Betty McCollum

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Betty McCollum


Betty McCollum is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 4th district of Minnesota.[1]

Background

Prior to Congress, Congresswoman McCollum served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000 and was elected Assistant Leader three times by her Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party colleagues. From 1987 to 1992, she served her neighbors on the North St. Paul City Council.

In addition to elected office, Congresswoman McCollum's career has included teaching high school social science, as well as, 25 years in retail sales and management. She is a graduate of the College of St. Catherine, and the mother of two adult children. Congresswoman McCollum is a Minnesota native who grew up in South St. Paul, raised her family in North St. Paul and now lives in St. Paul.[2]

Congress

During the 113th Congress, Congresswoman McCollum remained on the House Appropriations Committee. She is a Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense which has jurisdiction over the Departments of Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force, Office of Secretary of Defense, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and other relevant agencies.

Congresswoman McCollum also serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Indian Health Service, and several other related agencies.

Congresswoman McCollum holds the position of Senior Democratic Whip within the Democratic Caucus. She is also one of three House members appointed to serve on the National Council on the Arts. During the 113th Congress, she participates in several Congressional caucuses.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Betty McCollum in her successful House of Representatives run as candidate for Minnesota.[3]

Lao connection

Betty McCollum has strong ties to Communist Laos.

National Laotian-American Symposium

The National Laotian-American Symposium on US-Laos Relations, held in Congress on May 22-24, 2002, was the first such event of its kind in Washington. The more than 120 participants included Laotian-Americans from around the US, calling for open dialogue on US-Laos relations and supporting normal trade relations between the two countries. Additional participants represented several dozen Congressional offices, as well as NGO representatives, American veterans, and media. The keynote speaker was US Ambassador to Laos Douglas Hartwick.

Four members of Congress spoke at the Symposium: two sponsors, Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Betty McCollum (DMN), plus Reps Anna Eshoo, and Ron Kind.

The Symposium was co-sponsored by five non-profit organizations in addition to Fund for Reconciliation and Development.

National Laotian Americans for Cooperation and Development "Fostering Cooperation with Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Cuba" comprises an emerging network of ethnic Lao, Hmong, Khmu and other groups in the US that support increased dialogue with and assistance to their country of origin. The American Friends Service Committee and Mennonite Central Committee are two of the American NGOs who have worked in Laos in the longest and most committed fashion. The Lao-American Exchange Institute works to develop educational exchange and trade with Laos. Finally, the San Francisco-based Jhai Foundation was begun by an American veteran to carry out self-help.[4]

The American Friends Service Committee, the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, National Laotian Americans for Reconciliation and Development and the Mennonite Central Committee, convened the symposium. The idea, in part, was to encourage more Lao-Americans to speak out. Legislative sponsors were Reps. George Miller (D- Calif.) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.).[5]

Normal Trade Relations with Laos

Two major obstacles in the extension of Normal Trade Relations with Laos were removed in September 2003. On the 20th the United States and Laos signed the Bilateral Trade Agreement, which was initialed in 1998. The formal signing, which was necessary in order for Congress to act on NTR, took place in Vientiane between Laos Trade Minister Sulivong Daravong and US Ambassador Douglas Hartwick. On September 29 Representative Betty McCollum introduced H.R. 3195, to extend NTR treatment to products of the LPDR, and the bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for action. The legislation was co-sponsored by Robert Matsui. Both McCollum and Matsui represent districts (in Minnesota and California, respectively) with significant percentages of Laotian-American and Hmong-American constituents. The McCollum bill offered a vehicle for Congressional action, the lack of which had stymied Hill supporters of NTR for Laos for several months. [6]

Protests against McCollum's policies

When the U.S. ambassador to Laos visited St. Paul in May 2003,, his mission was to sellnHmong business and community leaders on improving trade relations with Laos to reform the Communist government that many had fled.

Instead, Douglas Hartwick's warnings against supporting Hmong insurgents in Laos have upset some community members eager for regime change in Laos, and his support for normalized trade relations sparked protests in St. Paul and Washington.

Foes of normalized trade relations oppose the government, accusing it of waging a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the minority Hmong hiding in mountain jungles.

Armed Hmong insurgents -- who were U.S. allies during the Vietnam War -- are now branded terrorists. Hartwick has warned Hmong and Lao audiences in St. Paul and elsewhere that supporting armed resistance in Laos is illegal and stressed that, in the post-Sept. 11 world, the government will consider any such activity as supporting terrorism.

State Sen. Mee Moua said the escalating rhetoric over the trade proposal could have been avoided. If the U.S. government had shown it was taking seriously her community's concerns about human-rights violations, she said, "perhaps the discussion on the trade relations wouldn't have escalated to the level of taking on such significance. People would have felt there's an alternative outlet to address those concerns."

Some Lao- and Hmong-Americans want Laos held accountable for human-rights abuses before Congress considers the trade plan. Others see improved trade as a way to encourage such reforms. A few call for a self-imposed moratorium on travel to Laos, on sending money to poor relatives in Laos and on buying products from companies doing business there until conditions improve.

Members of the Hmong-Lao Emergency Crisis Task Force protested outside the St. Paul office of U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, whose district has a sizable Hmong population. McCollum supports normalized trade relations with Laos. She brought Hartwick to the city to try to build support.

McCollum points out that the Bush administration and Secretary of State Colin Powell are calling for opening up trade with Laos, one of the world's poorest countries and one of only a handful of countries that lack such status. Without normalized trade relations, exports from Laos to the United States face high tariffs. Trade between the two countries now is estimated at $10 million a year.

But protest organizer Zong Khang Yang said normalized trade "will just empower (Laos) to murder our people more in the jungle. To pass normalized trade is to give money to the Lao government to kill Hmong people."

McCollum countered that many of her constituents already travel to Laos to visit family members, for marriages and to conduct business. More than 700 Hmong and Lao Minnesotans have signed petitions expressing support for improved trade with Laos, a McCollum staff member said.

"After almost 30 years, the current U.S. policy of economically isolating Laos has failed to improve human rights and has done nothing to alleviate the extreme poverty of the Lao people," McCollum said in a statement. "A policy of engagement, not isolation, can bring long-term benefits to Hmong and Lao Minnesotans and their family members in Laos."

McCollum's office also released a letter describing claims of genocide as inaccurate, citing conversations with State Department officials and the department's 2003 human-rights report. The report, she wrote, "indicated both the government and insurgents are responsible for acts that undermine basic human rights."

Hartwick, last month in St. Paul, voiced concerns about ambush attacks in February and in April in which gunmen shot at buses north of the capital, Vientiane, killing 22 people, including some foreign tourists. Some initial reports blamed Hmong insurgents, but the embassy of the secretive Lao People's Democratic Republic later issued a statement attributing the attacks to bandits.

"One thing the ambassador did make a very, very strong statement about is, he considers these acts of terrorism, to scare the population, because they're attacking tourist buses," said Ilean Her, executive director of the state's Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, who said she was speaking as a private individual and not in her official capacity. "He was very careful not to put blame. But he said if it was in fact some Hmong who are outside Laos giving money to aid these acts of terrorism, the community has to be very careful about their actions. It could be traced back."

Lee Pao Xiong, president of the Urban Coalition and a longtime Hmong activist, has suggested the Hmong could find a lesson in looking at the economic boycotts that helped bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. He has called on Hmong to stop traveling to their homeland and to stop sending money to relatives there. Normalizing trade "is good for Laos," Lee Pao Xiong said. "It will eventually transform thecountry. Will the Hmong benefit? No, because we're being discriminated against in the country of Laos. People deserve to be treated equally regardless of whether they're in the majority or the minority. People need to be treated like human beings."[7]

Road to "democratic reforms"

U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-St. Paul, was one of the leaders in the House who pushed for normalizing trade relations between the United States and Laos. "Thirty years of isolating Laos hasn't worked to improve the quality of life or human rights in Laos the way we would like," McCollum said Thursday. "This gives us a chance to accelerate human rights, and transparency, and have democratic reforms take place."[8]

U.S. – Laos NTR Coalition

In 2004, members of the U.S. – Laos NTR Coalition Steering Committee were;

Visit to Laos

Betty McCollum (DFL-4), whose district includes one of the largest concentrations of Hmong in the nation, made her first visit to Laos in last week of December 2006.

The Congresswoman spoke with students of the Lao-American College and addressed an audience at the Institute of Foreign Affairs. Her tour also included a visit to the Somsanga Drug Treatment Center and the Lao Textile Museum.

McCollum Laos.JPG

During a trip to Xieng Khouang province, McCollum visited with the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) to discuss Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) removal efforts with NRA and UXO Lao representatives. She also met with MAG (Mines Advisory Group) officials. MAG is one of the world's leading humanitarian organizations providing support for conflict-affected countries. McCollum observed and participated in the demolition of recently-discovered ordnance. She attended a school play in the region on the dangers of UXO. She also visited children who had been injured by UXO at a provincial hospital.

While in Laos, she met with several senior members of the Lao Government including Deputy Prime Minister Somsavath Lengsavath, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Onchanh Thammavong, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Phongsavath Boupha. She also met with Lao Women's Union Vice President Bandith Pathoumvanh. McCollum urged the government of Laos to respect human rights and encouraged outside participation to verify actions on human rights issues, narco-terrorism, and other issues. As reports come that malnourished Hmong people in northern Laos are coming out of the forests having lived hand-to-mouth. She didn't meet individuals involved and so didn't speak about the issue of insurgencies. "We had some really, really tough talks about what was going on," she added.

She pressed upon the foreign ministers that for their own good, the Lao government needs to allow a trusted third party to verify actions of the sensitive matters involving human rights issues that have drawn international attention. She felt that the national government has the responsibility to investigate complaints openly and to take corrective action on these incidents.[10]

Leaked memo on Laos visit

A memo on Mccollum's laos trip was leaked by WikiLeaks.

REPRESENTATIVE MCCOLLUM MEETS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LEADERS

Date:2007 January 8,

Classified By: Ambassador Patricia M. Haslach for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Summary: During her first visit to Laos, Representative Betty McCollum met with a series of senior Lao National Assembly (NA) officials, including Madame Pany Yathotu, NA Vice President as well as member of the ruling party's Politburo, members of the NA,s Foreign Affairs Committee, and the NA Chief of Cabinet. The two sides discussed increased cooperation on issues such as unexploded ordnance (UXO) removal, maternal and child health, and education.
2. (U) The National Assembly (NA) served as the Lao Government host of Representative McCollum's December 21-29 first visit to Laos. On December 26, Representative McCollum held separate meetings with Dr. Koukeo Akhamountry, Vice Chairman of the NA,s Foreign Affairs Committee, and with Madame Pany Yathotu, member of the Lao communist party Politburo as well as NA Vice President and Deputy Chair of the NA Standing Committee. Joining Dr. Koukeo was Ms. Singkham Khomsavan, NA Member from Vientiane Province and also a member of the NA Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Mr. Amphai Jitmanon, Deputy Chair of the NA,s Law Department. Joining Madame Pany in the second meeting were Dr. Thongphan Chanthalanom, NA Member from Sekong Province and Chair of the NA,s Women,s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC), and Professor Bounnhong Boupha, NA Member from Vientiane Capital and Deputy WPC Chair.
3. (U) After the formal meetings with the NA officials, NA Chief of Cabinet and NA Member from Savannakhet Province Thongteun Sayasen hosted a working lunch. The other attendees from the Lao side at lunch were:
Tong Yeu Thor, NA Member from Houaphan Province and Vice President of the Lao Front for National Construction;
Dr. Koukeo Akhamountry, NA Member from Savannakhet Province and Vice Chairman of the NA,s Foreign Affairs Committee;
Ms. Singkham Khomsavan, NA Member from Vientiane Province and member of the NA Foreign Affairs Committee;

Viengthavisone Thephachanh, Director General of the NA,s Foreign Affairs Department; and

Somchay Paphasiri, Senior Foreign Affairs Specialist, Americas Division, Europe and Americas Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mccoll1.JPG
Mccollum2.JPG
The Dr. Koukeo Meeting
4. (SBU) Dr. Koukeo, who had met Representative McCollum upon arrival at the airport, welcomed her again and mentioned the National Assembly (NA) was at the end of its 17-day session (to explain why other NA Foreign Affairs Committee members were not present). Koukeo noted that NA Members are interested in learning more from the U.S. Congress. Both bodies have similar functions: making laws, oversight of executive branch performance, and making important decisions for the nation...
Representative McCollum expressed her pleasure at visiting during Christmas, a time of hope, faith, and joy, and told Koukeo her own wish for this holiday season was for a better world for children as we struggle for world peace...
Representative McCollum noted the "new direction" and "different course" which the Congress would be taking as a result of the November 2006 election. As she moves to the Appropriations Committee, Representative McCollum told Koukeo she planned to continue to support partnerships with Laos to deal with the issues of remaining unexploded ordnance (UXO), Avian Influenza, and HIV/AIDs among others. Although the United States is not as active in inter-parliamentary bodies as she would like, Representative McCollum pointed out she is part of a parliamentary group which monitors World Bank projects.
Dr. Koukeo told Representative McCollum her lessons are particularly important to himself, only a two-term NA member, and to his colleague, Ms. Singkham, in her first five-year NA term. He affirmed that Representative McCollum,s visit would spur improved bilateral relations with the United States and said he hoped to see increased cooperation with the U.S. Congress. Representative McCollum said she would return to Washington, D.C. and encourage other Members of Congress to join her in visiting Laos in the next 12-18 months...
Responding to Dr. Koukeo,s comments on the need to make progress on the UXO issue particularly in his home province, Representative McCollum said that, with a heavy heart, she had visited people injured by UXO, so she understood the importance of working together on the issue. Representative McCollum pointed out that the USG is providing $5.6 million in UXO assistance and expressed hope this would continue and even increase.
Madame Pany
NA Vice President Madame Pany Yathotu, a member of the Lao communist party Politburo and an ethnic Hmong, told Representative McCollum that she saw bilateral relations with the United States improving in a number of areas to include investment and trade numbers, MIA accounting, UXO, counter-narcotics, and counter-terrorism. She was pleased that Representative McCollum had visited Xiang Khouang Province to see the "real situation" and to see that the GOL was using funding provided by the USG to help with UXO and children's issues.
Representative McCollum pressed Madame Pany about resolution of the case of the 26 Hmong children (detained in Laos since being irregularly deported by local Thai authorities in December 2005), noting that she understood very intense negotiations were underway to help resolve the case.
Comment
One disappointment, however, was Madame Pany's sidestepping of both the issue of the 26 children as well as Representative McCollum's suggestion about a fair third party such as the ICRC. Pany is a Politburo Member (and ethnic Hmong) and has access to the broadest range of information available on the 26 children. Her unwillingness to even hint at the rumors of ongoing progress, especially to a Member of Congress that most Lao officials view as very pro-Laos (from Representative McCollum's support for the passage of Normal Trade Relations in 2004), appeared to be a major lost opportunity to project a positive image of a government actively seeking to resolve a year-long problem.[11]

Achievements for Laos

In 2007, a four-year member of the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee, McCollum had secured $2.5 million from Congress to help with the removal of unexploded U.S. bombs in Laos.

McCollum led the historic 2004 NTR legislation with Laos, to end 30 years of economic isolation that has left most of the country in poverty. [12]

Progressive Majority Advisory Committee

In 2003 Rep. Betty McCollum served on the Progressive Majority Advisory Committee.[13]

Congressional field hearing on Hemispheric trade

Global trade agreements aren't just for governments and corporations, but are also very important to families in Minnesota, families in the United States and families throughout the world, noted Congresswoman Betty McCollum, a DFLer representing Minnesota's Fourth District who presided over a Congressional field hearing on hemispheric trade, January 2004.

United Auto Workers Local 879 President Rob McKenzie testifies during a hearing Monday on the effect of trade agreements. Union leader Mark Froemke and MinnDak Farmers Cooperative President Dave Roche testified that CAFTA would be the first step in a process that would wipe out the entire U.S. domestic sugar beet industry. CAFTA is a Trojan horse for the far broader FTAA, noted Larry Weiss, coordinator of the Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum presided over a panel that included Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter, Sierra Club representative Ginny Yingling and Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition Coordinator Larry Weiss.[14]

J Sreet endorsement

In 2008 McCollum was endorsed by JStreet PAC.[15]

The socialist infiltrated, anti-Israel "two state solution" JStreet PAC endorsed Betty McCollum in her 2014 Congressional race. [16]

JStreet endorsed her again in 2016.

McCollum was elected to Congress in 2000 and has been a strong ally of the pro-Israel, pro-peace community. Before winning election to Congress she served on the North St. Paul City Council and in the Minnesota House of Representatives. JStreetPAC is proud to support McCollum, who was one of our earliest endorsees, in her 2016 race.[17]

JStreet Dinner

One hundred and sixty members of the Congress allowed their nam es to be listed as honorary hosts for the JStreet inaugural conference Gala Dinner on 27 October 2009. AIPAC then began calling them, sometimes making threats against their reelection, to have them to withdraw their names. Twelve members of the Congress, mostly Republicans, withdrew their names. This was a victory for JStreet.

Two of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota, Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, and the two of the Senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar attended the dinner.[18]

2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia

Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.

As a result, Reps. Sam Farr and Jim McGovern, wrote a letter to their colleagues in Congress urging them to join in calling on Secretary Condoleezza Rice to cut funding for the Colombian military.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
(Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:

Signatories included Betty McCollum.[19]

2009 letter on Colombia

From November 6th through December 7th 2009, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia was circulated through the House of Representatives. This letter called for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human rights and humanitarian efforts. The initiators of this letter were —Representatives James McGovern, Jan Schakowsky, Donald Payne, and Mike Honda.

Dear Secretary of State Clinton,
The FY 2011 budget will contain the twelfth year of a major aid package to Colombia—an aid package originally slated to phase out after six years.
After eleven years, it is time to scale down assistance for Colombia's military and more systematically "Colombianize" such programs, within both the State Department and Defense Department budgets.

Signatories included Betty McCollum.[20]

Peace Pledge Coalition

In 2007 90 Members of Congress, pledged in an open letter delivered to President Bush: "We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office." The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition. The Coalition was led by Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America, Bob Fertik, Democrats.com Medea Benjamin, CodePink, Bill Fletcher, co-founder of Center for Labor Renewal David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org, Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution, Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign.

Betty McCollum signed the letter.[21][22]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Betty McCollum. [23]

Minnesota socialists

Betty McCollum is close to Minnesota Democratic Socialists of America supporters such as Jim Scheibel and Michael Paymar.

Fundraiser for Barbara Lee

Please join Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Sen. Ellen Anderson, Rep. Keith Ellison, Councilmember Gary Schiff, Erin Ghere, Brigid McDonough, Al McFarlane, Batala McFarlane, Merriam Park Neighbors for Peace, St. Louis Park Neighbors for Peace, Jim Scheibel, and Tammy Tesky in welcoming Congresswoman Barbara Lee Sunday July 13, 2003 at Minneapolis Urban League,

On September 14th, 2001, she courageously cast her lone vote against granting the President a blank check to wage war without constraint and throughout the world. Barbara Lee is a leader in the fight for peace, social justice, and equality.[24]

Saint Paul Supports Keith Ellison Fundraiser

August 13, 2006 Saint Paul Supports Keith Ellison Fundraiser with Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Mayor Chris Coleman, Commissioner Toni Carter, at the home of Dan Cramer and Cassie Cramer, Saint Paul.

"The list of those expected to show up smiling and fork over the moola reads like a who's-who of tax-and-spend big government in St. Paul": Sen. Ellen Anderson, Rep. Matt Entenza, Chief Bill Finney & Linda Finney, Rep. Alice Hausman, Council Member Lee Helgen, Rep. Sheldon Johnson, School Board Member Kazoua Kong-Thao, Council President Kathy Lantry, Rep. John Lesch, Rep. Tim Mahoney, Rep. Carlos Mariani, Council Member Debbie Montgomery, Revs. Byron Moore & Sharon Moore, Sen. Mee Moua, School Board Member Al Oertwig, Comm. Rafael Ortega, Sen. Sandy Pappas, Rep. Michael Paymar, Comm. Victoria Reinhardt, (former Mayor) Jim Scheibel, School Board President Elona Street-Stewart, Rep. Cy Thao, Council Member Dave Thune, Rev. Carl Walker. [25]

Congressional Field Hearing on Service-Learning

Thursday, April 16, 2009 a field hearing hosted by U. S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum, along with the National Youth Leadership Council and Minnesota Campus Compact was held to discuss service learning's important role within national service programming.

With the recent passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, additional funds slated for service programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the underlying commitment of President Obama's call for all Americans to serve their country, this hearing will call attention to these important national and state-wide issues.

Welcome and Introductory remarks;

SD64 fundraiser

Join Sen. Dick Cohen, Rep. Erin Murphy & Rep. Michael Paymar along with special guest U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum and friends from SD64 for a “Fun”raiser at Sweeney’s from 5-7pm on Monday August 30, 2010.[27]

Opportunity Nation

At Opportunity Nation's first Hill Day: Opportunity Leaders Jim Scheibel and Jennifer Pennington, Opportunity Nationn Deputy Director Elizabeth Clay Roy, Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Opportunity Leader Hong Yang, June 14, 2013.[28]

St. Paul fundraiser

Betty McCollum held a fundraiser on Thursday, Sept 4th, 2014 in St. Paul. Hosts were Conrad Soderholm and Mary Tingerthal, Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, Sen. Dick Cohen, 64B House Candidate Dave Pinto, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi , St. Paul Council Member Chris Tolbert, Mary Pat Lee and Jim Scheibel, Ruby Hunt, Ed Martell, Blanche Hawkins, Connie Lewis and Ken Peterson , Sarah Stoesz and David Foster.[29]

Minnesota Poverty 2014: Call to Action

At the Minnesota Poverty 2014: Call to Action conference, held May 1, 2014, hosted by Minnesota Community Action Partnership, Saint Paul RiverCentre, speakers were;

Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban

On Dec. 22, 2009, thirty-three U.S. Representatives wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on her to request that the Israeli Government end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank. Betty McCollum was one of the signatories of the letter.[31] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Delta Airlines rally

Twin Cities Democratic Socialists of America comrade Andy Guthrie filed this report:

“Earlier in the month (April 4), we participated in a very inspiring rally at the Saint Paul Labor Center in support of two classes of unrepresented workers at Delta Airlines—flight attendants and ramp workers, including the highly exploited so-called ‘ready reserve.’ There was a huge crowd in the small but standing-room-only hall, including Delta workers, members of the International Association of Machinists (which is currently running a card campaign at Delta), other union activists, elected officials, and other supporters, including about a dozen from TC DSA. MN Nurses Association organizer Rose Roach, CD4 Congressional Representative Betty McCollum, and ramp worker Joe Evica were among the many inspiring speakers. ”[32]

Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade

On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Betty McCollum was one of the signatories of the letter. [33] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Obama "SOTU"

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) invited Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson to be her guest to President Barack Obama's first State of the Union Address on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010.

"Too many Americans are hurting because they have lost their job or are worried about losing a job," said Congresswoman McCollum. "No one understands the issues facing working families better than Shar Knutson. Her leadership of the Minnesota AFL-CIO is making a difference for Minnesota families. I am honored that she is joining me as my guest for this historic night as President Obama addresses the continuing challenges facing our nation."[34]

Shutting down broadcasts to Cuba

In April 2011 U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum introduced legislation entitled, "Stop Wasting Taxpayer Money on Cuba Broadcasting Act," which (obviously) seeks to eliminate Radio and TV Marti.

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) has introduced the Senate version.

She circulated a Congressional "Dear Colleague" looking for co-sponsors that reads;

"Over the past twenty-five years, more than $660 million dollars have been wasted beaming propaganda into Cuba. Most of these radio and TV broadcasts—called Radio and Television Marti—are jammed by the Castro Regime before they even reach Cuban shores. The ones that make it through are ignored by the Cuban people."[35]

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

In 2012, Betty McCollum was listed as an associate member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.[36]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Shirley Johnson, was assigned as contact for Rep. McCollum.[37]

Lifting travel ban on Cuba

A May 03, 2013 Press release from the radical controlled and Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Latin America Working Group's Cuba Team stated:

Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.

Signatories included Rep. McCollum.[38]

WAND connection

On March 6, 2014 WAND sponsored a congressional briefing with Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04) entitled, "The Role of Women in Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Afghanistan." Speakers included Palwasha Lena Kakar, Senior Program Officer, Religion and Peacemaking, Center for Governance, Law and Society at the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP); Rangina Hamidi, Founder and President, Kandahar Treasure; Dr. Kathleen Kuehnast, director of the Gender and Peacebuilding Center at USIP, and representatives from the U.S. Department of State and USAID.[39]

ARA endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed Betty McCollum in 2014, also 2012.[40]

Letter on Iran sanctions

The National Iranian American Council commended Rep. James Moran (D-VA) and "all twenty-one Members of Congress who sent a letter to President Obama April 4, 2014, supporting necessary action to ensure medicine and humanitarian goods are not unintentionally blocked for the Iranian people. NIAC strongly supported the letter and has consistently worked to raise awareness regarding the impact of sanctions on the Iranian people"...

The preliminary nuclear agreement brokered by the P5+1 and Iran included an agreement to establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade; however, medicine shortages have continued in part due to extensive financial sanctions on Iran and the reported unwillingness of banks to facilitate legal, humanitarian transactions.

Signers: James P. Moran (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Andre Carson (D-IN), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ), Mike Honda (D-CA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), James McGovern (D-MA), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).[41]

June 2014 Cuba trip

Barbara Lee, Rosa DeLauro, Anna Eshoo, Betty McCollum, CDA's Sarah Stephens, meeting with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, June 21, 2014
Delegation at Foundation of Nature and Man, June 21, 2014, Betty McCollum, second from left

In June 2014 a delegation organized by the Center for Democracy in the Americas traveled to Havana Cuba. It consisted of Sarah Stephens of CDA, US Congresswomen Barbara Lee, Anna Eshoo, Rosa DeLauro, Betty McCollum, and Laura Richardson, Bettina Duval, Alicia Daly, Heather McGhee and other, The delegates had several meetings in Havana, including on June 21, when the Congressmembers and Sarah Stephens met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

The delegates also visited the Foundation of Nature and Man.[42]

At Paladar Atelier, Betty McCollum, Barbara Lee, Anna Eshoo, Rosa DeLauro June 21, 2014

"New beginning"

Minnesota congressman Rick Nolan, who has long advocated for changes to the United States' Cuba policy says a decision to normalize relations with the island country is a "monumental step" in the right direction.

Another Democratic member of the Minnesota delegation, Betty McCollum, described the announcement as "a new beginning." She says she would continue working to end a U.S. trade embargo with Cuba. McCollum spent time in Cuba last summer..[43]

Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation

On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States [44]

The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.

Praising CAIR

“CAIR’s efforts to promote social justice, protect civil liberties, and increase knowledge about Islam are of great value to all Americans.” -Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) (August 2014). [45]

“Muslim Americans are indispensable to the fabric of our state and our nation [. . .] I applaud and share your commitment to keeping America a land of hope, opportunity, and equality for all.”

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) (October 2017).

Letter on US-Mexico security Co-operation

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From Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice;

Urgent alert from our friends at CISPES- Los Angeles Chapter : "The US plans to expand cooperation between Mexico and the United States to unfairly and inhumanely target Central American migrants and asylum seekers at the upcoming "Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America".
We asked Representative Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach to author a letter to Secretary Tillerson calling for to put the human rights of Central Americans and all migrants and refugees front and center, and he's circulating a letter now. To have the biggest impact possible we need as many Members of Congress as possible to sign this letter!
Call or email your representative today and ask them to join Mr. Lowenthal as a co-signer.

Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) led 37 Members of Congress, including top Democrats from the Armed Forces, Judiciary and Appropriations committees, in sending a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise red flags about “suggestions that the United States deepen security collaboration with Mexico along its southern border [with Guatemala] due to evidence that Mexico’s Southern Border Program has led to wide-spread human rights violations and abuses against migrants and asylum-seekers.”

Signers: Don Beyer (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington, DC), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA) , Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), James McGovern (D-MA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA), John Yarmuth (D-KY).[46]

EMILY's List

McCollum has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

External links

References

  1. McCollum official bio, accessed December 28, 2014
  2. McCollum official bio, accessed December 28, 2014
  3. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  4. Interchange, Vol. 12:2 Summer 2002, Lao-American Symposium by Andrew Wells-Dang
  5. [The Washington Post June 20, 2002 Thursday Final EditionLobbying Against Trade With Laos BYLINE: Judy Sarasohn SECTION: A SECTION; SPECIAL INTERESTS JUDY SARASOHN; Pg. A21]
  6. Fund for Reconciliation and Development Washington Update #18 September-October, 2003
  7. [Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota) JUNE 2, 2003 Monday CITY EDITION HMONG BASH U.S.-LAOS TRADE IDEA HUMAN RIGHTS MUST COME FIRST, SOME ARGUE BYLINE: TODD NELSON, Pioneer Press SECTION: MAIN; Pg. A1]
  8. [Saint Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota) November 19, 2004 Friday ST. PAUL EDITION U.S. EXPECTED TO OPEN TRADE DOOR TO LAOS MEASURE'S OK LIKELY; BACKERS BELIEVE IT WILL BENEFIT THE HMONG BYLINE: TOM WEBB and TODD NELSONPioneer Press SECTION: MAIN; Pg. A1]
  9. [The US – Laos NTR Coalition Urging Congress and Senate to Support United States Normal Trade Relations (NTR) with Laos, House Bill H.R. 3943 & Senate Bill S2200]
  10. [http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/node/3376, Twin Cities Daily Planet, Congresswoman Betty McCollum visits Laos By Tom LaVenture, Asian American Press January 16, 2007]
  11. EPRESENTATIVE MCCOLLUM MEETS NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LEADERS Date:2007 January 8, 10:31 (Monday) Canonical ID:07VIENTIANE12_a
  12. [http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/node/3376, Twin Cities Daily Planet, Congresswoman Betty McCollum visits Laos By Tom LaVenture, Asian American Press January 16, 2007]
  13. MAJORITY BACKGROUNDER September 2003
  14. Workday Minnesota, U.S. taking wrong direction on trade, citizens say January 26, 2004
  15. J Street 2008 Annual Report
  16. J Street The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
  17. JStreetPAC 2016 Endorsees
  18. [Erwin Marquit memoirs, page 561]
  19. FOR February 2006 Peace Presence Update
  20. Latin America Working Group, Get Your Representative to Sign a Letter Supporting Human Rights in Colombia
  21. War Is A Crime .org, Peace Pledge Coalition
  22. [http://www.democrats.com/peace-pledge Democrats.com. Sign the Pledge for Peace petition. Bob Fertik August 19, 2007
  23. [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/the_75_democrats_who_are_prose.html American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  24. [http://198.65.0.59/community.asp?userAction=showEvent&EventId=457, INSIGHT NEWS, community events, Congresswoman Barbara Lee 7/13/2003]
  25. Ravenscroft Dog Farm, 07 AUGUST 2006, Are You Ready for Some Socialism?
  26. Field Hearing on Service-Learning
  27. SD64 DFL, Come raise some fun! 8/30 posted on: 08-21-2010
  28. http://opportunitynation.org/latest-news/blog/opportunity-nations-first-hill-day/
  29. Betty McCollum FB, Join Betty McCollum on Thursday, Sept 4th in St. Paul!
  30. Minnesota Poverty 2014: Call to Action, Speakers
  31. John Dingell's House website: Letter to Hillary Clinton, Dec. 22, 2009
  32. http://southsidepride.com/2018/05/21/resistance-persistence-the-revolution-is-headed-your-way-2/Southside Pride, RESISTANCE PERSISTENCE: The Revolution is headed your way Debra Keefer Ramage May 21, 2018]
  33. The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  34. B McCollum press release, McCollum Invites Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson as Guest for President Obama's First State of the Union Address Jan 26, 2010
  35. Capitol Hill Cubans, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum "Channels" the KGB April 12, 2011
  36. [Jump up ↑ http://capac-chu.house.gov/membership, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus website, accessed Feb. 10, 2012] ]
  37. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  38. Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
  39. WAND Women, Peace, and Security
  40. PAF
  41. [https://www.niacouncil.org/congress-urges-president-to-ensure-sanctions-do-not-block-medicine-for-iranians/NIAC Congress Urges President to Ensure Sanctions Do Not Block Medicine for Iranians FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jamal Abdi]
  42. [Center for Democracy in the Americas FLICKR pages, June 19 to 24, 2011
  43. Minnesota's Nolan praises Cuba policy, plans trip Associated Press, Associated Press 1:29 p.m. EST December 17, 2014
  44. H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
  45. [https://www.cair.com/images/pdf/What-They-Say-About-CAIR.pdf What They Say About CAIR (October 2014)
  46. CISPES June 15, 2017 Trump Administration's Agenda at Conference in Miami Provokes Controversy and Opposition