In Profile: Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
This week, WAND/WiLL is recognizing the achievements of Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, who represents California’s 6th district. She was first elected in 1992, beating out eight Democratic opponents in the primary to fill the seat vacated by Barbara Boxer when she ran for the Senate. This is Congresswoman Woolsey’s last term in office, as she has announced that she will not run for reelection in 2012.
Woolsey is a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. She is a former co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and is known for her activism.
Throughout her time in Congress, Woolsey has drawn attention with her advocacy for peace and human rights around the world. She has always campaigned against the war in Iraq, and in 2005 she was the first member of Congress to introduce a resolution calling for the removal of troops from Iraq. In 2006, she gave well-known peace activist Cindy Sheehan a guest pass to the State of the Union, where Sheehan was subsequently arrested for activism. In 2009, Woolsey was arrested along with Congresswoman Donna Edwards for protesting the blockage of aid to victims of genocide in Darfur. Since 2011, Woolsey has been very critical of General Petraeus and the situation in Afghanistan.
Woolsey has done a significant amount of work on nuclear weapons specifically. As she introduced a resolution on nuclear disarmament during the Bush administration, Woolsey said, “We owe it to our children to exercise the full range of diplomatic options rather than threatening the use of nuclear weapons, so we can fight our real enemies - poverty, inadequate health care, and lack of education. As citizens of the most educated and financially well-off country in history, we must decide to put our strength, our energy and our creativity behind a policy for peace rather than a policy of destruction.” Later in the Bush administration, she offered legislation aimed at reducing nuclear weapons and the defense budget. More recently, she campaigned against the V-22 Osprey with an amendment to the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act that redirects money to be used for domestic spending rather than the failing V-22 project. Throughout her time in Congress, she has consistently sponsored legislation to reduce or abolish nuclear weapons.
Woolsey has also worked to defend and improve a variety of domestic programs. She is one of only two members of the House who has experienced being on welfare. This gives her an important, different perspective from other members of Congress.
WAND is proud to acknowledge Congresswoman Woolsey’s accomplishments and her work advocating for safer security policies, smarter budget priorities, and alternatives to militarism. Throughout her time in Congress, Woolsey has been one of WAND’s best advocates for peace. She will be missed.
-Hayley Anderson, WAND DC intern