican Government’s highest honor to a foreigner
- Silver Diwali Bright Light Award – The Association of Indians in America NY
Pro Senior Rating
Alliance for Retired Americans
Civil Rights Rating
Leadership Conference on Civil
and Human Rights
National Hispanic Leadership Agenda
NARAL Pro-choice America
Planned Parenthood Action Fund
National Rifle Association