Barbara Jean Lee (born July 16, 1946) is the U.S. Representative for California's 13th congressional district, serving since 1998. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 9th District from 1998 to 2013, is based in Oakland and includes most of northern Alameda County. She is the first woman to represent this district.
Lee is the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and is the current Whip and former Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She is the Vice Chair and a founding member of the LGBT Equality Caucus. Lee has been a hero among many in the anti-war movement, notable for her vocal criticism of the war in Iraq and for being the only member of either chamber of Congress to vote against the authorization of use of force following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 13th district
|Assumed office |
April 21, 1998
|Preceded by||Ron Dellums|
|Constituency||9th district (1998–2013)|
13th district (2013–present)
|Member of the California Senate|
from the 9th district
December 1996 – April 1998
|Preceded by||Nicholas Petris|
|Succeeded by||Don Perata|
|Member of the California State Assembly|
December 3, 1990 – November 30, 1996
|Preceded by||Elihu Harris|
|Succeeded by||Don Perata|
|Constituency||13th district (1990–1992)|
16th district (1992–1996)
Barbara Jean Tutt
July 16, 1946
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Mills College (BA)|
University of California, Berkeley (MSW)
Lee was born Barbara Jean Tutt in El Paso, Texas, the daughter of Mildred Adaire (née Parish) and Garvin Alexander Tutt, a lieutenant colonel. According to a DNA analysis, she descends primarily from the people of Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone. She moved from Texas to California in 1960 with her military family parents, and attended San Fernando High School in the Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles. Lee was a young single mother of two receiving public assistance when she began attending Mills College. She received an MSW from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975.
As president of the Mills College Black Student Union, Lee invited Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to speak on campus and went on to work on Chisolm's 1972 presidential campaign, serving as her delegate at the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Also as a student, she was a volunteer at the Oakland chapter of the Black Panther Party's Community Learning Center and worked on Panther co-founder Bobby Seale's 1973 Oakland mayoral campaign. Lee was a staff member for United States Representative Ron Dellums and a member of the California State Assembly and the California State Senate before entering the House. She ran for Congress in a special election that created a year-long series of five special elections as various East Bay politicians vied for political office, taking 66 percent of the vote. (For a detailed account of these elections, see Special election musical chairs.) She won the seat in her own right later that year with 82.8 percent of the vote, and has been reelected nine more times with no substantive opposition in what has long been one of the most Democratic districts in both California and the nation. The district and its predecessors have been in Democratic hands without interruption since 1959.
Lee gained national attention in 2001 as the only member of congress to vote "No" on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), stating that she voted no not because she opposed military action but because she believed the AUMF, as written, granted overly-broad powers to wage war to the president at a time when the facts regarding the situation were not yet clear. She "warned her colleagues to be 'careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target'".
"It was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the September 11 events—anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation's long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit. In granting these overly broad powers, the Congress failed its responsibility to understand the dimensions of its declaration. I could not support such a grant of war-making authority to the president; I believe it would put more innocent lives at risk. The president has the constitutional authority to protect the nation from further attack, and he has mobilized the armed forces to do just that. The Congress should have waited for the facts to be presented and then acted with fuller knowledge of the consequences of our action".
This vote made nationwide news reports and brought about a large and extremely polarized response, with the volume of calls gridlocking the switchboard of her Capitol Hill office. Although it appears to have reflected the beliefs of the majority of her constituents, the majority of responses from elsewhere in the nation were angry and hostile, some referring to her as "communist" and "traitor". Many of the responses included death threats against her or her family to the point that the Capitol Police provided round-the-clock plainclothes bodyguards. She was also criticized by politicians and in editorial pages of conservative-leaning newspapers, e.g. John Fund's column in The Wall Street Journal. She was awarded the Seán MacBride Peace Prize by the International Peace Bureau in 2002 for that vote.
On June 29, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee approved Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to repeal the 2001 authorization for the use of military force that was the foundation of the U.S.'s post-September 11 military actions. The amendment, if passed, will require that the 2001 authorization for the use of military force be scrapped within 240 days.
Lee was Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2008-2010.
Although Lee is considered a liberal Democrat, she has occasionally split with members of her own party throughout her congressional career, especially on foreign policy matters. She voted in favor of limiting military operations in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, against authorizing air strikes, and in favor of a Republican-backed plan to completely withdraw U.S. troops from the operation, all in 1999. Lee voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002. Lee was one of only 46 Democrats to vote for the Online Freedom of Speech Act of 2005. Lee was one of only 13 Democrats to vote against an emergency supplemental appropriations bill in 2007 which, among other things, funded the war in Iraq but required withdrawal of U.S. forces to begin by October 1. However, Lee voted in favor of overriding President Bush's veto of the measure on May 2. On November 2009 Lee was one of 36 representatives to vote "nay" on House Resolution 867, which condemned the UN's Goldstone Report. Lee voted to withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. Lee also voted in favor of similar resolutions involving troop withdrawal from Pakistan and, most recently, Libya. Lee also joined her Republican colleagues, one of 70 Democrats to do so, in voting against a resolution to authorize limited use of force in Libya. Lee was also one of only 36 Democrats to vote in favor of limiting funds appropriated for military operations in Libya.
Lee is the author of the Shirley A. Chisholm United States-Caribbean Educational Exchange Act, which would enhance U.S. foreign relations with CARICOM nations. This act directs the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a comprehensive program that extends and expands existing primary and secondary school initiatives in the Caribbean to provide: (1) teacher training methods; and (2) increased community involvement in school activities. The bill is named for former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who helped inspire Lee to become involved in politics when Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination for President; Lee became the Northern California Chair of the Chisholm campaign.
Lee was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which places restrictions on health insurance plans providing coverage for abortions in the context of the Affordable Health Care for America Act.
As a congresswoman for the Bay Area, Barbara Lee has made affordable housing in East Bay area and beyond a top priority. Lee has supported and backed legislation meant to expand home ownership opportunities, improve public housing quality, and assist the homeless.
On March 15, 2013, Lee announced the official relaunch of the Congressional Social Work Caucus to the 113th Congress as the new chairwoman of the social work caucus.
Lee is a strong advocate for legislation restricting the availability of guns. She participated in the 2016 sit-in against gun violence in the House of Representatives. Democratic members of Congress adopted the slogan "No Bill, No Break" in an attempt to push the introduction of legislation increasing restrictions on guns.
In a statement on the sit-in, Lee said,
"Time and again, House Republicans have blocked our ability to keep Americans safe by preventing us from passing common sense gun reforms, including closing a glaring loophole that allows suspected terrorists to purchase weapons of war. These weapons of war, some of which can fire 900 rounds per minute, have no place on America's streets. We simply cannot allow this insanity. My constituents and people from all over the nation have been demanding action, but they are being ignored by the House's Republican leadership. Too many people have already been lost to senseless gun violence. Enough is enough; Congress must act to protect the lives of Americans".
Lee disagreed with the National Park Service removing funding for a Black Panther Legacy Project in 2017. The Representative released a statement saying, "It is outrageous that the National Park Service has stripped resources from the Black Panther Party Research, Interpretation & Memory Project. The Black Panther Party was an integral part of the civil rights movement and the public has a right to know their history. I call upon the National Park Service and the Department of Interior to provide a full explanation as to why these critical federal resources have been taken away".
Lee introduced the Women and Climate Change Act in February 2018. The bill aims to create a Federal Interagency Working Group on Women and Climate Change. Lee said on the Act, "Climate change is already impacting communities around the world with a disproportionate effect on the world's poorest residents. Women make up the majority of the world's poor and are especially vulnerable to abrupt changes in the environment. As leaders in their families, women are called upon to find food and clean water, secure safe housing, and care for loved ones. As climate change worsens, provoking historic droughts, rising sea levels and violent storms, women and girls will bear the brunt of this global crisis".
In an August 2017 interview, Lee said of President Trump's comments on North Korea, "His saber-rattling is putting the world at risk. The United States should be the grown-up in the room." She furthered that Trump's rhetoric reminded her of news about the Cuban Missile Crisis during her childhood, adding that "the words of war weren’t as profound and dangerous and scary (then) as they are now."
In September 2018, Lee was one of eleven Democratic representatives to sign a statement announcing their intent "to introduce a new, privileged resolution in September invoking the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to withdraw U.S. Armed Forces from engaging in the Saudi-led coalition’s conflict with the Houthis should additional escalations continue and progress fail to be made towards a peace agreement."
On November 30, 2018, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi announced that she had recommended Lee to become one of three co-chairs of the Steering and Policy Committee alongside Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). The change was approved on December 11, 2018.
|115th Congress (2017–19)|
Lee's voting record as a member of the House was ranked by the National Journal in 2007, based on roll-call votes on economic, social and foreign policy issues in 2006. Lee scored an overall 84.3%, meaning she voted with a more liberal stance than 84.3% of the House. National Journal scored Lee as voting 82% liberal on economic issues, 92% liberal on social issues, and 65% liberal on foreign policy. The 92% rating on social issues came from Lee being grouped with 35 other House legislators who all tied for the highest, most liberal ranking. Lee received a 97% progressive rating from "The Progressive Punch", and a 4% conservative rating from the American Conservative Union. In 2016, GovTrack's 2015 Report Card on members in Congress ranked Barbara Lee as the 3rd most progressive member of the House of Representatives.
In 2002, Representative Barbara Lee received the Courage of Conscience Award in Boston from the Peace Abbey for her courage to stand alone and vote against the call to war after the tragedy of September 11. In her speech she said, "let us not become the evil that we deplore."
In 2003, she was recognized as a Woman of Peace at the Global Exchange Human Rights Awards in San Francisco with Bianca Jagger, Arundhati Roy and Kathy Kelly. In 2010, Lee took the food stamp challenge and also appeared in the documentary film Food Stamped.
Lee has two sons, Tony and Craig, both of whom work in the insurance industry. Tony Lee is the CEO of Dickerson Employee Benefits, one of the nation's largest African-American owned insurance brokerage/consulting firms. Craig Lee is a long term senior executive at State Farm.
In 2014, Lee received endorsements from the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, Feminist Majority Political Action Committee, J Street PAC, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Sierra Club, and United Auto Workers.
|California 13th Assembly District Democratic Primary Election, 1990|
|California 13th Assembly District Election, 1990|
|California 16th Assembly District Election, 1992|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||90,432||74.49|
|Peace and Freedom||Emma Wong Mar||6,643||5.47|
|California 16th Assembly District Election, 1994|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||68,197||81.03|
|California's 9th Congressional District Democratic Primary Election, 1998|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||87,389||82.21|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||140,722||82.8|
|Republican||Claiborne "Clay" Sanders||22,431||13.2|
|Peace and Freedom||Gerald Sanders||4,767||2.8|
|Natural Law||Walter Ruehlig||1,975||1.2|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||182,352||85.0|
|Libertarian||Fred E. Foldvary||7,051||3.3|
|Natural Law||Ellen Jefferds||4,214||1.9|
|California's 9th Congressional District Democratic Primary Election, 2002|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||68,550||84.90|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||135,893||81.5|
|Libertarian||James M. Eyer||5,685||3.4|
|Independent||Hector Reyna||(write-in) 6||0.0|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||215,630||84.6|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||167,245||86.4|
|Republican||John "J.D." denDulk||20,786||10.7|
|California's 9th Congressional District Democratic Primary Election, 2008|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||80,466||100.0|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||238,915||86.1|
|Libertarian||James M. Eyer||11,704||4.2|
|Green||David Heller||(write-in) 37||0.0|
|Republican||Christopher Kula||(write-in) 27||0.0|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||180,400||84.27|
|Libertarian||James M. Eyer||4,113||1.92|
|Peace and Freedom||Larry Allen||1,670||0.78|
|California's 13th Congressional District Primary Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||94,709||83.1|
|No party preference||Marilyn Singleton||13,502||11.2|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||250,436||86.8|
|No party preference||Marilyn Singleton||38,146||13.2|
|California's 13th Congressional District Primary Election, 2014|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||77,461||82.6|
|Peace and Freedom||Lawrence Allen||2,190||2.3|
|California's 13th Congressional District Election, 2014|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||168,491||88.5|
|California's 13th Congressional District Primary Election, 2016|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||192,227||92|
|California's 13th Congressional District Election, 2016|
|Democratic||Barbara Lee (incumbent)||293,117||90.8|
| Member of the California Assembly
from the 13th district
| Member of the California Assembly
from the 16th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 9th congressional district
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick
| Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 13th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Served alongside: Lynn Woolsey
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority
The One Hundred Sixteenth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2019 and will end on January 3, 2021, during what is scheduled to be the third and fourth years of Donald Trump's presidency. Senators elected to regular terms in 2014 are finishing their terms in this Congress and House seats were apportioned based on the 2010 Census.
In the November 2018 midterm elections, the Democratic Party won a new majority in the House, while the Republican Party increased its majority in the Senate. Consequently, this is the first Congress in which the House and Senate are controlled by different parties since the 113th Congress (2013–2015). This Congress is considered to be the most diverse ever elected, and the youngest in the past three cycles.2018 United States House of Representatives Democratic Caucus leadership election
A leadership election was held by the United States House of Representatives Democratic Caucus before the beginning of the 116th United States Congress on January 3, 2019. The election determined who will be nominated by the caucus for the speakership election as well as who would occupy other leadership positions within the House Democratic Caucus. The following positions were nominated or elected on November 29: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, House Majority Leader, House Majority Whip, House Assistant Majority Leader, Democratic Caucus Chair, and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair, the Policy and Communications Committee's Chair and its three Co-Chairs, Junior Caucus Representative and Freshman Class Representative were elected the next day, and a third co-chair was added to the Steering and Policy Committee by the Leader.Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists
The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub. L. 107-40, codified at 115 Stat. 224 and passed as S.J.Res. 23 by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001 and any "associated forces". The authorization granted the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups.
The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001. In December 2016, the Office of the President published a brief interpreting the AUMF as providing Congressional authorization for the use of force against al-Qaeda and other militant groups.The only representative to vote against the Authorization in 2001 was Barbara Lee, who has consistently criticized it since for being a blank check giving the government unlimited powers to wage war without debate. Lee has initiated several attempts to repeal the authorization, but as of 2018 has not been successful. Business Insider has reported that the AUMF has been used to allow military action in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Georgia, Yemen, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, and Somalia.Barbara F. Lee
Barbara Fish Lee (born July 3, 1945) is an American philanthropist. She founded and leads the Barbara Lee Family Foundation and the Barbara Lee Political Office, both located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Major targets of Lee's donations include the Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art and Hillary Clinton's 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. She is listed in Boston Magazine as one of “Boston’s Most Powerful Thought Leaders,” as well as one of “The 100 People Who Run This Town”. Boston Magazine also recognizes her as one of Boston’s “50 Most Powerful Women”. Women’s eNews ranks her among the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century". In 2015, Lee's contributions to various causes totaled upwards of $1.6 million. She is one of the top fifty national contributors to political campaigns and the third highest of all female contributors. She is best known for how nearly every person that she supports, be they political candidates or artists, identifies as a woman.Barbara Lee Smith
Barbara Lee Smith (born 1 April 1938) is a mixed media artist, writer, educator, and curator. She creates large scale landscapes and abstract works using a three step process of painting, collage, and machine stitching.Barbara Payton
Barbara Lee Payton (born Barbara Lee Redfield; November 16, 1927 – May 8, 1967) was an American film actress best known for her stormy social life and eventual battles with alcohol and drug addiction. Her life has been the subject of several books including Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye: The Barbara Payton Story (2007), by John O'Dowd, L.A. Despair: A Landscape of Crimes and Bad Times (2005), by John Gilmore, and B Movie: A Play in Two Acts (2014), by Michael B. Druxman. In her brief life, she married four times.Barbara Yu Ling
Barbara Lee (4 November 1933/1938 – 6 April 1997), who used the stage name Barbara Yu Ling, was a Singapore-born actress of stage, screen, and television who was based in Britain from the 1950s. One of the first Singaporean Chinese actresses to gain attention in Europe, she appeared in productions of Madame Butterfly and The World of Suzie Wong. Among the films she appeared in were The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), Ping Pong (1986), and Peggy Su! (1997).California's 13th congressional district
California's 13th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California.
Barbara Lee, a Democrat, has represented this district since January 2013.
Currently, the 13th district consists of the northern portion of Alameda County. Cities in the district include Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont, and San Leandro.Prior to redistricting by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission of 2011, the 13th district was further south, but still lay within western Alameda County.California's 9th State Senate district
California's 9th State Senate district is one of 40 California State Senate districts. It is currently represented by Democrat Nancy Skinner of Berkeley.California's 9th congressional district
California's 9th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California.
Jerry McNerney, a Democrat, has represented the district since January 2013.
Currently, the 9th district is centered on Stockton. It consists of portions of Contra Costa, Sacramento, and San Joaquin counties. Cities in the district include Antioch, Galt, Oakley, Lathrop, Lodi, and Stockton.Prior to redistricting by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission of 2011, the 9th district encompassed much of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Cities in the district included Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley. Much of that area is now the 13th district, while the current 9th is largely the successor to the former 11th district.Congressional Black Caucus
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is a caucus made up of most African American members of the United States Congress. U.S. Representative Karen Bass from California has chaired the caucus since 2019.Judy Craig
Judy Craig (born August 6, 1946, New York, United States) is the American lead singer of the girl group, The Chiffons. She left the group in 1969, but returned in 1992 after the death of Barbara Lee. Fronted by Judy Craig Mann along with her daughter and niece, The Chiffons resurfaced in 2009 and continue to tour and perform select dates in North America and Europe.Karen Lee (swimmer)
Karen Barbara Lee (born 1 January 1983) is an English former competitive swimmer who represented Great Britain in the Olympics and European championships. She specialized in backstroke events. She finished sixth in the 200-metre backstroke (2.10.27) at the 2002 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Riesa, Germany. She was also a member of Team GB starting in 1998, and a varsity swimmer for the Loughborough University team, under head coach Ben Titley.Lee qualified for the women's 200-metre backstroke, as a member of Team GB, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. She finished second behind Katy Sexton (2:11.48) at the British Olympic Trials by 0.38 of a second, in a FINA A-standard of 2:11.86. She challenged seven other swimmers in heat four, including Germany's Antje Buschschulte and Russia's Stanislava Komarova, both of whom were top medal favorites. She faded to seventh place by a 5.39-second margin behind winner Komarova in 2:16.10. Lee missed the semifinals by nearly one second, as she placed twentieth overall in the preliminaries.Lee Krasner
Lenore "Lee" Krasner (October 27, 1908 – June 19, 1984) was an American abstract expressionist painter, with a strong speciality in collage, who was married to Jackson Pollock. This somewhat overshadowed her contribution at the time,
though there was much cross-pollination between their two styles. Krasner’s training, influenced by George Bridgman and Hans Hofmann, was the more formalised, especially in the depiction of human anatomy, and this enriched Pollock’s more intuitive and unstructured output.
Krasner is now seen as a key transitional figure within abstraction, who connected early-20th-century art with the new ideas of postwar America, and her work fetches high prices at auction. She is one of the few female artists to have had a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art.Sandré Swanson
Sandré Swanson (born November 28, 1948) was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2006. Mr. Swanson represented the 16th Assembly District. Swanson previously served as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, he was also district director and a Senior Policy Advisor to then Congressman Ron Dellums. Swanson is a Democrat. Swanson endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential election.Strange Portrait
Strange Portrait was a film set in Hong Kong. It was directed by Jeffrey Stone and starred Jeffrey Hunter, Barbara Lee, Mai Tai Sing and Tina Hutchence. Its associate producer was Terry Bourke. In 1966 Stone and his wife went searching for a distributor, hoping to enter it into the Asian Film Festival. The film never saw a release and there is some mystery about what happened.Sources differ as to what happened to the film. One report is that it was destroyed in a warehouse fire. Terry Bourke, the film's producer had been searching for years to find a print of the film. This would possibly indicate that be believed a print had been made from the negative. Director Jeffrey Stone said the film was suppressed by the film studio at the behest of the Hong Kong government because of a scene featuring partial nudity. It is considered to be a lost film.United States House Committee on Appropriations
The United States House Committee on Appropriations is a committee of the United States House of Representatives.
The committee is responsible for passing appropriation bills along with its Senate counterpart. The bills passed by the Appropriations Committee regulate expenditures of money by the government of the United States. As such, it is one of the most powerful of the committees, and its members are seen as influential. They make the key decisions about the work of their committees—when their committees meet, which bills they will consider, and for how long.United States congressional delegations from California
These are tables of congressional delegations from California to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate.Widow
A widow is a woman whose spouse has died and a widower is a man whose spouse has died. The treatment of widows and widowers around the world varies.