Barbara Lee was born in El Paso, Texas, moving when she was a teenager to California in 1960. Barbara has always been a leader. One example: when she was in high school, Barbara challenged a district policy that prevented her from joining the cheerleading squad due to her race. With the help of the NAACP, she forced the school district to reverse this policy and she became the first black cheerleader in the history of her school district.
After attending Mills College for her undergraduate studies, she began her work in politics, winning her first campaign in 1998. Since taking office, she "has been a fierce advocate for those suffering from HIV/AIDS. She serves on the Budget Committee and the Appropriations Committee, which oversees all federal government spending. She is the only African American woman in Democratic Leadership, serving as Co-Chair of the Policy and Steering Committee.
On healthcare . . .
On her campaign website, Representative Lee writes that "Affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare is a fundamental human right." She was integrally involved in the drafting of the Affordable Care Act and "worked to ensure strong provisions that expand health care access, address health disparities and create incentives for people to live healthy lives."
On the environment . . .
"Congresswoman Lee believes that we must demand environmental justice. [She] is committed to protecting endangered animals and preserving and increasing public access to our national parks and public lands. In Congress, she has advocated for increased investments in clean, renewable energy technologies; fighting to ensure that the good-paying jobs created by the growing green energy sector are open to all, especially people of color, women and veterans."
Plans for Economy
Congresswoman Lee believes that "our economy must empower families with good-paying jobs, stability and security. [She] is working to ensure every family has the opportunity to live the American dream. A thriving economy must include good-paying jobs, the right to organize and the ability to provide for a family . . . [She] is a vocal leader in the fight to end the wage gap, raise the minimum wage, establish a living wage and address growing income inequality. Our economy should work for everyone, not just the rich and well-connected."
"Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed. This requires ensuring full access to early childhood education, high-quality public schools and debt-free college.
As a member of the education funding subcommittee, Congresswoman Lee is fighting for vital resources for Head Start, public schools, Pell grants, minority-serving institutions, community colleges and after-school programs."