East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee is seeking re-election on Nov. 6 to continue to serve California’s 9th district.
A member of the House of Representatives since 1998, Lee has been an advocate for social and economic justice for the community.
She is the first woman to represent that district. Lee was chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Calling for changes in the spending priorities of the U.S., she says the country’s budget “should reflect our values as a nation.”
“We should not increase hardship on struggling families by making cuts to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) so that we can extend tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans,” she said.
A member of the Appropriations Committee and the Co-Chair of the Out of Poverty Caucus, Lee says she is proposing a balanced budget that preserves the social safety net, Medicare and Social Security while also reducing disparities in education, employment and health services and environmental justice.
“I believe a balanced budget with consistent levels of federal revenue and cuts to corporate welfare and wasteful Pentagon spending can protect vital safety net programs.”
Promoting educational equity Lee says early childhood education programs are crucial, especially for minority and low-income children.
“We should be creating a cutting-edge public education system that nurtures and supports students from the cradle to career. We also need robust investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” she said.
Investments –such as a recent grant for $3 million to Upward Bound, a college prep program – will help create a pipeline of under-represented students.
Lee points to her success in creating jobs for East Bay residents. “When you look at the 500,000 state and local job cuts there is a disproportionate impact on minority communities,” she said.
“This is why investment in Bay Area infrastructure is critical and why I fought to bring over $25 million to the Port of Oakland, BART and AC Transit this year alone.”
Lee supports the American Jobs Act, which would provide millions of dollars to rehire police officers. “Congress must also support community policing, violence prevention and conflict resolution at the local level,” she said.
A priority should be, use the money saved by withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan so veterans can find work and transition successfully to civilian life, said the Congresswoman.
“The nearly $1.8 million in federal funding awarded to Alameda County to hire returning veterans as police officers this year is exactly the type of investment I will continue to push,” she said.