Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 12

Photo of Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee

United States Representative
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Advocate for reproductive Justice and health care equity, including vital support for mental health, infant and maternal health and health access for our most vulnerable communities.
  • Continue ieading the effort in Congress to secured funding for community-based COVID-19 testing, tracing and vaccine sites, such as churches, schools, mobile sites and community clinics and to expand the health care workforce.
  • As a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, I will fight the increasing impacts of climate change and its impacts by opposing tax breaks for polluters like Big Oil.

Experience

Biography

Congresswoman Lee was elected to Congress in 1998.

 

Congresswoman Lee serves on the House Budget Committee and the powerful Appropriations Committee, which oversees all federal government spending. Congresswoman Lee is the highest-ranking Woman of Color in Congressional Leadership, serving as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS). She is the first African American Member of Congress to serve as Chair of the subcommittee, which funds many of the nondefense international affairs activities of the United States. Rep. Lee also serves as the House Democratic Co-Chair of the Policy and Steering Committee. As Co-Chair, Rep. Lee works to ensure that committees reflect the diversity, dynamism, and integrity of the Democratic Caucus. In addition, she currently serves as the Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity, Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus’ Health Care Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Cannabis Caucus. She is the former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and current Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

 

The 2020 feature documentary about her life, “Barbara Lee: Speaking Truth to Power,” by filmmaker Abby Ginzberg, won a 2022 NAACP Image Award.

 

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

What legislation, if any, would you support to reduce American greenhouse gas production?  Please explain the reasons for your position.
Answer from Barbara Lee:

Environmental justice and reducing greenhouse gas are issues I have dedicated my life work in Congress. In 2021, I introduced two bills, the Women and Climate Change Act of 2021 and the Resolution Supporting the Teaching of Climate Change in Schools, aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change on women and girls around the world and encouraging the federal government, states, schools, and community organizations to teach climate change in appropriate programs and activities. 

Introduced a resolution aimed at monitoring and reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. military – the single largest institutional source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.    

The resolution called for the Department of Defense to set clear annual emission reduction targets in line with global goals in the 2015 Paris Agreement and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022.

Opposed taxpayer-funded giveaways to Big Oil and other major polluters. Instead, she has advocated for increased investments in clean, renewable energy technologies. 

Co-sponsored emergency funding for natural disasters, including California wildfire relief, mostly caused by climate change.

 

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from Barbara Lee:

Our Country must provide a path to citizenship. We must particularly provide a path to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients. Many Dreamers came to the United States in their youth and know the United States as their home. Similarly, many immigrants who are eligible for or have received TPS – a program protecting individuals in the United States whose countries of origin are in crisis due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary conditions – have lived in the United for decades.

 

Our country is enriched and strengthened by the contributions of immigrants. Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients are students, entrepreneurs, teachers, and neighbors. The recent pandemic showed us that many of them are essential workers and first responders and nurses risking their lives to protect our communities on the frontlines of this pandemic.  

As Congress Member what, if any, policies or legislation would you support to preserve democracy for all US residents?
Answer from Barbara Lee:

The January 6th insurrection at the Capitol last year was a flawed attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power to the Biden administration. It showed that we must take action to protect and reclaim our democracy. 

We must do more to protect our most fundamental rights. I worked in the House to pass the For the People Act, the most significant voting rights and democracy reform in more than half a century; the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore the full power of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965; and now, the Freedom to Vote Act, a new and comprehensive package of voting, redistricting and campaign finance reforms. We have proven our commitment to protecting our most basic freedoms.

 

After Texas passed its abortion ban, I worked with House members to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to ensure that everyone—regardless of where they live or how much money they make—has access to the care that they need. Everyone deserves the right to make their own decisions about their health, their bodies, and their futures, and abortion access is essential.

 

 

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of projects and laws.  What, if any, new programs or projects or reforms to existing programs and projects would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Answer from Barbara Lee:

The drought and current water shortages are definitely a result of climate change. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I supported fiscal year 2021 Energy and Water Development Funding Bill.

This bill provides critical emergency funding to help our nation recover from the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis by making necessary investments to help prevent the climate catastrophe and provides almost $50 billion in energy and water development programs by providing funding to strengthen infrastructure for delivery of water, irrigation and energy that we need to rebuild our economy.

I support legislation that would bring much needed drought emergency assistance and long-term water policy solutions for California and other arid western states. Any legislation that passes must be comprehensive, address climate change and water use efficiency, and protect our vital environment and local ecosystems. That is why I support H.R. 2983, the Drought Recovery and Resilience Act of 2015, a bill which would provide drought assistance and improve water supply reliability to the state of California and other western states. More importantly, this bill would generate more water on a reliable basis without undermining environmental protections, preempting state laws, or redirecting impacts from one drought-stricken area to another. 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $1,279,038

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
$13,140
2
Employees of California Waste Solutions
$11,600
2
Employees of Kapor Enterprises Inc.
$11,600
3
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
$10,000
3
American Federation of Teachers
$10,000
3
American Health Care Association
$10,000
3
Blue Shield of California
$10,000
3
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
$10,000

More information about contributions

By State:

California 65.84%
District of Columbia 15.97%
New York 4.71%
Maryland 2.51%
Other 10.97%
65.84%15.97%10.97%

By Size:

Large contributions (79.98%)
Small contributions (20.02%)
79.98%20.02%

By Type:

From organizations (24.86%)
From individuals (75.14%)
24.86%75.14%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is one of the most progressive Democrats serving in Congress. Congresswoman Lee states: These remain extremely difficult times. The pandemic has claimed almost a million lives and has upended the lives of millions more, especially in our communities of color. In the face of these challenges, I remain inspired by the spirit of the East Bay community and grateful for all those who have provided vital care and services for our communities.                                                 

We have worked hard to get people vaccinated and provide economic relief. We delivered transformational investments for families through the expanded Child Tax Credit. We’ve created millions of good-paying jobs, provided critical funding for infrastructure, investing in a green economy, public safety, affordable housing, tackled racial inequality, and more.  

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