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Congresswoman Barbara Lee Reacts to President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union

In just a single Congress, we’ve made more progress on climate and gun violence legislation than in the past 30 years with the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. And we’ve continued to make progress towards an AIDS-free generation as we mark the 20th anniversary of PEPFAR.

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U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee. Official photo.
U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee. Official photo.    

Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the below statement on Wednesday following President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address to Congress:

Last night, our nation and the world saw President Biden outline the historic, unprecedented progress we have made over the past two years with a Democratic government.

We should all take time to celebrate this progress, especially considering the state of our nation when Biden took office. In just two years, we’ve created 12 million jobs—more than any other president has created in four years. Unemployment is down to its lowest level in half a century, and real wages—especially in underpaid sectors—are increasing.

Seniors on Medicare can finally stop worrying about outrageous health care costs now that insulin has been capped at $35/month out-of-pocket, and the Affordable Care Act Enrollment is at a record high.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, Congressman Gregory Meeks (center) and President Joe Biden. (Photo: NBC News / Youtube)

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, Congressman Gregory Meeks (center) and President Joe Biden. (Photo: NBC News / Youtube)

In just a single Congress, we’ve made more progress on climate and gun violence legislation than in the past 30 years with the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. And we’ve continued to make progress towards an AIDS-free generation as we mark the 20th anniversary of PEPFAR.

But as POTUS emphasized in an impassioned call to Congress, we have more work ahead to finish his agenda. The economy still isn’t working for everyone. I applaud the President’s bold call for new taxes on billionaires and stock buybacks; universal childcare, home care, and pre-K; paid sick leave; and bold housing investments—some of the biggest inflationary costs hitting working people.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Congresswoman Lee.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Congresswoman Lee.

The President also spoke powerfully to the need for reform to our policing system and the racial injustice that plagues our country. From combatting systemic racism to the war on reproductive rights, it is vital that Congress hold the line against Republican extremism and take back our rights.

While these extreme MAGA Republicans attempt to raise taxes and destroy Social Security and Medicare, I look forward to working with the president and my Democratic colleagues to continue delivering for the people of this country in the coming year.

At Leader Jeffries’ #StateoftheUnion reception “with my amazingDemocratic colleagues & guest, Pastor Mike McBride,” said Rep. Lee.

At Leader Jeffries’ #StateoftheUnion reception “with my amazing
Democratic colleagues & guest, Pastor Mike McBride,” said Rep. Lee.

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Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Issues Statement on Deaths of Humanitarian Aid Volunteers in Gaza 

On April 2, a day after an Israeli airstrike erroneously killed seven employees of World Central Kitchen (WCK), a humanitarian organization delivering aid in the Gaza Strip, a statement was release by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-12). “This is a devastating and avoidable tragedy. My prayers go to the families and loved ones of the selfless members of the World Central Kitchen team whose lives were lost,” said Lee.

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Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Congresswoman Barbara Lee

By California Black Media

On April 2, a day after an Israeli airstrike erroneously killed seven employees of World Central Kitchen (WCK), a humanitarian organization delivering aid in the Gaza Strip, a statement was release by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-12).

“This is a devastating and avoidable tragedy. My prayers go to the families and loved ones of the selfless members of the World Central Kitchen team whose lives were lost,” said Lee.

The same day, it was confirmed by the organization that the humanitarian aid volunteers were killed in a strike carried out by Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Prior to the incident, members of the team had been travelling in two armored vehicles marked with the WCF logo and they had been coordinating their movements with the IDF. The group had successfully delivered 10 tons of humanitarian food in a deconflicted zone when its convoy was struck.

“This is not only an attack against WCK. This is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the direst situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable,” said Erin Gore, chief executive officer of World Central Kitchen.

The seven victims included a U.S. citizen as well as others from Australia, Poland, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Palestine.

Lee has been a vocal advocate for a ceasefire in Gaza and has supported actions by President Joe Biden to airdrop humanitarian aid in the area.

“Far too many civilians have lost their lives as a result of Benjamin Netanyahu’s reprehensible military offensive. The U.S. must join with our allies and demand an immediate, permanent ceasefire – it’s long overdue,” Lee said.

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Activism

Rep. Barbara Lee, CBC Members, Raise Concerns Over Layoffs of Black Tech Workersi2s

In 2015, the CBC launched Tech 2020 to ensure that Black Americans would be better represented in the industry by 2020. However, Lee says those tech companies that pledged to be more inclusive are falling short of their promise.

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Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Rep. Barbara Lee

By Post Staff

Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee and several other Congressional Black Caucus members have written a letter to Julie Su, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, addressing the disproportionate layoffs of Black tech employees.

“We write to express our concerns with recent reports highlighting the impacts of widespread layoffs within the tech industry and its disproportionate impacts on the African American community and women,” the letter stated.

“Tech companies who previously agreed to address bias and discrimination and create greater opportunities in the workforce are now quietly defunding diversity pledges,” the letter continued.

In 2015, the CBC launched Tech 2020 to ensure that Black Americans would be better represented in the industry by 2020. However, Lee says those tech companies that pledged to be more inclusive are falling short of their promise.

Lee told the Grio, “We’ve been fighting for justice and for economic parity and security as part of the mission of the CBC,” she said, “and so when we established Tech 2020, it was about equity and inclusion.”

“Now with all the Supreme Court decisions and with all of the backsliding, especially by Republicans, it’s very important that we be very assertive in our fight for equity and justice within the private sector and public sector,” she said.

According to the letter, since the beginning of 2023, more than 240,000 tech workers have been laid off, more than 50% increase from 2022.

Lee found that minorities and women make up most of the tech layoffs that have occurred this year.

If you don’t have African Americans developing content,” Lee said, “then we’re going to have Black people, Brown people [and] women disproportionately impacted.”

“This country is supposed to be a representative democracy where you include people, and you don’t discriminate against them,” she added. “When you see the disproportionate numbers of people being laid off, then that is a red flag that it could be discrimination occurring against these workers and employees.”

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Activism

Congresswoman Lee Releases Statement on Vandalism of Lake Merritt Menorah

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Chabad of Oakland’s menorah at Lake Merritt on Dec. 10, before it was vandalized (right) and graffiti left where the menorah stood before it was pulled down. (Photos/Courtesy Chabad of Oakland)
Chabad of Oakland’s menorah at Lake Merritt on Dec. 10, before it was vandalized (right) and graffiti left where the menorah stood before it was pulled down. (Photos/Courtesy Chabad of Oakland)

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) released the following statement on the destruction of the large Menorah on display at Lake Merritt in Oakland:

“I’m deeply saddened and disheartened that the Lake Merritt Menorah was destroyed earlier this week. My heart and prayers go out to the Jewish community in Oakland, and I strongly condemn this vile act of antisemitism.”

“Oaklanders salvaged the menorah and gathered together (Wednesday evening) to celebrate its re-lighting, spreading love and support in the way only Oakland does. I’m proud of my constituents. We will not let hate win.”

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