House, California , District #9
1301 Clay Street Suite 1000-N
Oakland, California 94612
Home Town: El Paso, TX
Committees: Financial Services, International Relations
Congresswoman Barbara Lee was first elected to represent California's ninth Congressional District in 1998, in a special election to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Ron Dellums. She is the most senior Democratic woman on the House International Relations Committee where she serves on the Africa Subcommittee and the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee. She also serves on the House Financial Services Committee, where she sits on the Housing Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy. She is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Whip for the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and a Senior Democratic Whip. She also serves as Chair of the CBC Task Force on Global HIV/AIDS and Co-Chair of the CBC Haiti Task Force.
Congresswoman Lee's accomplishments in promoting effective, bipartisan legislation to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and bring treatment to the infected have earned her international recognition as a leader in the fight against global HIV/AIDS. She led the fight to create the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS and to bring affordable generic AIDS treatments to impoverished regions. She sponsored legislation to protect AIDS orphans, and led the bipartisan effort to create a $15 billion fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Congresswoman Lee's willingness to stand on principle earned her international attention when she was the only member of Congress to vote against the resolution authorizing President Bush to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons." In addition to being one of Congress' most vocal opponents to the war in Iraq, Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in promoting policies that foster international peace, security and human rights. She sponsored legislation disavowing the doctrine of preemptive war, co-sponsored legislation to create a cabinet level Department of Peace, and has led the bipartisan effort in Congress to end the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
In her role on the Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Lee has been a staunch advocate for programs that reflect her commitment to building healthy communities, fostering opportunity and protecting the most vulnerable in our society. She helped lead the fight to make housing more affordable by creating a National Housing Trust Fund.
She has introduced legislation to make communities safer by providing after school programs in public housing and to protect tenants from arbitrary evictions. Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in the fight against predatory lending and one of Congress' most active members in the effort to end homelessness.
With her leadership roles in the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties. She was one of only several members of Congress to formally object to the certification of Ohio's electoral votes in an effort to push electoral reforms to address the widespread voting irregularities in Ohio and elsewhere during the 2004 Presidential elections. Congresswoman has been active in fighting to protect financial privacy. She has also been a vocal opponent of the PATRIOT act and a leader in protecting free speech by opposing media consolidation.
California's ninth Congressional District encompasses most of Alameda County, including the Cities of Albany, Berkeley and Oakland to the North and Ashland and Castro Valley to the South.
Congresswoman Lee was born in El Paso Texas. She graduated from Mills College in Oakland and received her Masters in Social Work from the University of California in Berkeley.
Congresswoman Lee began her political career working in the office of her predecessor, Congressman Ron Dellums, where she eventually became his Chief of Staff. Before being elected to Congress, she served in the California State Assembly from 1990-1996 and in the California State Senate from 1996-1998.