Articles & Op-Eds

Bay Area Reporter: Discrimination is not an option

June 30, 2016

Each year, the celebration of LGBT Pride Month reflects on how far we've come as a nation to end discrimination in all its forms. It is a powerful commemoration of life, love, and belonging, especially for a community who are consistently criminalized and hated because of who they are and who they love. While this month is about celebration, it is also about standing in solidarity. It is about remembering our dark past and working for a brighter tomorrow. The recent tragedy in Orlando targeted… Continue Reading

TIME: Paul Ryan’s New Plan Will Put More Families in Poverty

June 08, 2016

On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled his long-promised solution to poverty. His answer to the epidemic? Recycling the same failed policies that prevent Americans from finding work, earning a decent wage and supporting their families. Quite simply, Ryan's plan flies in the face of the evidence. No one honestly believes that the solution to poverty is cutting proven lifelines to struggling families. Yet once again, Congressional Republicans have put forth a plan to cut Head Start for tod… Continue Reading

Rep. Barbara Lee: Ending poverty starts with school lunches

May 30, 2016

by Rep. Barbara Lee

This month, congressional Republicans will once again try to take food out of the mouths of hungry kids. All across the country, low-income children rely on their neighborhood schools for healthy and filling meals. In urban, suburban and rural communities, schools are on the front lines ensuring students get enough to eat. Six years ago, we expanded school meals to millions of low-income children by ending burdensome reporting requirements. Now, this program is at risk from House Republicans w… Continue Reading

Washington Post: Congress is Missing in Action on the Middle East

May 04, 2016

The May 1 editorial "In Syria, time for 'Plan B'  " called on President Obama to "reconsider" the failed U.S. program to train and equip the rebels in Syria. Last year, the Pentagon ended such a program. In one year, the Pentagon managed to train only a handful of rebels, despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars. While serious questions arose about the enormous price tag, I have other questions: Who are these rebels? Can we guarantee that the "training" won't be turned agai… Continue Reading

The Hill: Fears grow about rising US troop levels in Middle East

April 27, 2016

by Kristina Wong & Rebecca Kheel

Fears are growing in Congress about the deeper U.S. involvement in the Middle East. The latest flashpoint is President Obama's decision this week to send an additional 250 special operations troops to Syria, where they will support forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The decision follows a separate move to increase the number of troops in Iraq and as the Pentagon and White House struggle to withdraw troops as scheduled from Afghanistan, where the Taliban - and a nascent… Continue Reading

The Hill: Progressive Congresswoman warns against 'all-out war' with ISIS

April 25, 2016

by Rebecca Kheel

President Obama's decision to send 250 troops to Syria to help fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) inches the United States closer to an "all-out war," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Monday. "Nearly every day, we see the U.S. mission in Iraq and Syria creep closer and closer toward all-out war, while Congress refuses to muster the courage to even debate it," Lee said in a written statement. Lee again called on Congress to debate an authorization for the military force in the fig… Continue Reading

The Hill: Lawmakers see ISIS war 'mission creep'

April 19, 2016

by Kristina Wong

"Yesterday's announcement that the U.S. will deploy more than 200 additional troops to Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIL is textbook mission creep," Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Tuesday. Lee was Congress's lone dissenter in granting then-President George W. Bush authority to go to war in Afghanistan.… Continue Reading

Let's Make Solar Accessible To All Californians

January 27, 2016

by Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Fighting climate change is a moral imperative that requires leadership and a clean vision for our nation's energy future. NASA recently released data showing that the Earth's surface temperatures for 2015 were the warmest on modern record. It is clear that the threat of climate change is no longer a theory but a clear challenge to our society, national security, and way of life. For more than a generation, California has been leading the charge for innovative solutions that tackle the threat o… Continue Reading

World AIDS Day 2015: The Start of the End of HIV?

December 01, 2015

Since 1988, World AIDS Day has been marked on December 1st as an opportunity to unite in the global fight against HIV, show solidarity with those living with the virus and remember those lost to this terrible epidemic. Over the nearly three decades since the first World AIDS Day, we have come far in our efforts to combat and finally destroy this virus. Thanks to medical advances and critical programs like PEPFAR and Ryan White CARE, tens of millions of people have had access to education an… Continue Reading

The Danger of a Quagmire in Iraq and Syria

October 30, 2015

To the Editor: Re “The Military Escalation in Iraq and Syria” (editorial, Oct. 28): You are right: Greater involvement in Syria and Iraq will not make us any safer. But it will cost more lives in an endless war with no exit strategy. As Paul Ryan begins his tenure as speaker of the House, he has an important duty to restore Congress’s constitutional role in debating and authorizing war. For Mr. Ryan’s first order of business, he should advance the repeal of the 2001 and 2002 war authori… Continue Reading

Affordable Housing is a Human Right

October 28, 2015

Regarding “Vouchers fall short as rents skyrocket” (Oct. 21), Rachel Swan lays out the housing crisis tearing apart our community. Rents in Oakland have grown faster than anywhere else in the nation. If rents continue to rise at this pace, we risk losing our cherished East Bay culture. The solution is multifaceted and requires local, state and federal efforts. Federally, we need a “fair market rent” formula that accurately reflects the real housing costs in our community. Just this week, I sp… Continue Reading

Americans want to end the country's longest war. Why won't Congress listen?

October 20, 2015

America’s longest war continues to drag on with no end in sight. 14 years since the invasion of Afghanistan, our highly capable men and women in uniform have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They have done enough, it’s past time to bring them home. On 15 October we saw the ramifications of Congress’s blank check for endless war when President Obama announced that thousands of US troops would remain in Afghanistan through the end of his term and into 2017. This war has already cost o… Continue Reading

Health care isn't a bargaining chip

September 22, 2015

Conservatives and progressives don’t agree on much these days. Regardless of their party leanings, though, a clear majority of Americans believe that politicians shouldn’t meddle in a woman’s personal health care decisions. Yet for too long, women’s health care has been a political bargaining chip. Anti-choice politicians have worked to ensure that women enrolled in government health plans — including veterans and government employees — don’t get abortion care coverage. That needs to stop.… Continue Reading

President Obama’s Iran Deal Ensures American Security & Prevents War

September 07, 2015

In July, President Obama announced one of the most important foreign policy victories of his presidency. After years of tireless work and tough diplomacy, he and his team secured the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. According to a recent poll by the Cato Institute and YouGov, nearly 60 percent of Americans and more than 70 percent of African Americans support the President’s deal. While the Iran deal is a huge victory f… Continue Reading

Rep. Lee: San Leandro Moving In the Right Direction

July 29, 2015

Editor: Solar power is here to stay and that’s a good thing for our planet and for jobs. The 13th Congressional District is home to more than 70 solar companies, six of which are located in San Leandro. These companies employ more than 1,800 workers in the green economy jobs of today and tomorrow. Solar energy powers more than 18,000 homes in the 13th Congressional District. Most recently, the San Leandro Unified School District became connected to the city’s fiber optic loop because… Continue Reading

Time to end the Hyde Amendment

July 08, 2015

The war on women isn’t over. Nearly every day, there is a new unconscionable attack designed to restrict access to abortion. The oldest of these attacks is the Hyde Amendment, which Congress adds each year to strip women of their fundamental right to access all of their health care options. The amendment prevents women who receive their health insurance through the federal government from receiving abortion coverage. It is clear that these attacks have one goal: preventing women, especiall… Continue Reading

Underrepresented Business Owners Play Key Role in Mayor’s Economic Plan

June 16, 2015

At the center of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s economic policy is growth that doesn’t displace long-time Oakland residents through gentrification, but includes them through small business development, better jobs and affordable housing. Schaaf’s first budget, released last month, stated her two of her top four priorities as increasing public safety, which is essential to business growth, and creating more jobs and housing, which is central to protecting long-time Oaklanders. “Oakland will not grow … Continue Reading

House to Vote on Withdrawing Troops from Iraq, Syria

June 16, 2015

The House will vote Wednesday on whether to direct President Obama to remove troops from Iraq and Syria in the absence of a congressional authorization for using military force against Islamic State militants. Wednesday’s vote - after two full hours of floor debate - will serve as a test of whether the House has the will to pass a war authorization following months of stalled deliberations and an escalating U.S. campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Democratic Rep.… Continue Reading

Underrepresented Business Owners Play Key Role in Mayor's Economic Plan

June 14, 2015

At the center of Mayor Libby Schaaf’s economic policy is growth that doesn’t displace long-time Oakland residents through gentrification, but includes them through small business development, better jobs and affordable housing. Schaaf’s first budget, released last month, stated her two of her top four priorities as increasing public safety, which is essential to business growth, and creating more jobs and housing, which is central to protecting long-time Oaklanders. “Oakland will not grow … Continue Reading

US House Republicans Plan 'Fast-Track' Trade Vote Friday

June 10, 2015

CAPITOL HILL— Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are cautiously moving forward with plans to hold a vote Friday to grant “fast-track” trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama. The issue has most Republicans lined up with a president they usually oppose. On the other side of the issue is a broad coalition of tea party Republicans skeptical of giving the president too much power, progressive Democrats, labor unions and other groups. This unlikely group is f… Continue Reading

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