by Harriet Callier
Congresswomen Gwen Moore, Tammy Baldwin, Jan Schakowsky and Barbara Lee visited Milwaukee on Wednesday June 29 as part of the “Speakout for Good Jobs Now” Tour throughout America. The Congressional Listening Tour is sponsored by Progressive Congres.org. During the open-mike portion of the Program, local residents had the opportunity to tell members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus how the economy is affecting their lives, as well as, to offer ideas for improving it.
Rep. Gwen Moore secured a hold-over session with Rep. Lee (D-CA). Peace Action – Wisconsin members have long sought a Milwaukee visit from Lee. As such, Jim and Eldeen Carpenter, Peace Action-Wisconsin and Labor’s Local 113 hosted a post-tour Reception for the Congresswoman at the Laborers’ Hall.
Many view Lee as a courageous visionary in that she was the only member of Congress to vote against giving Pres. George W. Bush a blank check for war. She is sponsor of the H.R.780, Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act. “Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress passed a joint resolution broadly authorizing the president to use ‘all necessary and appropriate force’ against those involved in attacking our nation and to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States. I was the only member of Congress who voted against the ‘Authorization for the Use of Military Force’ because I knew some would use it as a blank check to wage war anywhere around the world. It is safe to say that if we knew at the time what the next decade would bring, I would not have been alone,” says Rep. Lee
Lee has a 98% lifetime voting record for labor and is former co-chair of the Black Congressional Caucus.