In 2001, Congresswoman Lee’s National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act, which she authored with then-Congressman Bernie Sanders, was enacted into law. This legislation has helped families across the country find affordable housing.
In 2001, Congresswoman Lee secured critical funding for establishment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Center in Oakland, CA. In the years since, she has become deeply involved with children’s programs at the center, including bringing leaders of the civil rights movement to the center to participate in the Lecture Series, and bringing young people from the center to participate in and learn from the March in Selma each year with the Faith and Politics Institute.
In June 2008, Congresswoman Lee helped found the LGBT Equality Caucus. She currently serves as a Co-Chair and uses her position in leadership to advocate civil rights, equality, and justice for all LGBTQ+ individuals.
From 2009 to 2011, Congresswoman Barbara Lee served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. In this leadership role, she worked closely with the Obama Administration to ensure the voices of African Americans were heard in economic recovery efforts.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee worked with President Barack Obama on the Affordable Care Act. After advocating for single payer legislation, Congresswoman Lee built support for the landmark ACA in the House of Representatives. The bill was passed and signed into law in 2010, and has since provided affordable, lifesaving care for over 22 million Americans.
Congresswoman Lee has been a vocal advocate for reining in Wall Street and ending taxpayer funded bailouts of big banks. In 2010, she supported the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which helped end some of the most abusive financial practices on Wall Street.
In 2013, Congresswoman Lee founded the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity to jumpstart a national effort to eradicate poverty. Alongside Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congresswoman Lee is working to raise the minimum wage, increase affordable housing, protect critical nutrition assistance programs, increase access to health care and education, and create good-paying jobs for all American families.
In 2015, Congresswoman Lee authored and introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act. This legislation – the boldest pro-choice bill introduced in Congress to date - would end the discriminatory Hyde Amendment and ensure women have access to the full range of reproductive choices - including abortion - regardless of their race, wealth, or zip code.
In 2015, Congresswoman Lee joined President Obama and Congressman John Lewis on the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. She marched across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and recommit to the fight for racial and social justice. Congresswoman Lee has visited Selma to remember Dr. King’s work each year since becoming a Member of Congress.
Congresswoman Lee has fought tirelessly to end the failed War on Drugs and expand access to medical cannabis for those who need it, including veterans. In 2017 and 2018, Congresswoman Lee introduced the REFER Act and the Marijuana Justice Act, which would stop federal interference in state laws and provide restorative justice to communities of color.
Congresswoman Lee has been a staunch advocate for gun control, and has introduced legislation to get weapons of war off our streets and end the ban on gun violence research at the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In March 2018, Congresswoman Lee met with students from her congressional district in Oakland, CA and in Washington, DC to elevate their voices on the national level. She and a group of students from the East Oakland Youth Development Center participated in the March for our Lives.
In April 2018, Congresswoman Lee marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Memphis, TN. She spoke at the commemoration at the Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, met with local chapters of AFSCME, and spoke with sanitation workers who marched with Dr. King to reflect on his life and legacy.