[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 146 (2000), Part 7]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages 10283-10284]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



         REPRESENTATIVE LEE: POLITICIAN WHO MAKES A DIFFERENCE

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. FORTNEY PETE STARK

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, June 8, 2000

  Mr. STARK. Mr. Speaker, I submit the following article for inclusion 
in the Congressional Record. It aptly describes my good friend and 
colleague, Representative Barbara Lee, as someone who makes a 
difference because she thinks globally and acts locally. Her compassion 
for those who are less fortunate is matched by her legislative skill. 
We are most fortunate to have her as part of the Bay Area delegation.

                       [From the Oakland Tribune]

              Rep. Lee: Politician Who Makes a Difference

                             (By Paul Cobb)

       Congresswoman Barbara Lee is one woman who does make a 
     difference because she acts and thinks globally and locally 
     simultaneously.
       During her young career in the United States Congress as a 
     member of the powerful Banking and International Relations 
     committees, she has often stood alone with her ``votes of 
     conscience'' on Kosovo, Cuba, Colombia and Banking 
     legislation.


                            Connect the dots

       She has often disagreed with President Clinton, her own 
     party and members of the Republican Party. Yet, she has won 
     their respect by making them realize they need her because 
     she knows how to meld pressing social and moral issues with 
     practical, vital, economic and security interests.
       Schooled by the likes of Ron Dellums, former Oakland mayor 
     Lionel J. Wilson, Willie Brown, John George, Gus Newport, 
     Maudelle Shirek, Hazaiah Williams and Bishop Will Herzfeld, 
     Congresswoman Lee knows how to ``connect the dots.''
       She matches money to needs.
       Knowing that money, economic and financial interests are 
     the mother's milk of politics, Lee has managed to stand alone 
     in the fiery furnace of opposition to votes on the White 
     House's agenda and still bring home the bread and bacon to 
     her district. Oakland's port, schools, housing community 
     development and health programs, such as AIDs funding have 
     increased during her tenure.
       Even though she doesn't sound her own trumpet or spend 
     excessive time raising funds for her own campaign coffers, 
     she's not about to allow the vital concerns of her 
     constituents to be drowned out by the noisy symbolism of 
     political rhetoric.
       Last week the Leach/Lee World Bank AIDS Marshall Plan Trust 
     Fund Act (H.R. 3519) passed the House by a unanimous voice 
     vote.
       Lee has surprised and floored her fellow congresspersons 
     and watchers with the passage of H.R. 3519 because she put 
     together a bi-partisan effort around an explosive and 
     contentious issue. And, what is more, she astounded 
     legislative leaders on both sides of

[[Page 10284]]

     the aisle by expanding the understanding of the global AIDS 
     crisis. By skillfully demonstrating that the AIDS scourge 
     threatens our national security and financial institutions, 
     she connected needs to resources.
       Lee garnered the support of Republican committee chair 
     James Leach and thanked and acknowledged the leadership of 
     former Congressman Dellums, now serving as chair of the 
     President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and a leader 
     of the Constituency of Africa, for being ``my mentor and 
     inspiration.''


                           Security interests

       Lee utilized her membership on the Domestic and 
     International Monetary Policy Subcommittee to talk with the 
     President, Secretary of Treasury, United Nations officials, 
     World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other financial 
     institutions to develop her plan to commit the U.S. to $500 
     million in seed money. The funds would then be leveraged 9:1 
     from funds donated by other G-7 nations and the private 
     sector.
       ``If the moral and health arguments don't work, then the 
     economic and security interests will,'' said Lee as she 
     pointed to photos taken while she was a member of the 
     California Assembly and Senate where she managed to get more 
     than 60 legislative bills signed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson.
       With the support of Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara 
     Boxer, Lee says she will monitor the progress of her bill in 
     the U.S. Senate.
       Lee confidently pointed to the portion of Oakland seen from 
     her 10th floor office in the Dellums Federal Building and 
     said, ``I know that the legislative process from bill to law 
     and then to funding is dynamic. But I will be vigilant. No 
     stone will go unturned because this disease knows no 
     boundaries. The whole world is at risk to this AIDS pandemic 
     of biblical proportion.''
       Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. introduced S2033 as a companion 
     bill and its language has been included in the Helms/Biden 
     Foreign Affairs Technical Assistance Act. Lee's proposed 
     trust fund, housed at the World Bank, would use its 
     leveraging capacity to increase the resources for the fund. 
     Lee envisions esteemed world leaders such as Nelson Mandela 
     and Ron Dellums as part of the fund's governance structure to 
     assure that the monies go to needy regions.


                           Giants' shoulders

       How did a newly elected congresswoman who represents the 
     most left-of-center constituency in the country manage to get 
     arch-conservative Republican Sen. Jesse Helms to support the 
     intent of her legislation while simultaneously coordinating 
     grassroots organizations and AIDS service organizations?
       ``With a lot of hard work,'' Lee said. ``I can stand up to 
     the legislative leaders in both parties because I stand on 
     the shoulders of giants who preceded me.''
       With an earnestness and conviction she pointed to the 
     photos depicting some of the causes, neighborhoods and 
     political leaders she's worked for or with and said ``every 
     time I walk past the Lionel Wilson Building. Elihu Harris 
     Building, Judge Don McCull statue and into the Dellums 
     Federal building, I'm humbled by the awesome responsibility. 
     And, because I have been blessed to have been connected to 
     all those giants, I won't lose my focus.''
       Lee's office is encouraging the public to join the African 
     American Walking Tour of Downtown Oakland Sunday, July 16, 2 
     p.m. to 4:30 p.m. She praised the African American Museum and 
     Library (AAMLO), the Oakland Heritage Alliance (OHA), the 
     Oakland Tours Program, and the Oakland Cultural Heritage 
     Survey for collaborating on the tours.
       ``I want all children and families, especially African 
     Americans, to tour these places because it reminds me of my 
     childhood in El Paso, Texas when I first started seeking 
     answers to the questions of who I was and where I came 
     from,'' said Lee.
       She said she will invite her congressional colleagues, who 
     will be in Oakland August 12 seeking solutions to issues of 
     housing affordability, redlining, neighborhood reinvestment 
     and undercapitalization, to also participate in the walking 
     tours as well as Oakland's Chabot Science Center. Lee, a 
     Mills College and University of California, Berkeley 
     graduate, is also helping to find funding to make the Chabot 
     Center a magnet for math, science and astronomy for children. 
     ``I want the first astronauts to Mars to come from my 
     district,'' she says.
       Eleven million of the world's 14 million AIDS deaths are in 
     Africa.
       ``Africa is the epicenter of this epidemic. We need to 
     declare a global state-of-emergency, like we pioneered in 
     Alameda County, and provide the money to fund strategies to 
     address the AIDS deaths,'' Lee said.
       ``This disease has plagued us like the Bubonic Plague once 
     did and it knows no boundaries. It is not just found in 
     Africa. It is moving swiftly in India, Eastern Europe, Asia, 
     Latin America and the Caribbean as well,'' Lee said.
       And here in Alameda County, she warns of a corresponding 
     calamity facing African Americans because she says the 
     statistical profile of AIDS incidence shows a reversal of 
     infection rates that once were 70 to 30 percent white to non-
     white that are now the exact opposite.

     

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