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Congressional Briefs: Lee and Lewis

Rep. Barbara Lee Responds to Billboards that Attack a Woman’s Right to Choose

By Staff

ATLANTA, June 20, 2011, 1 p.m. - Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-09) issued the following statement denouncing the race-based attack on a woman’s right to choose that is being waged by the Radiance Foundation in coordination with the California-based Issues4Life:
“I am deeply offended by the race-based billboards that are being displayed in my congressional district by the Radiance Foundation and Issues4Life,” Congresswoman Lee said. “These billboards stigmatize women of color and perpetuate myths about parenting skills and the types of women who seek and use abortion services.
“I have and will continue to believe that women have the fundamental rights to make decisions regarding their reproductive lives, and no woman’s choice should be subjected to scrutiny based on her ethnic background.”

Lewis on International Human Rights Conventions

Rep. John Lewis Introduces Resolution Calling on U.S. To Ratify International Human Rights Conventions

One of  the primary goals of U.S. foreign policy has been to promote the expansion of democracy abroad, yet  there are seven United Nations conventions and six International Labor Organization conventions that the U.S. has never ratified.  These have been accepted by most nations, and many are already fundamental aspects of American common law. 

Lewis has introduced legislation in honor of the celebration of Juneteenth encouraging the U.S. Senate to combat discrimination, xenophobia, slavery, torture, racism, human and civil rights abuses in domestic and foreign policy by ratifying key international human and civil rights conventions.  Juneteenth, June 19th, also known as Freedom Day, occurred in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, TX finally received the news that they had been emancipated by President Lincoln two years earlier.   

“As a nation who has had to suffer the stain of human rights abuses within our own history,” said Rep. Lewis, “it behooves us to adopt a standard of foreign policy which suggests we have a commitment to insure that these kinds of abuses never happen again on our watch." 

Lee chimes in on Afghanistan

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement regarding the President’s pending decision on U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, which is expected soon:
“The President and his national security team are weighing a critical decision regarding the war in Afghanistan.  As the President contemplates this decision, I urge him to hold true to his comments that he will seriously consider a ‘significant’ reduction of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  

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“A troop reduction of 10,000 – 15,000 is anything but significant, as it would not even get us back to pre-escalation levels.  Likewise, a modest reduction of 30,000 troops should not be considered significant since it would merely return us to 2009 and pre-escalation troop levels. A more ‘significant’ and reasonable goal would be the withdrawal of 50,000 combat troops which is only half of the roughly 100,000 troops currently on the ground. Any withdrawal plan should begin immediately and be conducted swiftly, not drag out over years.  
“Almost three out of four Americans want to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, and we can no longer afford to spend over $100 billion a year on this war that has no military solution.  Delaying a significant and sizeable reduction of U.S. forces in Afghanistan would be unacceptable and would not reflect the will of the people.  
“I remain committed to ending this war by beginning the swift, orderly withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible, and hope the President takes this important opportunity to begin to end our nation’s longest war with a truly significant and sizable reduction of troops in Afghanistan.”

Lee on Oscar Grant

Lee Releases Statement in Anticipation of the Release of Former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-09) issued the following statement  regarding the anticipated release of former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who served a two-year sentence for the killing of Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009:

“My thoughts remain with Oscar Grant’s family and the entire community during this difficult time,” said Congresswoman Lee. “I continue to support freedom of expression and assembly, and I know that when members of the community gather to express themselves, they will do so in a peaceful and responsible manner.”

Lee Issues Statement on Outcome of the Chauncey Bailey Murder Trial

Lee (CA-09) issued the following statement regarding the outcome of the Chauncey Bailey murder trial:

“Chauncey Bailey was a beloved member of the Oakland community, and no outcome will bring him back,” Congresswoman Lee said. “But I hope members of his family will be able to find comfort during these difficult times knowing that justice has been served. My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to members of Chauncey Bailey’s family.”

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