Congresswoman Barbara Lee cordially greeted members from various local League of Women Voters chapters in her Oakland district office on April 25, 2019. The Representative discussed her views on various issues -- including voting/redistricting, water resources, public education, abortion access, and obtaining Congressional authorization before engaging the U.S. military. Two members from the Piedmont League joined the meeting, City Council Member, Jennifer Cavenaugh, and LWVP Board member, Barbara Giuffre.
Congresswoman Lee favors California’s approach to redistricting, such as independent redistricting commissions like California Citizens’ Redistricting Commission. She believes California has resolved many of its gerrymandering problems. The Congresswoman would favor extending California’s ideas to help reduce gerrymandering across the country. Further, to encourage broad voting, Congresswoman Lee asked the League about its efforts to register high school students to vote, and then to turn out these students on Election Day.
Water resource conflicts in California – with divides between north and south, rural and urban, coast and inland -- have a long history. Congresswoman Lee is co-sponsoring HR 1497, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act, which would reinstitute certain water pollution control measures and build out infrastructure, to address some of these issues. The bill has just been introduced. After Representative Lee visited Flint, Michigan and saw its still unresolved water issues, she became focused on ensuring that students consume water that is free from dangerous lead. She has worked on making federal funds available to test schools’ water sources for lead in her Congressional District. Congresswoman Lee also supports the Green New Deal.
Congresswoman Lee’s priorities in public education align with Governor Newsom’s -- they both want universal preschool and early childhood education introduced in California.
“We know how to do this,” Congresswoman Lee said, when the League asked her to describe how she would close the persistent achievement gap in public education. She described using multiple approaches to tackle the problem. Congresswoman Lee’s priorities in public education align with Governor Newsom’s -- they both want universal preschool and early childhood education introduced in California. In her position on the Appropriations Committee during the Trump-Pence Administration, Congresswoman Lee makes efforts to support, rather than cut, current educational programs.
Consistent with what polling shows is the majority opinion around the country, Congresswoman Lee is co-sponsoring H.R. 1692, the Each Woman Act of 2019, which, if passed, would give equal access to abortion coverage in both public and private health insurance plans. That bill currently has 104 co-sponsors. Congresswoman Lee acknowledged that the Senate version of the bill, given the Senate’s current Republican majority, is unlikely to pass.
Congresswoman Lee is co-sponsoring H.R. 1692, the Each Woman Act of 2019.
Congresswoman Lee remains staunchly opposed to what she described as the United States’ perpetual state of war since the September 11, 2001 attacks. She noted that an entire generation of Americans, now reaching voting age, has never experienced America at peace. She wants to reverse legislation that has enabled presidents to avoid obtaining Congressional approval before committing the United States military to war.