Karen Bass Committee Assignments

Women of the CBC Biographies

Alma S. Adams
Dr. Alma S. Adams was elected to her first term representing the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina on November 12, 2014. After winning a special election, Congresswoman Adams was sworn in immediately as the 100th woman elected to Congress, the most in U.S. history. Representative Adams sits on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Agriculture Committee, the Small Business Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee. She is the Ranking member of the Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight. The Congresswoman is the founder of the first ever Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. Throughout her career, Representative Adams has promoted quality education for all students, spearheading legislation to boost funds for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, providing nutritious breakfasts in schools and while supporting increased pay for teachers. Congresswoman Adams also holds a leadership role in the Democratic Caucus as Vice President for the 114th Congress’ freshmen class and she serves as a Regional Whip for the Democratic Caucus. Adams graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1968 and received her master’s degree in Art Education in 1972. She earned her Ph.D. in Art Education and Multicultural Education from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1981.

Alma Adams's website


Karen Bass (October 3, 1953 – )
Congresswoman Karen Bass has represented the 33rd district of California since January 3, 2011 (112th Congress - Present). She serves on the Budget Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee where she is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. She is also a co-chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Coalition on Adoption. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Bass served as the 67th speaker of the California State Assembly, the first African-American woman in that position. She graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills, and the University of Southern California's School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

Karen Bass's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Karen Bass


Joyce Beatty (March 12, 1950 – )
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty has represented the 3rd district of Ohio since January 3, 2013 (113th Congress - Present). She serves on the Financial Services Committee and the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance and Oversight and Investigations. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Beatty served as a Member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1999-2008. She graduated from Central State University, Wright State University, and the University of Cincinnati.

Joyce Beatty's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Joyce Beatty


Corrine Brown (November 11, 1946 – )
Congresswoman Corrine Brown has represented the 3rd Congressional District of Florida since January 5, 1993 (103rd Congress-Present). She has served on the Public Works and Transportation; Government Operations; and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. During the 108th Congress, she was picked by the Democratic Leadership to be the Ranking Democrat on the Transportation Subcommittee on Railroad. A champion for the issues of veterans, Rep. Brown has served as Ranking Member on the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of Veterans Affairs. She has taken a special interest in the issues of women veterans. She is also committed to improving the quality of public education and childcare. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Brown served for ten years in the Florida House of Representatives. She was a faculty member at several colleges and universities in Florida. Rep. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University. She also received a master’s degree and an education specialist degree from the University of Florida and an honorary doctor of law degree from Edward Waters College.

Corrine Brown's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Corrine Brown


Yvonne Brathwaite Burke (October 5, 1932 – )
The first female chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1976, Congresswoman Yvonne Brathwaite Burke served as a representative of California’s 28th Congressional District from January 3, 1973 to January 3, 1979 (93rd-95th Congresses). She was also the first African American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from California. Her committee assignments included the Interior and Insular Affairs; Public Works; Appropriation; Select Assassinations; and Select Beauty Shop Committees. She chaired the Select Beauty Shop Committee for the 94th and 95th Congresses. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Burke was the first African American woman to serve in the California State Assembly. During her career, she has fought for prison reform, improved childcare, equal opportunities for minorities and women, and education. She has focused her efforts on improving the lives of children, encouraging economic development, and improving transportation in Los Angeles. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a law degree from the University Of Southern California School Of Law.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Yvonne Brathwaite Burke


Julia M. Carson (July 8, 1938 – December 15, 2007)
Congresswoman Julia M. Carson represented the 7th Congressional District of Indiana from January 9, 1997 until her death from lung cancer on December 15, 2007 (105th – 110th Congresses). She was the first woman and first African-American to serve in the United States House of Representatives from Indianapolis. Her committee assignments included the Banking and Financial Services; Financial Services; Veterans’ Affairs; and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. Rep. Carson was a leading advocate of legislation designed to end homelessness in the United States by addressing the housing, health, and income needs of people experiencing homelessness and families at risk of homelessness. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Carson served in the Indiana General Assembly and as a Center Township Trustee. She attended Martin University and Indiana University-Purdue University.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Julia M. Carson


Shirley A. Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005)
Congresswoman Shirley A. Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to Congress, representing New York’s 12th District from January 3, 1969 to January 3, 1983 (91st–97th Congresses). She served on the Education and Labor; Rules; and Veterans Affairs Committees. In 1972, she became the first Black woman to run for the U. S. presidency. During her 14 years in the House, Rep. Chisholm was known for her strong liberal views, including her opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and her advocacy of full-employment programs. She also earned praise for her efforts on behalf of Black colleges, compulsory education, and raising the minimum wage. Prior to her election to Congress, Rep. Chisholm served as a delegate to the New York State Assembly. She co-founded the National Political Congress of Black Women in 1984 and worked vigorously for the presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988. After leaving Congress, she taught politics and women's studies at Massachusetts' Mount Holyoke College until 1987. Congresswoman Chisholm received her bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College and a master's degree in elementary education from Teachers College, Columbia University. While in Congress, she published two books, Unbought and Unbossed (1970) and The Good Fight (1973).

More about Shirley Chisholm...

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Shirley A. Chisholm


Donna M. Christian-Christensen (September 19, 1945 – January 2, 2015)
Congresswoman Donna M. Christian-Christensen has served as a delegate from the Virgin Islands since January 7, 1997 (105th Congress-Present). She is the first female physician in the history of the U.S. Congress, the first woman to represent an offshore Territory, and the first woman delegate from the United States Virgin Islands. She has served on the Resources, Small Business, and Homeland Security Committees. Currently, she chairs the Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, which has oversight over the offshore territories and free associated states. She is the only African American on the Natural Resources Committee and is also a member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. She is a member of the Friends of the Caribbean Caucus and is involved in issues of concern to the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora. Rep. Christensen currently chairs the Congressional Black Caucus' Health Braintrust, which oversees and advocates minority health issues nationally and internationally and is also a Member of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. She has fought to increase access to health care. Rep. Christensen practiced medicine from 1975 until her election to Congress in 1996. She has served as an emergency room physician; a physician at a Drug Abuse and HIV, STD, and TB Clinic; a staff physician at the Maternal & Child Health Program; Medical Director of the Nesbitt Clinic in Frederiksted; Director of the Frederiksted Health Center; Director of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning; Medical Director of the St. Croix Hospital and Territorial Assistant Commissioner of Health; and as the Acting Commissioner of Health. She received her Bachelor of Science from St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind. and a Doctorate of Medicine from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Donna M. Christian-Christensen's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Donna M. Christian-Christensen


Yvette D. Clarke (November 21, 1964 – )
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has represented New York’s 11th Congressional District since January 4, 2007 (109th Congress-Present). She is currently a member of three House committees – Education and Labor; Homeland Security; and Small Business – plus two subcommittees within each committee. Prior to her election to the United States House of Representatives in 2006, Rep. Clarke was a member of the New York City Council. She was first elected to city service in 2001, succeeding former City Councilmember Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, making them the first mother-daughter succession in the history of the New York City Council. Congresswoman Clarke received a scholarship to Oberlin College and was a recipient of the prestigious APPAH/Sloan Fellowship in Public Policy and Policy Analysis.

Yvette Clarke's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Yvette D. Clarke


Eva Clayton (September 16, 1934 – )
Congresswoman Eva Clayton served as representative of North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District from November 5, 1992 to January 3, 2003 (102nd-107th Congresses). She was the first African American woman to be elected to Congress from North Carolina. Her committee assignments included the Agriculture, Small Business, and Budget Committees. She also served as Co-chair of the House Democratic Policy Committee during the 104th Congress. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Clayton served as director of the University of North Carolina Health Manpower Development Programs and assistant secretary for community development with the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development. She received a bachelor’s degree from Johnson C. Smith University and a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Eva Clayton


Bonnie Watson Coleman
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman represents New Jersey's 12 Congressional District (114th Congress-Present) her election to the House of Representatives makes her the first African American woman to represent New Jersey in Congress. She serves on both the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the House Committee on Homeland Security, where she is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Homeland Oversight. The daughter of legendary state legislator John S. Watson, Watson Coleman has continued a family legacy of public service fighting for women, economic and socially disadvantaged populations, and other vulnerable groups in our society. Watson Coleman graduated from Thomas Edison State College. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and an honorary member of the Girl Scouts of America. She is also a Deaconess at Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton, N.J.

Bonnie Watson Coleman’s website


Barbara-Rose Collins (April 13, 1939 – )
Congresswoman Barbara-Rose Collins represented Michigan’s 15th Congressional District from January 3, 1991 to January 3, 1997 (102nd-104th Congresses). Her committee assignments included the Public Works and Transportation; Transportation and Infrastructure; Government Operations; Government Reform and Oversight; Post Office and Civil Service; Science, Space, and Technology; and the Select Children, Youth, and Families Committees. She chaired the Postal Operations and Services Subcommittee. In her hometown of Detroit, she has served as public school board member, city council member and as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives. She attended Wayne State University.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Barbara-Rose Collins


Cardiss Collins (September 24, 1931 – February 2, 2013 )
Congresswoman Cardiss Collins served as a representative from the 7th Congressional District of Illinois from June 7, 1973 to January 3, 1997 (93rd-104th Congresses), after winning a special election to succeed her late husband, George W. Collins. She served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 96th Congress. Her committee assignments included the Government Operations; Government Reform and Oversight; Public Works; International Relations; Foreign Affairs; District of Columbia; Energy and Commerce; Commerce; Select Population; and Select Narcotics Abuse and Control Committees. Rep. Collins fought for diversity and gender equity in the communications and media industries. Her other legislative interests included health care, gender equity in college athletics, and reforming childcare. She attended Northwestern University.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Cardiss Collins


Donna Edwards (June 28, 1958 – )
Congresswoman Donna Edwards has represented the 4th congressional district of Maryland since June 2008 (110th Congress – Present). She serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Science and Technology Committee where she is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation. Rep. Edwards also serves on the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. Prior to her tenure in Congress, she had a diverse career as a nonprofit public interest advocate, including working to end domestic violence, and in the private sector on NASA's Spacelab project. Just prior to serving in Congress, she was the executive director of the Arca Foundation in Washington, DC. Rep. Edwards earned a degree from Wake Forest University and received her Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly the Franklin Pierce Law Center).

Donna F. Edwards's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Donna F. Edwards


Marcia L. Fudge (October 29, 1952 – )
Congresswoman Fudge serves on the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. She is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. She is also a member of several Congressional Caucuses and served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2013-2015. In 2014, Congresswoman Fudge became an original co-chair of the Democrats for Public Education. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Fudge was the first woman and first African American to serve as mayor in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. She was also the past National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Rep. Fudge earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from The Ohio State University and a law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University.

Marcia L. Fudge's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Marcia L. Fudge


Katie B. Hall (April 3, 1938 – February 20, 2012)
Congresswoman Katie B. Hall represented Indiana's 1st Congressional District from November 29, 1982 to January 3, 1985 (97th-98th Congresses). She was the first African American to serve in the United States House of Representatives from Indiana. Her committee assignments included the Post Office and Civil Service Committee as well as the Public Works and Transportation Committee. Congresswoman Hall has also served as a member of Indiana state house of representatives from 1974 to 1976 and the Indiana state senate from 1976 to 1982. She received a bachelor's degree from Mississippi Valley State University and a Master's Degree from Indiana University.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Katie B. Hall


Sheila Jackson Lee (January 12, 1950 – )
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee has represented the 18th Congressional District of Texas since January 3, 1995 (104th Congress-Present). Her committee assignments have included the Judiciary; Science; Foreign Affairs; and Homeland Security Committees. She is the Ranking Member of the Immigration, Border Security and Claims Committee as well as the only female to serve as a ranking member of Judiciary Subcommittee. During her tenure in Congress, Rep. Jackson Lee has served as Co-Chair of the Congressional Children's Caucus, Co-Chair of the Democratic Caucus's Children's Taskforce, Speaker on the Bi-Partisan Taskforce on Youth Violence, member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues, the Congressional Black Caucus where she has served as the Whip for two terms, the Internet Caucus, and the Aeronautics and the Space Caucus. Prior to her career in Congress, she practiced law, served as Staff Counsel for the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations, and as a municipal judge for three years. Before her election to Congress, Rep. 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. She also served as an associate Municipal Court Judge for the City of Houston. She received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School.

Sheila Jackson Lee's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Sheila Jackson Lee


Eddie Bernice Johnson (December 3, 1935 – )
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson has represented the 30th Congressional District of Texas since January 5, 1993 (103rd Congress-Present). She was the first African American to serve in the United States House of Representatives from the Dallas area. Rep. Johnson was the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 107th Congress. Her committee assignments have included the Transportation and Infrastructure (formerly Public Works and Transportation) and the Science Committee (formerly Science, Space, and Technology). Rep. Johnson has been outspoken on several issues including science, technology, transportation, election reform and civil rights. Prior to her tenure in Congress, she served as a member of the United States Department of Health Education and Welfare and the Texas House of Representatives, where she made history as the first woman in Texas to lead a major Texas house committee. A registered nurse, Congresswoman Johnson earned a nursing certificate from St. Mary’s College at the University of Notre Dame. She also earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University.

Eddie Bernice Johnson's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Eddie Bernice Johnson


Stephanie Tubbs Jones (September 10, 1949 – August 20, 2008)
Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District from January 3, 1999 until her death on August 20, 2008 (106th Congress-110th Congress). She was the first African American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. Her committee assignments included the Banking and Financial Services (now named Financial Services), Small Business, Ways and Means, and Standards of Official Conduct Committees. She served as chair of the Standards of Official Conduct Committee for the 110th Congress. Rep. Jones also served as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Housing Task Force. She was a strong advocate for economic development, accessible health care and quality public education. Prior to her tenure as a U.S. Representative, she served as a County Prosecutor and as a Common Pleas and Municipal Court Judge in Cleveland, Ohio. Congresswoman Jones earned a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Stephanie Tubbs Jones


Barbara C. Jordan (February 21, 1936- January 17, 1996)
Congresswoman Barbara C. Jordan served as a representative of the 18th Congressional District of Texas from January 3, 1973 to January 3, 1979 (93rd-95th Congresses). She was the first African American person to represent Texas and the first African American woman to represent a southern state in the United States House of Representatives. Her committee assignments included the Judiciary and Government Operations Committees. A lawyer, Rep. Jordan also served as a member of the Texas Senate, a delegate to two Texas State Democratic Conventions, and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1968 and keynote speaker at the National Convention in 1976. After her service in Congress she taught public policy at the University of Texas at Austin and served on the Commission on Immigration Reform. She received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University. She also earned her law degree from Boston University School of Law.

More about Barbara Jordan...

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Barbara C. Jordan


Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (June 25, 1945 – )
Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick represented Michigan's 13th Congressional District from January 7, 1997 through January 3, 2011 (105th-111th Congresses). Her committee assignments included the House Banking and Financial Services and House Oversight and Appropriations Committees as well as the Joint Committee on the Library. Rep. Kilpatrick was selected as the first Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus' Political Action Committee during the 109th Congress and served as the Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus in the 110th Congress (2007–2009). She was also the first African American Member of Congress appointed to the United States Air Force Academy Board. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Kilpatrick played an important role in determining funding for federal programs. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Kilpatrick served as a teacher and member of the Michigan State House of Representatives, where she was the first African American woman to serve on the Michigan House Appropriations Committee. She earned a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University and a master's degree from the University of Michigan.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick


Robin Kelly (April 30, 1956 – )
Rep. Robin Kelly has represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District since April 13 2013. She sits on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to joining Congress, Rep. Kelly served as a State Representative in the Illinois Legislature, where she fought for landmark legislation to protect victims of domestic violence. While in the Legislature, Rep. Kelly mentored progressive candidates and encouraged new leaders, including one of her colleagues, Barack Obama, in his successful 2004 bid for U.S. Senate. Prior to her tenure in Congress Rep. Kelly was Chief Administrative Officer of Cook County, where she was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the second largest county in the nation.

Robin Kelly's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Robin Kelly


Barbara Lee (July 16, 1946 – )
Congresswoman Barbara Lee has served as a representative of California’s 9th Congressional District since April 20, 1998 (106th Congress-Present). Her committee assignments include the Banking and Financial Services (now named Financial Services); Science; Appropriations; and International Relations Committees. She also served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2009-2011. She is the most senior Democratic Woman on the House of International Relations Committee where she serves on the Africa and the Western Hemisphere Subcommittees. She also serves as Co-Chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, First Vice-Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus and Senior Democratic Whip. Congresswoman Lee is Chair of the CBC’s Task Force on Global HIV/AIDS and Co-Chair of the CBC Haiti Task Force. She has been a leader in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Lee served as Chief of Staff for Congressman Ron Dellums. She also served in both the California State Assembly and California State Senate. Rep. Lee received a bachelor’s degree from Mills College and a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Barbara Lee's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Barbara Lee


Denise L. Majette (May 18, 1955 – )
Congresswoman Majette served as a representative of Georgia from January 7, 2003, to January 3, 2005 (108th Congress). She served on the Budget, Education and Workforce and Small Business Committees. A lawyer and professor, Majette served as a judge for George state court for nearly ten years. Majette received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her law degree from Wake Forest Law School.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Denise L. Majette


Cynthia A. McKinney (March 17, 1955 – )
Congresswoman Cynthia A. McKinney served as a representative of Georgia’s 4th Congressional District from January 5, 1993 to January 3, 2003 (103rd-107th Congresses) and again during the 109th Congress (2005-2006). She was the first African American woman to serve in the United States House of Representative from Georgia. Her committee assignments included the Banking and Financial Services; Agriculture; Foreign Affairs; International Relations; National Security; Armed Forces; and Budget Committees. Rep. McKinney has been an outspoken advocate for human rights, voting rights and government accountability. Prior to her tenure in the United States House of Representatives, Rep. McKinney served as a member of the Georgia State Legislature. She has also been a fellow and faculty member at several universities. Rep. McKinney received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Cynthia A. McKinney


Carrie Meek (April 29, 1926 – )
Congresswoman Carrie Meek served as a representative of Florida’s 17th Congressional District from January 5, 1993 to January 3, 2003 (103rd-107th Congresses). Her committee assignments included the Government Reform and Oversight; Budget; and Appropriations Committees. Rep. Meek is an educational administrator and educational consultant who has served as a member of the Florida state House of Representatives and the Florida state senate. She has also served as a board member of the Health System-Health Planning Council and the Minority Business Enterprise Committee on Transportation and chair of the Park for People Program in Miami, Florida. She received a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She is the mother of Congressman Kendrick Meek.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Carrie Meek


Juanita Millender-McDonald (September 7, 1938 – April 22, 2007)
Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald served as representative of California’s 37th Congressional District from April 16, 1996 until she died of cancer on April 22, 2007. She was the first African American woman appointed Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration and served as committee chair during the first session of the 110th Congress. She also served on the Transportation and Infrastructure and Small Business Committees as well as the Joint Printing and Joint Library Committees, chairing both Joint Committees during the first session of the 110th Congress. In addition, she was Regional Democratic Whip and Co-Chair of the Democratic Caucus for Women. Rep. Millender-McDonald was active in many legislative areas, including education, childcare, drug abuse, and health. She was a member of the California State Assembly and was the first African American woman elected to the Carson City Council when she became Carson City’s mayor pro tem in 1991. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Juanita Millender-McDonald

Rep. Millender-McDonald’s keynote address for the Library of Congress February 2007 observance of African American History Month


Gwen Moore (April 18, 1951 – )
Congresswoman Gwen Moore has served as a representative of Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District since January 3, 2005 (109th Congress-Present). An outspoken advocate for the improvement of conditions in low-income communities, Rep. Moore has fought to promote economic prosperity. Her committee assignments have included the Small Business, Financial Services, and Budget Committees. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Moore served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989 to 1992 and in the State Senate from 1993 to 2003. She was also a housing officer with the Wisconsin Housing and Development Authority. She received her bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and earned a Harvard University Certificate for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.

Gwen Moore's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Gwen Moore


Carol Moseley-Braun (August 16, 1947 – )
Senator Carol Moseley-Braun served as a Senator from Illinois from January 5, 1993 to January 3, 1999 (103rd-105th Congresses). She is the only African American woman to have served in the U.S. Senate. While a Senator, she served on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Judiciary; Small Business; Finance; and Special Aging Committees. Prior to her tenure in the U.S. Congress, Sen. Moseley-Braun served in the Illinois House of Representatives and as prosecutor in the office of the United States Attorney in Chicago. Later Sen. Moseley-Braun was an Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. In 2004, she was candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and a law degree from University of Chicago School of Law.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Carol Moseley-Braun


Eleanor Holmes Norton (June 13, 1937 – )
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton has served as a delegate from the District of Columbia since January 3, 1991 (102nd Congress-Present). President Jimmy Carter named Rep. Norton as the first woman to chair the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her committee assignments have included the House Government Reform; Homeland Security; Post Office and Civil Service; Small Business; District of Columbia; and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. She has also served in the Democratic House Leadership Group and as the Democratic Chair of the Women’s Caucus. Rep. Norton has fought tirelessly for full congressional voting representation of District of Columbia residents. She has also been an outspoken advocate for universal human rights. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Rep. Norton was a nationally known feminist, civil rights leader and law professor. She received a bachelor’s degree from Antioch College and earned both a law and master’s degree from Yale University.

Eleanor Holmes Norton's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Eleanor Holmes Norton


Laura Richardson (August 14, 1962 – )
In 2007, Congresswoman Laura Richardson surpassed 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 (110th Congress-112th Congress) setting a record of distinction in having served all three levels of government; local, state and federal all in the span of less than a year. Once elected, Richardson was assigned to serve on the influential Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and Committee on Science and Technology. Congresswoman Richardson began her public service career in 2000 as a Long Beach City Councilwoman. In 2006, Richardson won a seat in the California Assembly in the 55th District serving as Assistant Pro Tempore in the Assembly. She was the first, South Bay representative, freshman, and African- American woman to hold this prestigious position. She received a Bachelors of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

Laura Richardson's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Laura Richardson


Terri A. Sewell (January 1, 1965 – )
Congresswoman Terri Sewell has represented 7th district of Alabama since January 3, 2011 (112th Congress – Present). She sits on the House Committee on Agriculture as well as the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology. She is also serving as the Democratic freshman class president and as both regional and senior Whip. Prior to her election to Congress, Congresswoman Sewell was a partner in the Birmingham law office of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University and received a Masters degree with first class Honors from Oxford University. In Addition, Rep. Sewell received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Terri A. Sewell's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Terri A. Sewell


Maxine Waters (August 15, 1938 – )
Congresswoman Maxine Waters has served as a representative of California’s 35th Congressional District since January 3, 1991 (102nd Congress-Present). During the 105th Congress, Rep. Waters served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She has served on the Democratic National Committee for more than two decades and has been Chief Deputy Whip of the Democratic Party since the 106th Congress. In addition, she is Co-Chair of the House Democratic Steering Committee. Congresswoman Waters’ committee assignments have included the Financial Services, Veterans Affairs, Small Business and Judiciary Committees. Prior to her tenure in Congress, she was a member of the California State Assembly. She has been an outspoken advocate for peace, justice and human rights. Congressman Waters received a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles.

Maxine Waters's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Maxine Waters


Diane E. Watson (November 12, 1933 – )
Congresswoman Watson served as representative of California's 33rd Congressional District from June 7, 2001 to January 3, 2011 (107th-111th Congress). Her committee assignments included the Government Reform and International Relations Committees. Prior to her tenure in Congress, Congresswoman Watson was the first African American woman to serve on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. She also served the California State Senate for several years. Congresswoman Watson has been tireless in her efforts to improve health care and the lives of women and children. Congressman Watson received a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master's degree from California State University, Los Angeles. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Claremont Graduate University and has attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Diane E. Watson


Frederica Wilson (November 4, 1942 – )
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson has represented the 17th district of Florida since January 3, 2011 (112th Congress – Present). She serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. From 2002 to 2010, Rep. Wilson served in the Florida State Senate, where she served as Minority Leader Pro Tempore and as Minority Lead Whip. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Fisk University and her Master of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Miami.

Frederica Wilson's website

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Frederica Wilson

Karen Bass
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 37th district

Incumbent

Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byLaura Richardson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 33rd district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byDiane Watson
Succeeded byHenry Waxman
67th Speaker of the California Assembly
In office
May 13, 2008 – March 1, 2010
GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger
Preceded byFabian Núñez
Succeeded byJohn Pérez
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 47th district
In office
December 6, 2004 – December 6, 2010
Preceded byHerb Wesson
Succeeded byHolly Mitchell
Personal details
BornKaren Ruth Bass
(1953-10-03) October 3, 1953 (age 64)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jesus Lechuga (1980–1986)
Children1 daughter
4 stepchildren
ResidenceBaldwin Hills, Los Angeles, California
EducationSan Diego State University
California State University, Dominguez Hills(BS)
WebsiteHouse website
[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Karen Ruth Bass (born October 3, 1953) is an AmericanDemocratic politician. She represents California's 37th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives; she was first elected in 2010. In redistricting following the 2010 census, the district was renumbered from 33rd to 37th. Bass represented the 47th district in the California State Assembly 2004–2010, and was Speaker of the California State Assembly 2008–2010 (second woman, third African American speaker).[7][8]

Early life, education, and medical career[edit]

Bass was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Wilhelmina (née Duckett) and DeWitt Talmadge Bass.[9] Her father was a letter carrier.[5] She was raised in the Venice/Fairfax neighborhood and went to Hamilton High School. She studied philosophy at San Diego State University (1971–1973), then earned a B.S. in health sciences from California State University, Dominguez Hills (1990).[1]

Bass worked as a physician assistant and as a clinical instructor at the USC Keck School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.[10] Bass founded Community Coalition, an organization in South Los Angeles.[11]

California Assembly[edit]

As the Assemblymember for the 47th District, Bass served the cities and communities of Culver City, West Los Angeles, Westwood, Cheviot Hills, Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, View Park-Windsor Hills, Ladera Heights, the Crenshaw District, Little Ethiopia, and portions of Koreatown and South Los Angeles.[citation needed]

In addition to her leadership of California African Americans for Obama and her post on Barack Obama's national African American Leadership Council, Bass served as a California Co-chair of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

Leadership prior to speaker election[edit]

Speaker Fabian Núñez appointed Bass California State Assembly Majority Whip (2005–2006), and Majority Floor Leader for 2007–2008 legislative session. She was chair of the Select Committee on Foster Care and vice chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. She succeeded Núñez as Speaker on May 13, 2008; he was termed out of the Assembly November 30, 2008.[7]

As chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, she commissioned a report to research the basic demographic profile of Black Californians including the basic social and economic conditions.[12] The State of Black California report included a statewide organizing effort to involve Black Californians in identifying their concerns and making legislative recommendations.[13]

Speakership[edit]

With the defeat of Proposition 93, Speaker Fabian Núñez was termed out of the Assembly at the end of the 2007-2008 session. As the next-highest-ranking Democrat in the Assembly, Bass was well-positioned to take the post. After consolidating the support of a number of Legislators who had previously also been seeking the Speakership, Bass was elected Speaker on February 28, 2008 and then sworn in as Speaker on May 13.[14]

Bass was criticized[by whom?] for the following statement to Los Angeles Times reporter Patt Morrison: "The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: 'You vote for revenue and your career is over.' I don't know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it's about free speech, but it's extremely unfair."[15]

Since leaving office, Bass was named Speaker Emeritus.[16]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010[edit]

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2010 § District 33

Bass was ineligible to run for reelection in 2010 due to term limits and on February 18, 2010, confirmed her candidacy to succeed retiring U.S. Representative Diane Watson in California's 33rd congressional district.[17]

Bass raised $932,281.19 and spent $768,918.65. Her 2010 campaign contributions came from very different and diverse groups with none donating more than 15% of her total campaign funds. The five major donors to her campaign are Labor Unions with $101,950.00; Financial Institutions with $90,350.00; Health Professionals with $87,900.00; the Entertainment Industry with $52,400.00 and Lawyers and Law Firms with $48,650.00.[18]

Bass won the election with over 86% of the vote on November 2, 2010.[19]

2012[edit]

In 2012 she had no primary opponent, and carried the general election with 86%.[5] She raised $692,988.53 and spent $803,966.15, leaving $52,384.92 on hand and a debt of $3,297.59.[18]

Bass was considered a potential running mate for Bernie Sanders, had he won the 2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination. This would've made her the first African-American nominated for Vice President by a major party.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Bass is generally considered a liberal, with ratings of 100% or close from liberal interest group capitol Weekly Positions. Conservative groups like the California Republican Assembly Positions have consistently awarded her a 0%.[18]

Bass is a very strong supporter of gun control. The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund Lifetime Score is an F. The Gun Owners of California Postitons on Gun Rights have also given Bass an F. Congresswoman Bass recently has voted against the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act that would loosen general Gun Control laws. In 2010 while campaigning for Congress Bass supported Expanded Firearm Registration Bill that with other regulations would have made all gun dealers report their sales to the Department of Justice. Bass also supported the Amendment to the Penal Code regarding Firearms of 2010.[18]

Congresswoman Karen Bass voted once in a way that led to the claim that she favors the continuation of militarized local police forces, when in 2014 she voted against the Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) amendment that would have halted the Pentagon's 1033 program.[21]

Bass serves in the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In her website, she supports "working with our NATO allies and within the United Nations". She also attributes significant importance to diplomacy and “create[ing] jobs here in the US." Bass does so through supporting trade protectionism. She voted against the Free Trade Treaty with South Korea and the Trade Promotion Agreements with Colombia and Panama.[18][22] Bass voted to authorize the United States military to participate in the 2011 military intervention in Libya. The measure (H J RES 68) failed 123-295.[23][24] In 2011, Bass became a co-sponsor of Bill H.R.3261 otherwise known as the Stop Online Piracy Act.[25]

Bass, once considered a social liberal, has seen her rating decline with LGBT organizations. She once maintained a 100% rating with the Human Rights Campaign[26] but in the most recent legislative session she failed to maintain her record and now ranks below most Democrats with a score of 88%.[27] She can be considered liberal in her fiscal positions. She has a rating of 10% from the very conservative California Tax Payers Association. However, the more liberal Consumer Federation of California gives her very high rankings. Besides the following positions on Taxing and Spending, she supports stimulus to create jobs.

Bass has been against general Budget-Wide Cuts like Resolution 38, which would reduce spending to 2008 levels. She has also opposed budgets with deep cuts like the 2011 Budget. However, she has supported the H Amendment 16 for Reducing Navy and Air Force Appropriations. She has supported mainly military cuts.

Bass has supported keeping taxes low for the middle class and "tax credits for small businesses to hire new employees". She states that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest should expire because "the wealthy ... don't need these breaks."[18][28]

She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[29]

Personal life[edit]

From 1980 to 1986, Bass was married to Jesus Lechuga. Following their divorce, Bass and Lechuga jointly raised their daughter and four stepchildren together.[30]

Bass suffered the loss of her only child, daughter Emilia Wright, and her son-in-law Michael Wright, in a car accident in 2006.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abYoung, Kerry (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Karen Bass, D-Calif. (33rd District)". Congressional Quarterly. 
  2. ^"California Assembly District 47". California Assembly. July 7, 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  3. ^"Full Biography | Congresswoman Karen Bass". U.S. House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  4. ^"Karen Bass - Archives of Women's Political Communication". Archives of Women's Political Communication. Iowa State University. Retrieved 2013-10-01.  
  5. ^ abcdeBarone, Michael; Chuck McCutcheon (2013). The Almanac of American Politics 2014. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 243–245. ISBN 978-0-226-10544-4.  Copyright National Journal.
  6. ^"Aztec Action Network". San Diego State University. Retrieved 2013-10-02.  
  7. ^ abVogel, Nancy (2008-02-28). "L.A. woman to follow Nunez". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  8. ^"African American Speakers of the California". Los Angeles Sentinel. Retrieved 2015-12-21. 
  9. ^"Karen Bass ancestry". RootsWeb. Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  10. ^"About Karen". KarenBass.com. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  11. ^"About Us". Community Coalition. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  12. ^Bass, Karen. "The State of Black California"(PDF). February 2007. California Democratic Caucus. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  13. ^Samad, Anthony Asadullah. "Between the lines". 8 February 2007. The Black Commentator. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  14. ^Yi, Matthew (29 February 2008). "L.A. lawmaker first African American woman to lead state Assembly". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  15. ^Morrison, Patt (27 June 2009). "Madam Speaker: An interview with state Assembly Speaker Karen Bass". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  16. ^"Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass". California State Assembly Democratic Caucus. November 17, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  17. ^Merl, Jean (February 18, 2010). "Karen Bass confirms candidacy for seat in Congress". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ abcdef"Representative Karen Bass' Campaign Finances - Project Vote Smart". Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  19. ^Van Oot, Torey (November 3, 2010). "Bass, Denham win seats in Congress". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  20. ^"Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved 7 March 2018. 
  21. ^Alice Salles (February 24, 2015). "Black Caucus member can't recall her vote on police militarization". Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. 
  22. ^"Foreign Policy". Karen Bass. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  23. ^"Authorizing the limited use of the United States Armed Forces in support of the NATO mission in Libya". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. June 24, 2011. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  24. ^"U.S. House of Representatives Roll Call Votes 112th Congress - 1st Session (2011)". Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  25. ^"Stop Online Piracy Act (2011; 112th Congress H.R. 3261)". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  26. ^https://www.hrc.org/resources/congressional-scorecard
  27. ^https://assets.hrc.org//files/assets/resources/114thCongressionalScorecard.pdf?_ga=2.99066590.1108067685.1507945042-1174069916.1502316348
  28. ^"Jobs & the Economy". Karen Bass. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  29. ^"Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  30. ^"Karen Bass Makes United States History as the first African American Woman to be named to Speaker of (sic)". The Black Voice News. Riverside, California: Brown Publishing Company. March 6, 2008. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  31. ^Silverstein, Stuart (October 31, 2006). "Couple die in crash on 405". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]

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