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Barbara Lee

congresswoman, D-CA

Congresswoman Barbara Lee was first elected to represent California's 9th Congressional District in 1998 in a special election to fill the seat of retiring Congressman Ron Dellums. A member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lee serves on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, the State and Foreign Operations and the Financial Services Subcommittees. Additionally, she serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee on the subcommittees on Western Hemisphere and Africa and Global Health. Congresswoman Lee was sworn in as the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on January 6, 2009. The 42-member CBC is one of the longest standing caucuses in Congress and is often referred to as the conscience of the Congress for their willingness to tackle the most serious social and economic issues facing minorities in the United States. Born in El Paso Texas, Congresswoman Lee graduated from Mills College in Oakland and received her MSW from the University of California in Berkeley. She began her political career as an intern in the office of her predecessor, then Congressman Ron Dellums, current Mayor of Oakland, where she eventually became his chief of staff. Before being elected to Congress, she served in the California State Assembly from 1990-1996 and in the California State Senate from 1996-1998.