Showing posts with label Barbara Lee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barbara Lee. Show all posts

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Congressional Black Caucus members introduce legislation banning natural hair discrimination

Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Cedric Richmond (LA-02) along with Congresswomen Barbara Lee (CA-13), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) issued the following statement after introducing the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (CROWN Act):

“For far too long, Black Americans have faced senseless forms of discrimination merely because of how they choose to wear their hair. As states begin to tackle this issue, it is long overdue for Congress to act,” said Rep. Richmond. “From Louisiana to New Jersey, textured hair should never serve as a professional or educational impediment nor should it ever lead to a reprimand of consequence. In America, we regularly subscribe to the notion that our diversity is our strength. Now is the time to walk the walk, not just talk to the talk. That is why I partnered with Representatives Lee, Fudge, Pressley, Senator Booker, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Crown Coalition advocate Adjoa B. Asamoah, and Civil Rights activist, lawyer, and #FreeTheHair Movement founder Wendy Greene to introduce this urgent legislation. Together, with this bill, we can ensure this form of discrimination no longer goes unchecked.”

“Every day, Black women and men are forced to consider if their natural hair is “appropriate” or “professional” by Eurocentric standards,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13). “With the introduction of the CROWN Act of 2019, we are making it clear that discrimination against Black women and men who wear their natural hairstyles is wrong and must be prohibited. I began this fight in 2014 when I stood up to the U.S. military’s policy that prohibited servicemembers from wearing natural hair, and I will continue until every woman and man is protected. With the CROWN Act, we can turn the page on forcing cultural norms that penalize Black people and other people of color from wearing their natural hair. I thank Congressman Richmond for his leadership in introducing this important bill.”

“It is disheartening that, in 2019, hair discrimination creates additional barriers for people of color in education and places of employment,” said Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. “Traditional hairstyles worn by African Americans are often necessary to meet our unique needs, and are a representation of our culture and ethnicity. To require anyone to change their natural appearance to acquire educational resources or a job is undeniably an infringement on their civil rights. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of the House companion of the CROWN Act, which protects against discrimination based on hair in federally funded institutions and in the workplace.”

“For too long, Black women and girls have been told that their hair is too curly, too unprofessional, too distracting” said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. “As a Congresswoman, I choose to wear my hair in twists because I want to intentionally create space for all of us to show up in the world as our authentic selves – whether it’s in the classroom, in the workplace or in the halls of Congress. I am proud to support the CROWN Act, which is a bold step towards ensuring that people can stand in their truth while removing the narrative that Black people should show up as anything other than who they are.”

“Discrimination against Black hair is discrimination against Black people,” Senator Booker said. “Implicit and explicit biases against natural hair are deeply ingrained in workplace norms and society at large. This is a violation of our civil rights, and it happens every day for black people across the country. You need to look no further than Gabrielle Union, who was reportedly fired because her hair was ‘too black’ — a toxic dog-whistle African Americans have had to endure for far too long. No one should be harassed, punished, or fired for the beautiful hairstyles that are true to themselves and their cultural heritage.”

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Congressional Black Caucus members respond to Mueller report

The Mueller Report has been released today and several members of the Congressional Black Caucus such as Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Hakeem Jefferies, Rep. Barbara Lee have responded to it via Twitter. Check out their responses below:

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rep. Barbara Lee endorses Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris just picked up her biggest endorsement to date in her fledgling 2020 campaign: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, former Congressional Black Caucus chair and all-around anti-war and social justice activist star.

Lee, who has been called "the House's lefty conscience" will be California co-chair of Harris' presidential campaign. "Watching Kamala's career in the East Bay and San Francisco for 20 years, I've witnessed her deep passion for justice and opportunity and I know she will be a president truly of the people, by the people, and for the people," Lee said in a statement obtained exclusively by CNN.

"She will increase working Americans' incomes, expand health insurance to more Americans and restore dignity and responsibility to the Oval Office. She is a leader uniquely qualified to bring us together and mobilize a movement of Americans to return power to the people."

With her endorsement, Lee becomes the first CBC member to weigh in on the Democratic primary, a contest that for the first time includes two CBC members -- Harris and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Hakeem Jeffries defeats Barbara Lee to become Dem caucus chair

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) has been elected Democratic caucus chair after edging past a fellow member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

In a 123-113 vote, Jeffries, one of the leaders of the party’s messaging arm, defeated veteran Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a former CBC chairwoman.

Jeffries, 48, is seen as a rising star among House Democrats and potential future Speaker. He frequently appears on the cable news shows to advance the Democrats’ message and push back against the GOP agenda.

But following his victory, Jeffries told reporters he wasn’t thinking about his future political ambitions and instead was solely focused on the task at hand. Jeffries will now preside over the rest of Wednesday’s leadership elections, which include picking a nominee for Speaker.

With Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) expected to easily become majority whip, that means there will be two black lawmakers serving in the top five leadership positions for the first time in history.

“I stand on the shoulders of people like Jim Clyburn … There’s a great legacy of the Congressional Black Caucus,” Jeffries told reporters. “It’s a proud moment for our community. But I’m focused on standing up for everyone.”


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Rep. Hakeem Jefferies to challenge Rep. Barbara Lee for a democratic leadership position

Two members of the Congressional Black Caucus are in direct competition for a Democratic leadership position, including a young upstart who is bypassing the unwritten rule to wait his turn.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-N.Y.) late entrance into the race for House Democratic Caucus chair pits him against Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a former CBC chairwoman who announced her candidacy in June.

The competition is a sign of the CBC’s growing power and the challenges it faces as it expands. But it’s also a symptom of the leadership bottleneck threatening to shake up the entire Democratic Caucus in January.

While relatively obscure, especially compared to the high-profile speaker role, the caucus chair is an important position. In addition to being a launchpad for the future, the job puts the chairperson in the room where decisions are made, giving that member a say in the strategy the Democrats will use as they figure out how to take on President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans in 2019.

Lee and Jeffries represent opposite sides of the country and different generations of the party. Lee, 72, has paid her dues, playing the waiting game before seeking a jump into leadership. But Jeffries, 48, a rising star in the Democratic Party, is already ready to soar. A number of Democrats point to him as a potential future speaker.

That two African-American colleagues are going head to head may be unusual, members say, but it shouldn’t be unexpected within an increasingly diverse Democratic Caucus.

“There’s never a problem when two whites run against each other or two Hispanics run against each other or two Asians run against each other,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said. “So don’t ask me about that.”

Read more: Dem chairman fight pits old guard vs. new generation of black leaders

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Congresswoman Barbara Lee says Trump turns deaf ear on black community’s concerns

Nearly five months to the day before his inauguration, then-Republican nominee Donald Trump tried to pitch his campaign to black voters with a single question: “What do you have to lose?”

Three months after his inauguration, the Congressional Black Caucus eagerly responded with a 130-page policy document entitled “We have a Lot to Lose,” outlining legislation they say would help African Americans and similarly marginalized communities.

That request fell on deaf ears, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said Saturday at an annual “State of Black America” panel at Laney College. She encouraged people at the Making Connections event to “be at the table with the black agenda and demand those resources,” with or without help from the administration.

“Remember President Trump said ‘What do we have to lose?’ to the black community? Well, we answered him and sent him an entire agenda as it relates to the African American community,” Lee said. Trump “invited us to come to the White House and Cedric Richmond, our chair, said no. He was fully disgusted with our president and his agenda on all of the issues that we’re talking about today.”

“The Congressional Black Caucus is not only the heart and soul of the resistance movement in Congress but also leading on so many issues that we care about here in the Bay Area,” said Lee, a caucus member.

The panel highlighted a number of concerns for the group of a few hundred people, predominantly African Americans, in the audience, including economic disparity between black and white communities, homelessness, housing struggles and criminal justice reform.

Speakers at the Oakland event included Lee, San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, Oakland Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, Mark Ridley-Thomas of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and National Urban League Vice President Don Cravins Jr.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Black Female Democrats Pen Open Letter About Lack of DNC Support

Dozens of black, female Democratic activists and leaders have written an open letter to Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez about the lack of support they receive from the party. Signatories include state and federal lawmakers like Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).

Read that letter below:

Dear Chairman Tom Perez:
Black women have consistently shown up for Democrats as a loyal voting bloc, demonstrating time and again that we are crucial to the protection of progressive policies such as economic security, affordable healthcare and criminal justice reform.
We have voted and organized our communities with little support or investment from the Democratic Party for voter mobilization efforts. We have shown how Black women lead, yet the Party's leadership from Washington to the state parties have few or no Black women in leadership. More and more, Black women are running for office and winning elections — with scant support from Democratic Party infrastructure.
Well, like civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, who testified at the 1964 Democratic convention demanding Blacks have a seat and voice within the Party, we are "sick and tired of being sick and tired."
The Democratic Party has a real problem. The data reveals that Black women voters are the very foundation to a winning coalition, yet most Black voters feel like the Democrats take them for granted. The Party's foundation has a growing crack and if it is not addressed quickly, the Party will fall even further behind and ultimately fail in its quest to strengthen its political prospects.
Investing in Black women's political leadership is a solid return on investment, one that is rooted in facts and data. In recent years, Black women have proven to be the most active voting demographic in the nation. In 2008 and 2012, 70 percent of eligible Black women cast ballots, accounting for the highest voter turnout of any racial or gender group, proving that our voting power can and has determined elections. A closer look at the data shows that in 2012 Barack Obama won re-election by 4.9 million votes.

The 115th Congress has
 20 Black women—the largest number in history. The group includes Kamala Harris, who is the second Black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate, a body that has not had a Black woman's voice in 20 years. In addition, Lisa Blunt Rochester became the first woman and Black person to represent Delaware in the U.S. House of Representatives.Black women cast a total of 11.4 million ballots, providing the margin he needed to win. This past November, even with a clear lack of voter mobilization investment and a decrease in overall Black voter turnout, 94 percent of Black women voted to keep this country moving forward by casting ballots for Hillary Clinton. In addition, on November 8th we saw important elected-office gains by Black women despite the otherwise dismal defeat of progressives during the general election.
Black women also made important progressive wins in Minnesota, where IIhan Omar became the first Somali-American Muslim elected to the state legislature; Kentucky, where Attica Scott became the first woman elected to the state legislature in 20 years; Cook County IL, where Kim Foxx was elected state's attorney; Orange County FL elected Aramis Ayala the first Black state's attorney in the Florida's history; the state of Texas elected its first woman Sheriff, Zena Stephens; and Jefferson County, AL elected nine Black women to the judicial branch.
This February, in the DNC elections, we saw an increase in overall diversity within the officer ranks, but no increase in leadership representation of Black women. Since taking office, you have met with and listened to key constituencies. But you have yet to host a Black women leaders convening.
Organizing without the engagement of Black women will prove to be a losing strategy, and there is much too much at stake for the Democratic Party to ignore Black women. Following your recent announcement of your top staff hire, we are left with significant concerns about how the Party is developing its strategies and allocating its resources. In the absence of our inclusion in discussions about the Party's forward movement, we question whether the Party values our loyalty and takes our commitment seriously.
In this termed "movement building moment," how will you lead the Democrats forward? Will Black women be among those at the helm, helping to design the strategies, craft the message, mobilize troops, and lead the way - as policymakers, political strategists, activists, and elected officials?
We respectfully request that you convene a meeting with Black women leaders and activists where you can hear not only our concerns, but also our thoughts on how the DNC can invest in Black women's engagement and leadership moving forward from hiring of key staff and consultants to investment in training and leadership opportunities.
The time is now for progressive power brokers and the very Party that we have carried on our back to the voting booth, year in and year out, to make a sustained and substantial investment in our leadership and priorities.
We have demonstrated our commitment to the Party. It is time for the Party to demonstrate its commitment to us. We stand ready to join you, your team, and Party leadership on the front lines — but not as silent partners.
In service,
Anita Estell
Avis A. Jones-DeWeever, Ph.D. - Founder, Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women
Carol McDonald
Christina M. Greer, PhD
Dana Vickers Shelley
Glynda Carr - Co-Founder, Higher Heights for America
Kimberly Peeler-Allen - Co-Founder, Higher Heights for America
Khalilah Brown-Dean, PhD
L. Joy Williams
Marcela E. Howell
Melanie L. Campbell
Nakisha M. Lewis - Co-Founder #SheWoke Committee
Roslyn M. Brock - Chairman Emeritus, NAACP
Star Jones
Sydney Kamlager-Dove - Vice President, Los Angeles Community College District
Tamika Mallory
Zina Pierre
Delegate Lashreces Aird - Virginia
Delegate Marcia Price - Virginia
Delegate Pam Queen - Maryland
State Senator Holly Mitchell- California
State Representative Kathy Sykes - Mississippi
State Representative Laura Hall - Alabama
State Representative Rena Moran - Minnesota
Honorable Marcia Fudge - (D-OH)
Honorable Joyce Beatty - (D-OH)
Honorable Bonnie Watson Coleman - (D-NJ)
Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson - (D-TX)
Honorable Barbara Lee - (D-CA)
Honorable Stacey Plaskett - (D-NY)
Honorable Yvette Clarke - (D-CA)

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Black members of congress respond to Republican healthcare bill

Today Republicans passed a healthcare bill in the House of Representatives with many not having even read it, and it not being scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Not many House Democrats were happy about it and black members of the House such as John Lewis and Bonnie Watson Coleman took to Twitter to vent about it. Read those post below.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Black congressmen respond to shooting death of Alton Sterling

Several black congressmen/women, such as Rep. John Conyers and Rep. Barbara Lee took to Twitter to respond to the shocking video of Alton Sterling being shot to death by Baton Rouge police. Read their responses below.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Who is on the Democratic National Committee Platform Drafting Committee

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz announced the appointment of the 15-person Platform Drafting Committee. The Drafting Committee is responsible for developing and managing the process through which the Democratic Party's National Platform is established.

The roster of the drafting committee reflects the party's agreement that Sanders would have five supporters on the committee, compared to six for Hillary Clinton. The remainng four appointments were made by Debbie Wasserman Shultz.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who has endorsed Clinton, will lead the committee.

Sanders supporter on Committee:

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison

Cornel West.

Author Bill McKibben

Arab American Institute head James Zogby

Native American activist Deborah Parker.

Clinton supporters on the committee:

Ambassador Wendy Sherman

Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden

Ohio Rep. Alicia Reece

Environmentalist Carol Browner

Illinois Rep. Luis GutiƩrrez

Union head Paul Booth.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Appointments.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, Committee Chair

California Rep. Barbara Lee

Former Rep. Howard Berman

Philanthropist Bonnie Schaefer

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Oakland was nominated Tuesday by President Barack Obama to be a U.S. representative to the United Nations.

Lee, who represents California’s 13th congressional district and will continue her work in Oakland, said she was “deeply honored” to receive the nomination.

“It will be my goal as a Representative to the U.N. to help foster stronger ties, deeper bonds, and increase our commitment to the vision of the United Nations: a better world for all,” said Lee in a statement on her website.

The 68th session of the U.N., for which Lee will be a representative, will begin on Sept. 17 of this year. This session will include meetings on the Millennium Development Goals, resources for people with disabilities, nuclear disarmament and international migration and development.