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

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Rep. Barbara Lee files to enter Democratic primary for Feinstein’s seat

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) has filed paperwork to run in the California Senate race in 2024, joining what’s expected to be a crowded Democratic primary to replace retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Lee has not made a formal announcement, though she filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday, one day after Feinstein, at 89 the oldest currently serving senator, said she would not seek another term next cycle.

When reached for comment, Katie Merrill, a consultant for Lee, said in a statement “the campaign is taking the necessary steps to prepare. The Congresswoman will have more to say about this before the end of the month.”

Democratic California Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff had already announced plans to run for the seat before Feinstein said she would be vacating it.


Thursday, February 10, 2022

Black congresswomen write letter praising Pres. Biden for keeping Supreme Court pledge

A group of 14 Black Congresswomen including Rep, Cori Bush, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Rep. Joyce Beatty wrote a public letter to President Joe Biden Thursday, commending him for pledging to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court amid a conservative backlash that he was instituting a "quota" system.

Read that letter below:

Rep. Bush_Supreme Court Letter by George L. Cook III

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Rep. Pressley Leads Resolution to Remove Rep. Boebert From Committee Assignments

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), along with Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01), Judy Chu (CA-27), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), led their House colleagues in announcing a resolution to remove Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03) from her committee assignments. Rep. Pressley and colleagues will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill on Monday at 2:00pm ET to discuss the resolution and the need to hold Boebert accountable.

 The lawmakers’ resolution follows Boebert’s repeated use of Islamophobic, racist and hateful comments and incitement of anti-Muslim animus, and Leader Kevin McCarthy’s refusal to hold her accountable for her dangerous conduct. The resolution also comes amid growing calls from Members of Congress for meaningful accountability. 

“For a Member of Congress to repeatedly use hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islamophobic tropes towards a Muslim colleague is dangerous. It has no place in our society and it diminishes the honor of the institution we serve in,” said Rep. Pressley. “Without meaningful accountability for that Member’s actions, we risk normalizing this behavior and endangering the lives of our Muslim colleagues, Muslim staffers and every Muslim who calls America home. The House must unequivocally condemn this incendiary rhetoric and immediately pass this resolution. How we respond in moments like these will have lasting impacts, and history will remember us for it.” 

"Islamophobia and any form of hate is a direct attack on people in this country and our democracy,” said Rep. Bowman. “Muslims belong in everywhere Congress and any place of power in the country. They need to know that Congress will not accept Islamophobia. We are putting forth this resolution because we love our democracy and our Muslim brothers and sisters. Rep. Boebert has gone beyond expressing usual dissent for a colleague and their views and is endangering Rep. Omar in addition to inciting violence. Trump ran on Islamophobia, and that disease is still in government. We cannot allow any forms of Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, anti-immigrant, and xenophobic sentiments stand in the halls of Congress or part of our government. Rep. Boebert must be held accountable.” 

“St. Louis and I did not come to Congress to leave Islamophobic, racist, and inciteful attacks unchecked,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush. “Congressional leadership has a responsibility to show that this kind of behavior is unacceptable—starting in the halls of power. We must be assured that no member is above accountability, and Republican leadership has failed to deliver any such accountability for Boebert. It is time for Democratic leadership to act and pass our resolution to not only protect Rep. Omar, but the livelihoods and lives of Muslim communities around our country.” 

“Once again, Kevin McCarthy refuses to condemn the hatred in his own caucus,” said Rep. Chu. “Rep. Boebert’s comments, which she repeated, were not subtle nor were they a slip of the tongue. It was the latest in a long string of openly Islamophobic and bigoted comments which have repeatedly led to violence. We saw this in the wake of September 11th, when the exact lie that Rep. Boebert is repeating today, led to a spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And we have seen it in the numerous death threats directed at Rep. Omar and others since being elected and becoming targets of Republican hate speech. For Rep. Boebert to repeatedly make this claim now, just months after white nationalists stormed the Capitol, shows an incredible disregard for the safety of her peers, if not outright hostility. This would be unacceptable in any workplace, and is certainly unacceptable in the halls of Congress. If Rep. Boebert chooses to spend her time threatening the safety of a colleague because of her religion, it will not be from the privileged perch of Congressional committee.”   

“I join Rep. Pressley and my colleagues in calling for Representative Boebert to be removed from her committee assignments,” said Rep. Jayapal. “There must be consequences for vicious workplace harassment and abuse that creates an environment so unsafe for colleagues and staff that it invites death threats against them. There must be consequences for elected representatives who traffic in anti-Muslim and racist tropes that make all Muslims across the country less safe. There must be consequences when Members of Congress demonize an entire religion and promote hate from their positions of public trust.” 

“This type of bigotry is disgusting, but unfortunately not surprising,” said Rep. Lee. “Anti-Muslim rhetoric is not, and will never be, a laughing matter. Rep. Boebert must be held accountable to show that hate speech will not be tolerated in Congress.” 

“I stand with my friend and colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar. No one, Member of Congress or otherwise, should face bigotry in their workplace. Rep. Boebert still owes her an apology for her hateful rhetoric and actions, and short of that the House should take further action. Islamophobia has no place in our country or the Halls of Congress," said Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García. 

“Democrats are, and should be, focused on building real and symbolic bridges, both within and to all our communities. We cannot lose sight of that,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “But a failure to exact consequences for this dangerous bigotry will lead to more hate, and inevitably, more threats and violent rhetoric or actions aimed at our own Members and the communities of which they are a part. We must hold Members accountable whose rhetoric puts their colleagues and staff in harm’s way. These Islamophobic comments by one of our fellow Members must be called out. Hate is hate, and these types of incendiary remarks can and do inspire violence and direct threats, both to the individuals they are targeted at, and to the larger communities they represent. A pipe bomb that sat in my district office for over 24 hours, and was handled by my staff, testifies to that frightening reality. Sadly, there are countless more examples I could cite. As a Jewish Member, my office receives threats regularly, as do members of my larger community.” 

Joining Rep. Pressley on this resolution are Representatives Hank Johnson (GA-04), Sarah Jacobs (CA-53), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Nydia Velázquez (NY-07), Andy Levin (MI-09), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), and Mondaire Jones (NY-17). 

Last week, Reps. Pressley joined Reps. Bowman, Bush, Carson, Jayapal and 34 House progressives on a statement calling for Rep. Boebert to be removed from her committee assignments. 

On December 1, Democratic Caucus Chairs released a statement calling for Rep. Boebert to be removed of her committee assignments. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Barbara Lee documentary 'Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power' now streaming on Amazon Prime and iTunes

Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power, a feature length documentary, tells the complex story of Representative Barbara Lee, a steadfast voice for human rights, peace and economic and racial justice in the US Congress who cut her teeth as a volunteer for the Black Panther Party and was the lone vote in opposition to the broad authorization of military force following the September 11th attacks. In 2001, she issued a strident warning in the House of Representatives: "Let us not become the evil we deplore," and today she continues that clarion call, demanding that Congress stand up to a president who has escalated tensions with numerous foreign governments, while seeding division within his own country.

Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power reveals how many of the challenges faced by Barbara Lee early in her life provided her with the motivation and commitment to improve the lives of others throughout her tenure as an elected representative. With unique access to a sitting member of Congress, this film not only introduces the public to Barbara Lee but to many others such as Senator Cory Booker, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, CNN commentator Van Jones, actor Danny Glover and author Alice Walker who all share insights about what makes Barbara Lee unique as a public servant and as a truth-telling African American woman.

The documentary features interviews with Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cory Booker, Van Jones, John Lewis, Alice Walke, Ayanna Pressley, Danny Glover.

The movie is directed and produced by Abby Ginzberg (Waging Change, Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa)

'Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power" is now streaming on both Amazon Prime and iTunes.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee to Chair Powerful Foreign Affairs Subcommittee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, has been named the new Chair of the House Appropriations subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS).

Chairwoman Lee will be the first African American Member of Congress to serve as Chair of the subcommittee, which funds many of the nondefense international affairs activities of the United States. The subcommittee funds the State Department and other Foreign Operations accounts and is one of the 12 annual appropriations acts that fund the federal government each fiscal year.

Of the 12 distinct appropriations measures used to fund federal programs and activities, the SFOPS subcommittee has jurisdiction over funding U.S. diplomatic activities, cultural exchanges, development and security assistance, and participation in multilateral organizations, among other international activities.

“I’m honored to serve as Chair of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee,” said Chairwoman Lee. “This is a critical time for global investment and cooperation as we fight back a global pandemic, and we have much work to do.”

“Among my top priorities on this committee will be investing in diplomacy, foreign assistance, and development programs, which must be at the forefront of our approach, leaving behind the military first approach of the last 4 years. It’s also critical that we reinvest in the State Department and work to ensure our diplomatic corps and all aspects of our international affairs reflect the diversity of the country.

“We must take bold action in tackling the existential threat of climate change. We must use UN sustainable development goals as a guide to address pivotal issues such as global poverty, hunger, education, gender equality, reproductive justice, economic inequality and much more.

“I plan to use my experiences and understanding of global health security to address this challenging time as we fight a global health pandemic. We are part of the global family, and what affects one, affects all. I’m pleased President Biden issued an Executive Order to re-enter the World Health Organization (WHO), and I plan to be a strong partner with the new administration in re-engaging with WHO to tackle this pandemic and ensure longstanding collaboration.

“Finally, I will lead and legislate as I always have on this committee and my entire career in Congress: through a lens of racial equity, which is needed now more than ever. I’m honored to serve in this critical moment to confront this global pandemic, put America’s priorities at the center of our funding initiatives, while respecting sovereignty of other nations, and help renew our global leadership in the world.”

Chairwoman Lee served on the International Relations Committee (later known as the Foreign Affairs committee) for a total of ten years, from 107th Congress through the 111th Congress. Chairwoman Lee has served on Appropriations Committee and the SFOPS Subcommittee since 110th Congress for a total of 14 years and served as Vice Chair of the subcommittee in the 116th Congress.

Chairwoman Lee also served as U.S. Congressional Representative to the United Nations General Assembly in 2019, in addition to serving in 2013, 2015, and 2017. She brings with her to the committee a level of global health expertise, having been a staunch advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment. Since entering Congress, she has authored or co-authored every major piece of HIV/AIDS legislation including the legislative frameworks for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Rep. Lee also authored the law creating the Special Advisor for Orphans and Vulnerable Children within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to better coordinate and provide assistance in support of basic care and treatment for HIV-infected children.

The Chairwoman has made it a mission of her time in Congress to promote global stability and welfare for the people of all countries. Over the years, Chairwoman Lee has engaged on a number of issues at the UN, particularly around fighting HIV and AIDS, finding peaceful solutions to conflict, fighting for human rights, and seeking to dismantle racist structures and systems.

Chairwoman Lee has long been focused on promoting and explaining the Sustainable Development Goals to her Congressional colleagues. Most recently, Chairwoman Lee has been active in working to promote the value of the United States working with and supporting multilateral institutions like the UN and its related agencies, particularly in the effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday, December 06, 2020

Cory Booker Introduces Resolution Calling for First United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation

U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) has introduced the United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation resolution, urging Congress to form the first commission acknowledging and examining the systemic racism that has disenfranchised Black Americans throughout U.S. history and the racial inequities that persist today. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced the resolution in the House in June.

“This year has brought to bear the harsh reality that systemic racism is ever present in our political, legal, environmental, economic, health, and social institutions,” said Senator Booker. “As a nation, we must acknowledge and grapple with the systemic racism and white supremacy that have been with us since our country’s founding and continues to persist in our laws, our policies and our lives to this day. The first ever Congressional commission on truth, racial healing, and transformation will be a critical compliment to legislative efforts to build a more just and equitable future, including the recent George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the long time movement to establish a commission to study reparations.”

“A painful and dangerous legacy of white supremacy lingers in our country, and we cannot begin healing until we fully acknowledge and understand how our that legacy facilitates inequality today,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Every crisis we’re dealing with right now – police brutality, mass incarceration, poverty, the COVID-19 public health crisis — disproportionately impact communities of color. I’m pleased Senator Booker will be leading our effort in the Senate to follow the lead of the numerous communities across America that have successfully developed Truth Commissions. Only by understanding our past, and confronting the errors that still haunt us today, can we truly move forward as a people and a country.”

Senate Co-sponsors: Markey, Sanders, Blumenthal, Menendez, Coons, Klobuchar, Warren, Duckworth, Whitehouse, Brown, Durbin

House Co-Sponsors (169): Lead Rep. Barbara Lee; Holmes-Norton, Moore, Hastings, Espaillat, Clarke, Brown, Tlaib, Bass, Garcia, McGovern, Omar, Fudge, Jayapal, Barragan, Thompson, Blunt Rochester, Meng, Blumenauer, Hayes, Trone, Khanna, Lowenthal, Maloney, Sanchez, Connolly, Haaland, Watson Coleman, Lewis, Scott, Jackson Lee, Clark, DeSaulnier, Sewell, Bishop, Pressley, Raskin, Sarbanes, Ocasio-Cortez, Meeks, Payne, Rush, Cox, Pingree, McNerney, Cohen, Smith, Beatty, Carson, Horsford, Casten, Schakowsky, Cooper, Lowey, Castro, Adams, Kennedy, Davids, Ruiz, Velazquez, Butterfield, Richmond, Trahan, Pallone, Engel, Grijalva, Evans, Takano, Serrano, Vela, Speier, Escovar, Gallego, Napolitano, Cardenas, Panetta, Lieu, Sires, Luria, Neguse, Dingell, Maloney, McEachin, Wilson, Kelly, Lamb, Ryan, Levin, Bonamici, Welch, Vargas, Price, Crist, Lofgren, Keating, Wasserman Schutlz, Sabian, Clay, Roybal-Allard, Thompson, Eshoo, Chu, DeGette, Kirkpatrick, Johnson, Swalwell, Krishnamoorthi, Neal, Aguilar, Sherman, Pocan, Cicilline, Suozzi, Doggett, Jeffries, Waters, Green, Deutch, Kaptur, Huffman, Crow, Castor, Rouda, DeLauro, Cisneros, Brownley, Kuster, Matsui, Lawrence, Davis, DeFazio, Veasey, Visclosky, Garcia, Boyle, Cuellar, Kim, Lawson, Kilmer, McCollum, Soto, Cleaver, Reppersberger, Dean, Yarmuth, Porter, Phillips, Doyle, Weton, Shalala, Beyer, Kildee, Delgado, Levin, Scheider, Tonko, Bera, Frankel, Quigley, Wild, Garamendi, Stevens, Davis, DelBene, Heck, Torres, Correa, Schiff, Gomez, Peters

Earlier this year, Senator Booker and Representative Lee re-introduced their bicameral bill the Confederate Monument Removal Act. The legislation would remove all statues of people who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from the National Statuary Hall Collection.

The full text of the resolution can be viewed here.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

California Legislative Black Caucus: Rep. Karen Bass or Rep. Barbara Lee should replace Kamala Harris is Senate

The California Legislative Black Caucus met via Zoom with other Black leaders Friday and urged Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint an African American woman to fill the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated when Kamala Harris takes office as the first African American female Vice President of the United States.

Speakers at the Zoom conference included the leader of the California Legislative Black Caucus, Dr. Shirley Weber; the Vice Chair of the Caucus, Steven Bradford; a newly elected Los Angeles Councilmember, Mark Ridley Thomas and the Chair of the California Democratic Party African American Caucus, Taisha Brown.

The group unanimously recommended either Karen Bass or Barbara Lee as appointees to the California Senate seat vacated by Harris.

Karen Bass formerly served in the California State Assembly for six years, the last two as speaker. As a Los Angeles native, Bass is currently the Congresswoman for the 37th congressional district of California.

As such, Bass was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2018, serves as Chair of the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations and for the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

The other highly qualified candidate suggested by the Caucus is Barbara Lee. Lee was elected to the State Assembly in 1990, where she served for six years prior to being elected to the State Senate.

As a legislator, Lee authored almost 70 bills and resolutions that were signed into law by then Republican Governor Pete Wilson. These different pieces of legislation addressed a wide variety of issues ranging from public safety to environmental issues.

In 1995, Lee authored the California Schools Hate Crimes Reduction Act, which affords protection from hate crimes to all students in public schools regardless of their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other. During her time in the State Senate, Lee was a strong advocate for African Americans, and for women.

In 1998, Lee was elected as Congresswoman for California’s then 9th district where she took controversial stances on many different issues. She has been a strong advocate for legislation to end poverty, ending the HIV epidemic and the only member of Congress to vote against the authorization of use of force following the September 11 attacks.

As Dr. Shirley Weber noted in her remarks Friday morning, both women “have confidently built strong coalitions across diverse communities, and will do so in the senate.”


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Barbara Lee announces bid for Democratic Caucus chair

The California congresswoman could become the first African-American woman to hold a leadership spot in either major political party.

Rep. Barbara Lee, one of the most outspoken progressive voices in Congress, formally launched her campaign Monday to chair the House Democratic Caucus — a post that would make her the first African-American woman to hold a leadership spot in either major political party.

“When you look at the history of the Democratic Party and the Democratic leadership, African-American women ... we’ve been the backbone of the Democratic Party — we should be in the face of leadership also,’’ Lee told POLITICO in an interview Sunday. Whether it comes to grass-roots issues, or voter mobilization and political activism, she said, black women have long proved they can “lead not only our communities, but lead our country, on the very tough issues facing us.”

Lee, first elected to Congress in 1998 in one of the nation’s most liberal bastions, Oakland and the East Bay’s 13th District, argues she has a long record as a coalition-builder who has dedicated her career to issues of concern to both poor urban and rural voters. As the party prepares for the 2020 election cycle, the California congresswoman said, “these are issues that we can all unify around, like jobs and economic growth,’’ poverty, education and health care.

“The strength of our caucus lies in our diversity of experiences and ideas,’’ Lee said in a letter released Monday to her congressional colleagues announcing her bid. “Whether it’s working across the aisle to enact HIV/AIDS laws, or bringing the Sanders and Clinton campaigns together behind a cohesive and progressive Democratic platform, my career has been dedicated to finding common ground and delivering results.”

Read more: Barbara Lee announces bid for Democratic Caucus chair

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Congressional Black Caucus pushes for diversity during Silicon Valley Trip

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are visiting Silicon Valley to push the tech industry to improve diversity.

The visit is part of the group's Tech 2020 initiative, which calls on companies to boost the numbers of African-Americans they employ.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), whose Oakland district borders the country's tech hub, expressed frustration with the industry's efforts.

“Silicon Valley's economy is booming but we still don’t have the parity and equity in terms of racial inclusion,” Lee told The Hill on Monday. “The lack of understanding of why racial equity is important is mind-boggling to me.”

Lee declined to identify the companies she was referring to.

She has been joined by other Black Caucus members, including Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), G.K Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), on the trip.

The lawmakers have met with Apple and PayPal and on Tuesday will meet with representatives from other companies including Facebook, Twitter and Airbnb.

Lee said that lack of diversity is hurting companies.

“I think from a company perspective, it helps with their growth, it’s economically beneficial to have a diversity of perspectives,” she said.

“We have also moral obligation to make sure there is an equality of opportunity for everyone.”

Read more: Black lawmakers press companies on diversity during Silicon Valley trip