Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Sheila Jackson-Lee is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 18th district of Texas. She is also a vice chair on the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is serving her ninth term representing the 18th Congressional District , centered in Houston, which is the energy capital of the world.[1]

Personal

Congresswoman Jackson Lee is married to Dr. Elwyn C. Lee, who holds a dual position of Vice Chancellor and Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Houston System and the University of Houston, respectively. They have two children Erica, who is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Duke University, and Jason, who is a graduate of Harvard University.[2]

Education

Congresswoman Jackson Lee earned a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University with honors, followed by a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.[3]

Houston service

Before her election to Congress, Congresswoman Jackson Lee served two terms as one of the first African American women At-Large members of the Houston City Council, where she chaired the first Human Relations Committee, along with the Airport and Cable Committees. Prior to her Council service, she was an Associate Municipal Court Judge for the City of Houston.[4]

Committees

Sheila Jackson-Lee sits on two Congressional Committees — the House Committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security. The Congresswoman has authored several immigration bills, such as H.R. 750, the "Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2007", which sets forth a comprehensive and humane solution to the immigration problem. Rep. Jackson Lee introduced legislation to enhance federal enforcement of hate crimes with H.R. 254, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention of 2007. Rep. Jackson Lee also played a significant role in the recent renewal and reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Congresswoman Jackson Lee contributed an amendment to the NASA reauthorization bill this year that will ensure equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged students to NASA’s education programs.[5]

Caucuses

Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a founder, member, and co-chair of the Congressional Children's Caucus, the Pakistan Caucus, Afghan Caucus, and newly formed Algerian Caucus. Congresswoman Jackson Lee has been actively engaged in addressing and resolving the genocide in Darfur. Accordingly, she met with Sudanese refugees in Chad, for whom she secured additional funding, and African Union soldiers in Sudan.[6]

1999 Cuba visit

On February 18 1990, six members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba to evaluate the U.S.-imposed embargo. Among the visitors: Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Julia Carson of Indiana and Gregory Meeks from New York and Earl Hilliard of Alabama [Vice Chair, CBC].

Representative Maxine Waters, who headed the delegation, stated that many of the congressional representatives already have some information about Cuba. But she hoped that additional facts would help the Black Caucus take a leading role in introducing legislation to change current U.S. policies toward Cuba.

Jorge Lezcano, President of the International Relations Commission of the Cuban Parliament, received the U.S. congressional representatives upon their arrival in Havana. Lezcano told reporters that the visiting members of the Congressional Black Caucus plan to meet with Cuban lawmakers and other government officials. He added that during their stay on the island, the U.S. delegation will also visit places of cultural and historic interest.[7][8][9]

The legislators' visit was organized by the US based Pastors for Peace, headed by the Rev. Lucius Walker, who accompanied the delegation. They have organized several aid "caravans" in the United States to collect supplies and take them to the island.

On Thursday, February 18th, the group met with Cuban Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina and held a question and answer session with him. The Cuban domestic news agency AIN said the encounter covered Washington's "aggressive policy" toward Cuba and the effects of the long-running U.S. economic embargo against the communist-ruled island. Robaina also talked about what he called the "enormous misinformation" about Cuba in the mainstream U.S. media.

Late Friday, February 19th, the group met with President Fidel Castro for 6 hours. There have as yet been no details on the meeting in the Cuban press. Vice President Carlos Lage and Ricardo Alarcon, president of the parliament, were also present.[10]

Pro Democracy Convention

The Pro Democracy Convention was held June 29th To July 1, 2001. It started with a National Town Hall Meeting, Annenberg Center, University of Pennsylvania.

Come to a National Town Hall Meeting! Hear speakers representing a wide range of communities, including academics, labor leaders,

lawyers, organizers, and elected officials, speak out about Election 2000, recommendations for electoral reform, and how we all can build the movement to expand democracy in the U.S. Partial List of Invited Speakers and Presenters:

CBC 33rd Legislative Conference, 2003

Anger at the Bush administration for waging war abroad and attacking rights at home bubbled up at the Congressional Black Caucus 33rd Legislative Conference in Washington DC, Sept. 24-27, 2003.

“Collective Leadership: Challenging A Bold New World” was the title of the conference, which attracted thousands of participants in 53 plenary and workshop sessions.

A standing-room crowd at a session titled “The Iraq War: America Speaks Out” convened by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), cheered Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who recently accused Bush of “fraud” in tricking the U.S. into war. The White House reacted with rage to that blast.

But Kennedy did not apologize. “If your son or daughter is in the National Guard or Reserves, you know they are going to be called up and sent over to serve in Iraq,” Kennedy thundered. “They are asking $87 billion for the war in Iraq and they cannot find enough to fund ‘No Child Left Behind.’”

Kennedy read from the Pentagon’s 28-page draft plan sent to Capitol Hill after weeks of protests from lawmakers that the occupation is floundering. “Locate and secure weapons of mass destruction,” was the goal one week. A week later, again, “Continue to locate and secure weapons of mass destruction.” The crowd groaned and Kennedy flung the draft in the air, calling it “an insult to our troops serving over there.”

Democratic presidential contender Al Sharpton told the crowd that Kennedy “has nothing to apologize for” in his blistering attacks on Bush. Recalling Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN last Feb. 14 with spy photos allegedly showing Iraqi weapons sites, Sharpton demanded, “Where are they?” He said, “Our children were put in harm’s way. It is immoral to give this president $87 billion for this war.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) asked, “What do you do if a president has committed acts that should lead to his removal? Citing mounting calls to investigate lies and misuse of intelligence by the “unelected president and the people around him,” Conyers said, “How do we withstand the mood of people who are saying to us: ‘What are you waiting for?’”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said, “Every day people are dying. I am appalled and outraged that Republicans are blocking a full and fair examination of the facts.”

Civil rights leader Rev. Willie Barrow said, “Mr. Bush, you didn’t find Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, or weapons of mass destruction. We know a lie when we hear it.” She challenged the crowd to start now to register millions of voters. “It’s not enough to register people. We have to get them out to the polls on Election Day,” she said. “Let’s come together and show Bush the door.[12]

Progressive Majority Advisory Committee

In 2003 Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee served on the Progressive Majority Advisory Committee.[13]

Millions More Movement

The Millions More Movement held an important all-day rally Oct. 15, 2005 on the National Mall that attracted an overwhelmingly African-American crowd numbering more than 1 million, according to organizers. The main demand put forth by the rally organizers and supported by the masses there was “Black power!”

Not one U.S. flag was prominent in the crowd, but the colors of the flag for U.S. Black liberation—red, black and green—could be seen everywhere.

This MMM rally was first announced in 2004 as a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March on Oct. 16, 1995, held at the same site. That event attracted at least 1 million, mainly Black men, and was initiated by the Nation of Islam.

The speeches were focused on a variety of issues: the prison system and the plight of political prisoners—especially Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown) and Leonard Peltier-police brutality, reparations, voter disenfranchisement, LGBT oppression, immigrant rights, economic and political empowerment, education and health, the role of art and culture in the struggle for social justice, and much more.

The main presentation at this rally was given by the MMM’s national convener and NOI leader, the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Among the many other speakers were Clarence Thomas and Chris Silvera from the Million Worker March Movement; Dr. Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women; Indigenous leaders Russell Means and Vernon Bellecourt; Congress woman Sheila Jackson; Haitian singer Wyclef Jean; Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson; Viola Plummer of the Dec. 12 Movement; Damu Smith, Black Voices for Peace; and comedian and social activist Dick Gregory.

In a videotaped message played to the crowd, the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcón, expressed the Cuban people’s solidarity with Katrina survivors and all the poor in the U.S. He also spoke about the case of the Cuban 5, who were imprisoned for fighting against terrorism while the U.S. aids and shelters real terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles. [14]

Phillip Burton Award

Sheila Jackson-Lee , was the recipient of the Phillip Burton Award, at the 2006 Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards, from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, in the Bay Area.[15]

CAIR banquet

More than 1,000 people turned out November 2006 at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in Arlington, Va., to hear addresses by several elected officials, including Keith Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress.

The event raised more than $620,000 to support CAIR's civil rights and advocacy work on behalf of the American Muslim community.

Elected officials who spoke at the sold-out event included Representative-elect Ellison (D-MN), as well as Reps. Mike Honda (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Albert Wynn (D-MD). Ellison and Jackson Lee offered their addresses by video. Saqib Ali, who was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates (District 39) on November 7, was also in attendance.

Other speakers included Special Agent in Charge Joseph Persichini, Jr. of the FBI's Washington Field Office, Fairfax County Police Chief Col. David M. Rohrer and Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Most members of CAIR's national board also took part in the banquet, which was emceed by Julia Shearson of CAIR-Ohio's Cleveland office.

Several Muslim community members received CAIR Islamic Community Service Awards during the dinner. The annual CAIR Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship went to Raashida Muhammad of Stillman College.[16]

Muslim staffer

In a 2007 report to Nihad Awad, CAIR Legislative Director Corey Saylor said he had placed Samia Elshafie in the office of Sheila Jackson-Lee, for one year. Elshafie served as Rep. Jackson-Lee's office contact on human rights issues.[17]

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.

Sheila Jackson-Lee signed the letter.[18][19]

Posada letter

In 2005 several far left Congressmembers wrote to President Bush urging him to extradite alleged terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela to face justice.

We are writing to urge you to oppose the application for asylum by Luis Posada Carriles, and to support the request for extradition to Venezuela, where he is a fugitive from justice.

Signatories were; Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney, John Olver, James McGovern, Donald Payne, Lane Evans, Carolyn Maloney, Tammy Baldwin, Lynn Woolsey, Jose Serrano, Raul Grijalva, Maurice Hinchey, Bobby Rush, Edolphus Towns, Sam Farr, Bennie Thompson, Ed Pastor, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters.[20]

Employed Stoney Cooks

In 2006, far left activist Stoney Cooks served as Sheila Jackson-Lee's chief of staff and administrative assistant:[21]

National Capital Immigration Coalition rally

September 7, 2006, the National Capital Immigration Coalition held a rally on the National Mall. The protest was billed by immigration rights groups as a post-Labor Day demonstration to show Congress that undocumented workers still wanted an immigration reform bill that would allow them to work in the country legally. Turnout for the march was lower than expected with several organizers attributing low numbers of attendees to the fact that in the four months since the first marches, competing immigration bills had stalled in the House and the Senate.

Speakers were Johari Abdul-Malik Chairman Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations, Deepak Bhargava Director Center for Community Change, Macrina Cardenas National Coordinator Mexico Solidarity Network, Jaime Contreras Chair National Capital Immigration Coalition, Francisco Gonzalez Valer Auxiliary Bishop Roman Catholic Church-Archdiocese of Washington, DC Bruce S. Gordon President and CEO NAACP, Luis Gutiérrez U.S. Representative [D] Illinois, Chung-Wha Hong Executive Director New York Immigration Coalition, Jose Hoyos Priest Roman Catholic Church-Arlington, VA, Sheila Jackson Lee U.S. Representative [D] Texas, Abdul Kamus Executive Director African Resource Center, Edward Kennedy U.S. Senator [D] Massachusetts, Carlos Lopez Laborer, Timothy McDonald Chairman African-American Ministers in Action, Eliseo Medina Executive Vice President Service Employees International Union, Janet Murguia President and CEO National Council of La Raza, Miguel Rivera President National Coalition of Latino Clergy, Rosa Rosales National President League of United Latin American Citizens, Gustavo Torres Executive Director CASA de Maryland, John Wilhelm President UNITE HERE->Hospitality Industry.[22]

Celebrating the first increase of the federal minimum wage in 10 years

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee held a special press conference July 22, 2007, at the Christian Rescue Mission Church in the heart of the 3rd Ward, near Houston’s downtown, to celebrate the first increase of the federal minimum wage in 10 years.

Her main objective was to publicize the raise among poor and working people in her district, so they can effectively demand it from their employers.

Participants in the event included representatives from the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, ACORN and faith-based groups.

Jackson Lee has worked tirelessly on behalf of her district’s poor and working people, and was instrumental in getting the legislation passed in Congress despite stiff opposition from the ultra-right. She noted that on “Tuesday, July 24, more than 13 million workers will receive a long overdue raise. When the minimum wage increase is fully phased in in 2009, minimum wage workers will have an extra $4,400 to feed, clothe, house and educate their families.”

She stressed that since the minimum wage in Texas has been the old federal minimum, $5.15 an hour, 888,000 Texans will see an immediate increase in their hourly pay. An estimated 1,774,000 Texas workers Women, disadvantaged workers and working households at the bottom of the income scale will be disproportionately helped by the wage hike. She said this increase will help reverse the trend of declining real wages for low-wage workers and their families.

Jackson Lee pointed out the modern-day tragedy that many of the families of soldiers fighting in Iraq are on food stamps because their incomes are so low. Ten percent of military spouses earn between $5.15 and $7.25 per hour. About 50,000 military families will benefit from the minimum wage boost.

Jolanda Jones, a Houston lawyer who represents clients who cannot afford an attorney, said that disadvantaged people are targeted by the criminal justice system. She said the raise in minimum wage will help families defend themselves and ultimately will make our cities safer because “desperate people do desperate things.” [23]

National Congress of Black Women Salutes Sojourner Truth

National Congress of Black Women’s Reception to Meet and Greet Honorary Chairs and Truth Commissioners, honoring Sojourner Truth was held at the NW Washington home of Julian Epstein, Wednesday June 6th, 2007.

Attendees included E. Faye Williams (National Congress of Black Women), Barbara Lang (Chamber of Commerce) Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Eleanor Smeal, Kim Gandy, Alice Cohan, Dick Gregory, and Rep. Bobby Scott.[24]

Take Back America Conferences

Sheila Jackson Lee was on the list of 237 speakers at the 2007 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[25]

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First

Sheila Jackson-Lee is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".[26]

"Agent Orange" campaign connection

November 7, 2007, second from left Merle Ratner, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, far right Susan Schnall

From November 1-14, 2007, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong a leading clinician / researcher on the effects of Agent Orange on women and children in Vietnam from Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, visited Washington DC on an Vietnam Agent Orange Public Health Tour

Dr. Phuong, Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange toured Washington DC where a policy of the American Public Health Association on Agent Orange (Vietnamese version) was passed on November 6 2007. Dr Phuong was accompanied by Merle Ratner of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and Susan Schnall (both leaders of the Committees of Correspondence dominated Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign.

The delegation met several members of Congress including John Conyers, Bob Filner and Sheila Jackson-Lee.[27]

Dr. Phuong has held many senior positions in Vietnam's communist government including;[28]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

On November 19 2008 the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced[29]its elected leadership for the 111th Congress.

Co-Chairs are Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (CA) Whip Diane Watson Vice-Chair Liaison to Black Caucus Sheila Jackson-Lee Vice-Chair Liaison to Women's Caucus Hilda Solis Vice-Chair Liaison to Asian Pacific American Caucus Mazie Hirono Vice-Chair Liaison to LGBT Equality Caucus, Dennis Kucinich

As of February 20 2009 Sheila Jackson-Lee was listed as a Vice Chair[30]of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congressional Black Caucus

Sheila Jackson-Lee is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[31]

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 Sheila Jackson-Lee. [32]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

As of February 20 2009 Jesse Jackson Jr was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[33]

Healthcare rally

In July 2009, a spirited rally was held recently at the Harris County AFL-CIO headquarters in Houston to support health care reform. The effort was called by Organizing for America which is the successor to Obama for America.

Participants were treated to rousing speeches from local elected officials who support health care reform, including U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Carol Alvarado, Texas State Senator, U.S. Rep. Al Green, and Jolanda Jones, Houston City Councilperson.

Congressperson Sheila Jackson-Lee said that we have been waiting 60 years for basic medical coverage for all, pointing out the Health Care Choice Act would cut waste, fraud and abuse. Jackson-Lee indicated and that although single-payer health care was the ideal, that the present bill would reduce health care costs for average Americans, families, businesses and government. [34]

Houston "progressives"

Texas Congressmembers Al Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee lead a march of 300 supporters through downtown Houston in March 2007

According to James Thompson of the Communist Party USA paper People's World[35];

Houston also has a strong union movement which is very progressive and is active in electoral politics. The city's three Congress people Al Green, Gene Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee are at the forefront of the progressive struggle in the House of Representatives.


EMILY's List

Jackson-Lee has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

"Impeach Cheney"

In January 2008, nine out of 23 Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee favor starting impeachment hearings against Vice-President Dick Cheney. Six of the nine are co-sponsors of H.R. 799, which contains three articles of impeachment. The nine Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who favored impeachment hearings were: Robert Wexler, Fla.; Luis Gutierrez, Ill.; Anthony Weiner, N.Y.; Tammy Baldwin, Wisc.; Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas; Steve Cohen, Tenn.; Keith Ellison, Minn.; Maxine Waters, Calif.; and Hank Johnson, Ga.[36]

Violated Election Laws

On October 19, 2010, Jackson-Lee entered into Acres Home Multiservice Community Center, walked to where the voting booths were looking for the poll watchers, greeted voters there, and then found and confronted the poll watchers before being directed to, and then asked by, the presiding judge Bernard Gurski to leave the area. A source stated that Jackson-Lee loudly stated to the crowd in the voting area, "I’ve heard a lot of complaints about voter intimidation by poll watchers. I am not going to allow voter intimidation." Lee then reportedly went to the poll watcher and asked, "What’s your name? Who do you represent?" The presiding judge then asked Congresswoman Lee to leave.

It was noted that Congresswoman Jackson-Lee’s office is located in the building where voting takes place.[37]

"Appeal for Redress"

Capturejackson lee.JPG

The Appeal for Redress held a press conference, on October 17, 2007, on Capitol Hill, in the Rayburn Building. The group of 2,050 active duty military members is calling on the U.S. Congress "to end the occupation of Iraq." It is also warning the "Bush-Cheney Gang" from "repeating the same mistake in Iran." Sharing her views in support of the group's goals was Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). Sponsoring the event was the Institute for Policy Studies. [38]

Texas lynching

Far more people showed up for the June 13, 1998 funeral of James Byrd, Jr. than the New Bethel Baptist Church in Jasper, Texas, could hold.

In just a week, the gruesome lynching of Byrd has generated mass outrage against the racism in the United States.

Among those attending the funeral were family and friends of Byrd plus members of Congress including Congressional Black Caucus leader Rep. Maxine Waters and Texas Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Eddie Bernice Johnson and Jim Turner, Texas Land Commissioner Gary Mauro, Houston Mayor Lee Brown, Houston City Councilperson Jew Don Boney and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume.[39]

Congressional Black Caucus

In 2011 Sheila Jackson-Lee was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.[40] The CBC is an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to blacks.

Van Jones rally

Vannyy.PNG

2011, Sheila Jackson-Lee addressed a Rebuild the Dream rally with Van Jones.

Lame Duck Session Agenda of Jobs

On Thursday, November 9, 2012, at the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse in Houston, TX, Congressman Al Green participated in the Post-Election News Conference on the Lame Duck Session Agenda of Jobs. He was joined at the news conference by representatives from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AFL-CIO, Texas Organizing Project, Good Jobs Great Houston, Houston Organization of Municipal Employees, Congressman Gene Green, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Congressman Al Green spoke on the importance of maintaining safety net programs as well as investments in infrastructure important to creating jobs in the Greater Houston Area. During the news conference, union activists also praised Congressman Al Green’s tireless advocacy for his community in Congress.[41]

Washington immigration rally

The Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation took over the US capital Friday afternoon September 14, 2012. They were joined by Congressmembers Lloyd Doggett, Gene Green, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, Ruben Hinojosa and Congresswoman Judy Chu from Califormia, who met with the Latino activist, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, SEIU, AFSCME, civil and human immigrant rights activist from all over the country.

Jaime Martinez, organizer of the events, along with Dr. Eduardo Ibarra, from Puerto Rico, President of El Colegio de Dotores, and chairman of the board of a national organization, “Viva El Pueblo Latino.” Ask both political parties to work together for a just pathway to citizenship and to support the students “Dreamers” in their efforts to obtain equality in their education.[42]

Strategic Consulting Group

The Strategic Consulting Group is a political consulting firm that handles the cases of high-profile progressive organizations and political leaders. The group which has also worked for ACORN, NARAL and USAction, has worked for Sheila Jackson-Lee.[43]

LIBERT-E Act

June 18, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to address National Security Agency surveillance.

H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.

A coalition of 32 Members of Congress joined Conyers and Amash in introducing the bill. After introduction, Conyers and Amash issued the following statement:

The following Members of Congress cosponsored the legislation:

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) Rep. William Enyart (D-IL) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) [44]

Venezuelan connection

According to data the Venezuelan delegation to Washington filed with the Foreign Agents Registration of the US, Venezuelan officials had 82 contacts with personalities in the United States. The list includes meetings with lawmakers, NGOs, and representatives of US actor Danny Glover's office.

The website of the US Government's Foreign Agents Registration published a report by Olivia Goumbri, who identifies herself as the Venezuelan Embassy's Social Outreach Counselor. The document elaborates on the Venezuelan officials' contacts with US political, cultural, and academic leaders.

Pursuant to the US law, foreign government agents in the United States have to report such activities to the NSD.

The document includes a questionnaire in which Goumbri was asked whether her foreign principal (the Embassy of Venezuela) had engaged in any political activity in the US. Goumbri's response was Yes.

Several congressional representatives, a pro-Cuban organization, religious leaders, social organizations, and actor Danny Glover's office are among the 82 registered contacts between Venezuelan diplomats and US-based individuals or organizations. Such activities took place from November 2012 to April 30, 2013.

Barbara Lee, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Yvette Clarke, Gregory Meeks, Karen Bass and Jose Serrano - an admirer of late President Hugo Chávez- are some of the members of the House of Representatives who were contacted by the Venezuelan diplomatic mission through their parliamentary offices .[45]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Cathy Courtney, was assigned as contact for Rep. Jackson-Lee. In June it was Mark Karger[46][47]

No cuts rally

Scores of seniors came to the U.S. Capitol October 2013, joined hands with Members of Congress, and formed a human chain in opposition to the Chained CPI formula and all benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Congressional Progressive Caucus hosted the demonstration, as Alliance for Retired Americans members joined with Social Security Works and other allies. The event was emceed by Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Keith Ellison (D-MN). Other Members of Congress at the event included Reps. Cheri Bustos (IL); David Cicilline (RI); Yvette Clarke (NY); John Conyers (MI); Elijah Cummings (MD); Rosa DeLauro (CT); Alan Grayson (FL); Mike Honda (CA); Steven Horsford (NV); Barbara Lee (CA); Sheila Jackson Lee (TX); Alan Lowenthal (CA); Dan Maffei (NY); Carolyn Maloney (NY); Jerrold Nadler (NY); Mark Pocan (WI); Jan Schakowsky (IL); Mark Takano (CA); and Paul Tonko (NY).[48]

Nelson Mandela's funeral

In December 2013, the following Democratic legislators traveled to South Africa to attended Nelson Mandela's funeral Democrats Dels. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) and Donna Christensen (V.I.); and Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge, John Conyers (Mich.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), John Lewis, Jim McDermott (Wash.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Mel Watt (N.C.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Tex.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Gene Green (Tex.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Karen Bass (Calif.), Joyce Beatty (Ohio) and Terri Sewell (Ala.).[49]

Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections

On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.

The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.

“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.

Signatories included Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee.[50].

"Hands up"

Four Democrats took to the House floor December 23, 2014, to display the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture that has come to be symbolic of the Ferguson protests.

Expressing solidarity Monday night with Michael Brown, the young man shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., were Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, Al Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee.

Jeffries, called the gesture and chant “a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence.”[51]

ARA endorsement, 2012

The Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Sheila Jackson-Lee in 2012.[52]

ARA PAF endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed Sheila Jackson-Lee in 2014.[53]

"Progressive Agenda"

Signers of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's May 12, 2015 launched The Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality included US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.[54]

Congressmembers call on Obama to rescind Venezuela sanctions

May 15, 2015, Sixteen Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter calling on President Obama to withdraw sanctions on seven Venezuelan government officials, and also to withdraw the language of an executive order justifying the sanctions.

The sanctions to which the letter refers were based on legislation voted by Congress in December and signed by the president on Dec. 18. On Mar. 9, after the arrest of several Venezuelan political figures whom Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused of plotting a coup, President Obama issued an executive order declaring an "emergency" on the basis of a supposed "unusual and extraordinary threat" to the United States and its interests by Venezuela, and imposed the sanctions, mostly on mid-level security personnel.

The sanctions prevent them from traveling to the United States and freeze any assets they might have in this country.

The congresspersons who signed the letter were: Hank Johnson, John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, Keith Ellison, Jose Serrano, Sam Farr, Karen Bass, Jan Schakowsky, Jim McDermott, Bobby Rush, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Mike Capuano, Charles Rangel, Chellie Pingree, and Earl Blumenauer.[55]

CBC/Black Lives matter

September 2015, D.C.'s Convention Center was the site for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 45th Annual Legislative Conference where the development of the #BlackLivesMatter movement was given intense attention from many different perspectives. More than 70 education, health, civic engagement and economic empowerment sessions under the theme, "With Liberty and Justice for All?" filled September 16-20 during the day as concerts, receptions and networking gatherings filled the evenings.

Thursday's first event was the National Town Hall: "Black Lives Matter-Ending Racial Profiling, Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration." Roland Martin, Managing Editor of TVOne NewsOne Now moderated a panel which included Congressional Representatives Elijah Cummings, Sheila Jackson Lee, Hakeem Jeffries, and G.K. Butterfield. Others on the panel included Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network (#BLM); Alphonso Mayfield, president of the SEIU Florida Public Service Union; and Val Demings, former police chief of Orlando, Fla., the first woman to hold the position.

Roland Martin reminded the audience that while 24 criminal justice reform bills have been passed since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., no action has yet been taken by the prosecutor in Cleveland one year after Tamir Rice was gunned down. Ms. Garza underscored that the criminal justice system as currently instituted "is not broken; it is designed to work just as it does work." And Rep. Hakeem Jeffries from Brooklyn, N.Y. declared, "Black men are viewed as economic commodities. Democrats and Republicans built a prison industrial complex and then filled it through mass incarceration."

The People's World was represented at the conference by participants from DC, Daytona Beach, St. Louis and Baltimore.

We learned that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has met with #BLM about strengthening accountability mechanisms within police departments, but that the DOJ has put on record that their mandates at a local level are "too high."

Elijah Cummings praised Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore's elected prosecutor for her bravery in pursuing legal remedies in the Freddie Gray police murder trials. "We want to be sure that the wheels of justice turn and are not stopped," he said.

Moderator Roland Martin encouraged voting as the answer to racism in the criminal 'injustice' system, since so many District Attorneys are elected. "Having a Black DA matters, but that doesn't happen if Black folks don't vote." Martin said that as a result of a new DA in one district, there have been more innocent African Americans freed in one year than in the 20 previous years.

Alicia Garza said that it is a requirement for activists to fight for "the right of Black people to live in our full dignity and our full humanity," at every level, including in federal, state and local government. In terms of police departments, she said that Black and progressive police are fighting police injustice from within, attempting to change a culture of racism and 'police loyalty' and replace it with police integrity.

What was clear from the panel discussion was that the Congressional Black Caucus strongly supports the Black Lives Matter Network in the work it is doing. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee stated, "I'm proud that we the CBC have had the wisdom to follow Black Lives Matter. It engenders a diverse, generational movement. As we do the policy, I believe Black Lives Matter can be the catalyst-like the movement that brought about voting and civil rights legislation in the '60s."

During Q & A, the first question to the panel at the Town Hall was that Black on Black violence had not been addressed. Garza's answer was that people will reach for power, whether it be against their neighbor or against the real forces keeping them down. Other panelists answered that white on white crime is also greater than interracial violent crimes.

Collective bargaining, stated one member of the audience, can act as a bar to getting police accountability. Mayfield of the SEIU offered that contract negotiations are with City governments and thus can be influenced by citizens. He countered other panelists, declaring that police can be suspended without pay for misconduct under some contracts.

Other questions resulted in the panel talking about widening the struggle to include the right to a good education and creating the labor force to fill the 1.4 new technical jobs that will be needed in the next five years.[56]

Ferguson

After an emotional meeting between a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus and activists in Ferguson, Mo., the CBC pledges action to keep the movement going.

After a dinner meeting with 10 young activists in Ferguson, Mo., members of the Congressional Black Caucus are looking for ways to empower the Ferguson activist community. Eleven members of the caucus met with the activists Jan. 17, 2015 including leaders from the Organization for Black Struggle and activists Deray McKesson and Johnetta Elzie.

“That dinner meeting was powerful. They [the members] heard it. They got an earful from those young people about how bad it is. They spoke on how they felt that the civil rights movement had failed them and talked on the abuse they are still taking from the criminal-justice system,” Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-Mo.) told The Root days after the CBC visit to his district.

“The next step is for the Congressional Black Caucus Institute to get behind a massive effort to educate the voters of Ferguson. It’s a community of 21,000 people, 67 percent African American; we have the numbers, and the map works for them having a voice in local government,” Clay added.

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who attended the Ferguson dinner, stressed during an interview with The Root, “We can’t tell them what to do” but “we can help them with what they want to do.”

Members of the CBC pledged to sponsor several young activists from Ferguson for the next CBC Political and Education Leadership Institute Boot Camp. The CBC Institute, started in 2002, has an annual political-leadership boot camp that focuses on leadership development, political campaigns and issue advocacy. In July, 55 young people graduated from the boot camp. Members can sponsor boot camp students with their campaign funds.

“Rep. Joyce Beatty [D-Ohio] agreed to sponsor one of the activists who attended the dinner at the CBC Institute boot camp. We’re gonna have about 15 of these young people in our boot camp from Ferguson,” Clay said.

Clay said the dinner meeting “was very positive, and it wasn’t really slamming the police, but it’s letting them know: OK, we’re watching you. We’re gonna take direct action legislatively to correct some of these gross inequities in the administration of justice.”

CBC member Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), currently the top fundraiser of the 46-member caucus, brought a check to the dinner meeting for each City Council candidate at the gathering. A more detailed fundraising plan is being thought out.

“We have filled the candidates in those seats, and we will be going out in each of the three wards in Ferguson, educating the voters on the importance of them having a voice in their local government,” said Clay.

CBC Chairman G.K. Butterfield told The Root on the night of the State of the Union that the caucus will soon unveil a detailed criminal-justice legislative plan.

[57]

The delegation also included reps Karen Bass, D-Calif.; Andre Carson, D-Ind.; Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City; Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio; Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas; Donald Payne, Jr., D-N.J.[58]

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 [59]

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. Timothy J. 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

“The Council’s work in the state of Texas and across the nation is much appreciated.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) (September 2014). [60]

“Our democracy requires the active participation of informed citizens and I commend CAIR for its efforts to support the principles of civic engagement on which the United States of America was founded.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) (October 2017).

2016 Cuba trip

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee was part of President Barack Obama's March 2016 delegation to Cuba.[61]

Staff

The following have worked as staff members for Jackson-Lee:[62]

External links

References

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