First Welfare Mother To Serve In Congress

March 23, 2012 by staff 

First Welfare Mother To Serve In Congress, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the first former welfare mother to serve in Congress, is in her ninth term as the representative from California’s 6th District, just north of San Francisco. Her district includes all of Marin, and most of Sonoma County.

As Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Woolsey is a vocal and visible leader on progressive issues, particularly those dealing with children and families. A passionate and outspoken opponent of the Iraq war, she has helped move public opinion against President Bush’s failed Iraq policy. She introduced the first resolution calling for our troops to be brought home and convened the first congressional hearing on military exit strategies, and introduced H.R. 508 the Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act. The San Jose Mercury News recently called her “the unofficial matriarch of the [anti-war] movement in Congress.”

Congresswoman Woolsey, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that ending the Iraq war must be the beginning of a complete re-evaluation of U.S. national security policy. She has proposed the Sensible Multilateral American Reengagement and Transition (SMART Security) which puts an emphasis on peaceful resolution of international conflict. SMART would keep Americans safe through stronger global alliances and improved intelligence capabilities, as opposed to pre-emptive military strikes. SMART also calls for the United States to live up to its nonproliferation obligations, and it includes an ambitious humanitarian development agenda to address the hopelessness and oppression that give rise to t*rror*sm in the first place.

As the Chairwoman of the Committee on Education and Labor’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee, Congresswoman Woolsey helps to oversee policies that affect millions of American workers. Congresswoman Woolsey also sits on the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education. She is currently working on reform of the No Child Left Behind Act, to fully fund the law and make it more flexible and less punitive toward schools and school districts.

Since her appointment in 1993, Congresswoman Woolsey has used her seat on the Committee on Education and Labor to provide children and families the tools they need to realize the American Dream. She has been an advocate of special education and vocational education, and she has fought against job discrimination in Head Start and other federal programs. Congresswoman Woolsey also authored a School Breakfast Pilot Program that was signed into law by President Clinton.

During her time in Congress one of Congresswoman Woolsey’s top priorities has been a legislative package called “The Balancing Act,” which aims to help parents manage the challenge of the balance between work and family. Among the Balancing Act provisions are: paid family leave; public universal pre-school; major investments in child care; universal school breakfast; benefits for part-time workers; and telecommuting incentives.

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