Congressman Cleaver to Receive Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award

He will be honored for his tireless work on civility, affordable housing, and economic development

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II has been selected to receive the distinguished Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation. The award will be presented in a ceremony on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the Kansas City Marriott in Kansas City, Missouri.

“I do appreciate this unbelievably big-league honor even if my contributions seem minor league when compared to those who have previously received this gold-plated award,” said Congressman Cleaver.

The Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation honors a prominent individual who has “promoted good relations among all races, nations and classes of people and who exemplifies the qualities of Harry S. Truman.”

President Bill Clinton accepted the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award in 2013. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta received the award in 2014 for his accomplishments in the area of national defense as did Gary Sinise in 2011 for his work with disabled veterans and with Operation International Children.

Cleaver grew up in Wichita Falls, TX where his father, Lucky Cleaver, still resides. As a high school junior, Cleaver led the first civil rights march in Wichita Falls when 50 students joined him in protesting segregated movie theaters in downtown Wichita Falls.

Congressman Cleaver is now serving his seventh term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.

He has established himself as a housing and economic advocate. In addition to creating the Green Impact Zone – aimed at making a high crime area in Kansas City, the environmentally greenest piece of urban geography in the world, Cleaver successfully co-authored the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, a bipartisan comprehensive bill that reformed America’s housing needs. The bill passed into law with a unanimous vote.

His history as the first African American Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri includes redeveloping an historic district known as the 18th & Vine Jazz Redevelopment District, and the reconstruction and beautification of Brush Creek.

Cleaver has devoted his efforts to honoring and commemorating World War I. The World War I Centennial Commission was created in 2013 by legislation, sponsored by Congressman Cleaver and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX). Cleaver was also the co-author of the 2014 WWI American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. The coin was struck this past November.

During the 112th Congress, Cleaver was unanimously elected the 20th chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees augmented by a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M, and a Master’s from St. Paul’s School of Theology of Kansas City.

In a letter informing Congressman Cleaver of the honor, the Truman Foundation wrote,

“In this age of incivility and tension among people of diverse religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds, your sustained efforts over the years to encourage meaningful and respectful dialogue are unparalleled. During your years on the City Council, as Mayor of Kansas City and as a Member of the United States House of Representatives, you have worked tirelessly to make common cause on such difficult issues as affordable housing, economic development, immigration, and health care.”

Cleaver is married to the former Dianne Donaldson. They have made Kansas City home for themselves and their four children.

For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.


Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties.