Laura Richardson

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Laura Richardson

Template:TOCnestleft Laura Richardson was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 37th district of California. She lost her re-election bid in November 2012.[1]

Congresswoman Richardson currently serves on both the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and Committee on Homeland Security. She serves as the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response and sits on four subcommittees on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. [2]


At the age of six, while living through the civil rights movement, Laura Richardson decided on a career in public service. Ms. Richardson began her track record of hard work getting her first job at the age of 12 and later participated in the Olympic trials at the age of 17. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Political Science, received an MBA from USC, and went on to spend fourteen years working in corporate America at the Xerox Corporation.[3]

Political career

n 2006, after serving six years as a Long Beach City Councilwoman, Laura Richardson won a seat in the California Assembly in the 55th District and served as Assistant Pro Tempore. She was recognized as the first African-American woman, South Bay representative, and freshman to hold this prestigious position. In the nine short months she spent in the California Legislature, she succeeded in passing three bills and was vital in the Legislature’s ability to expand access to healthcare, enhance public education, and ensure the safety of neighborhoods.

In 2007, Richardson prevailed over a field of 16 candidates in a special election and was elected to her first term in the House of Representatives to represent California's culturally and economically diverse 37th Congressional District. In winning this election, Congresswoman Richardson became the first person in United States history to serve at the local, state, and federal level in the span of less than one year.[4]

Mexican-American support

According to a Special Convention Discussion: Mexican American Equality, for the Communist Party USA's 2010, 29th National Convention in New York;[5]

Mexican Americans are heavily involved in the labor upsurge in leading the peoples struggles, indeed the model for many advances have come from the Mexican American-led Los Angeles County Federation of Labor in building coalitions, reaching out to youth, and focusing on unity. The Mexican American-led Federation played the leading role in prioritizing multi-racial representation in recent special Congressional elections, when it successfully supported African American Laura Richardson and Chinese American Judy Chu, over progressive pro-labor Latinos. Organized labor is now a major force for immigration reform and against repression with increased Mexican American participation on all levels in growing numbers of international unions and support for workers centers.

Congressional Progressive Caucus

As of February 20 2009 Laura Richardson was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[6]

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

In 2012, Laura Richardson was listed as an associate member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.[7]

Cuba trip

Raul Castro and Laura Richardson

In early April 2009, Rep. Barbara Lee led a congressional delegation to Havana for a 4-1/2 hour meeting with Raul Castro, telling reporters, "All of us are convinced that President Castro would like normal relations and would see normalization, ending the embargo, as beneficial to both countries." Reuters reported that Lee's delegation "avoided specifics" with Castro "but were struck by his humor, impressed by his involvement in Third World causes and firm in their belief that he wants to end U.S.-Cuba enmity."

The meeting between Castro, Lee, and five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, took place in secret without the customary presence of a US State Department official. No reporters attended, and according to the New York Times, Cuban television, which covered the visit, offered no details of what was said.

Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Melvin Luther Watt (D-CA), and Barbara Lee. "Also particpating were Patrice Willougby, executive assistant to the Congressional Black Caucus, and Eulada Watt, wife of Congressman Mel Watt,".

Bobby Rush said he found Raul Castro "to be just the opposite of how he's being portrayed in the media." AP quotes Rush as saying, "I think what really surprised me, but also endeared to him was his keen sense of humor, his sense of history and his basic human qualities." At times, Rush said, the lawmakers and Castro chatted "like old family members."

Lee says she wanted to influence President Barack Obama prior to the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Trinadad and Tobago.

Prior to the trip, Lee told her hometown Oakland Tribune newspaper that the US had to open up to Cuba, but did not demand that the Cuban government open up; she blasted US policy as "based on antiquated Cold War-era thinking." She could have used those words to describe her own views.[8]

According to Fidel Castro;

The main activity on April 4, the day that marked the 41st anniversary of the death of the human rights martyr, was a visit to the park in the Cuban capital named after Martin Luther King, where there is a black-veined dark green marble monolith bearing the bronze embossed image of the great black combatant who was assassinated by racists. Barbara Lee, Laura Richardson, Emanuel Cleaver and Bobby Rush spoke at the event. The four of them publicly emphasized the positive impact of the meetings they had had.

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Ca.) said Castro was receptive to President Obama’s message of turning the page in American foreign policy.

"He listened. He said the exact same thing" about turning the page "as President Obama said," said Richardson.

Richardson said Castro knew her name and district. "He looked right into my eyes and he said, 'How can we help? How can we help President Obama?'"[9]

Social Security benefits for same-sex couples

On April 11, 2010, an energized crowd of more than 700 people rallied at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and marched more than a mile to the Social Security Administration office in Hollywood today to demand an end to the unconscionable discrimination that deprives older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) taxpayers of more than $120 million in Social Security benefits every year.

Representative Linda Sanchez —a member of the House Subcommittee on Social Security—announced that she will author legislation to provide equal Social Security benefits for same-sex couples and Rep. Judy Chu offered to co-author the bill. Other political and community leaders who spoke out at the event included Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Laura Richardson, L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz, West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L. Jean, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey and AIDS Community Action Foundation President Craig R. Miller..[10]

Budget cuts protest

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was among the scheduled speakers at a downtown rally march 23, 2011, to protest proposed federal budget cuts, which organizers claim would hurt the city and county governments and attempts by small businesses to avoid layoffs.

Reps. Maxine Waters, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Karen Bass, Laura Richardson and Judy Chu, Councilman Richard Alarcon, actors Tim Robbins and James Cromwell and actress Mimi Kennedy were among the other scheduled speakers for the rally at the Edward Roybal Federal Building, set to begin at 2:30 p.m.[11]

Cuba trip, June 2014

Delegation at Foundation of Nature and Man, June 21, 2011, Laura Richardson, third from right

In June 2011 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 former Congresswoman 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.[12]


Planned Parenthood

Richardson received $500 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.

EMILY's List

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


The folliwng is a list of past and present staff:[13]

External links