Lynn C. Woolsey (born November 3, 1937) is an
American politician and educator
from Petaluma in Sonoma County, California.
She is a member of the Democratic Party
1993, representing ( map
). The district includes all of Marin
County and most of Sonoma County.
She gained attention when she became the
first Representative to call for a troop withdrawal from Iraq
. She is a prominent member of the Congressional Progressive
, and its vice-chair.
Personal life and early career
born in Seattle,
Washington, was educated at the University of
Washington where she became a member of Alpha Phi sorority and the University of
San Francisco. She later a human resources manager and
personnel service owner, a teacher at the College of
Marin and the Dominican
University of California, and a member of the Petaluma,
California City Council before entering the
Congresswoman Woolsey, who describes herself as "the first former
welfare mother to serve in Congress," is one of two members of the
House of Representatives
to have been on welfare
; the other is Congresswoman Gwen Moore
one of the 31 who voted in the House to not count the electoral votes from Ohio in the
presidential election, 2004.
Race for Congress
In 1992, five-term Congresswoman Barbara
gave up her seat to make a successful run for the
United States Senate
won a crowded nine-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this
heavily Democratic district. She was largely helped by the fact
that seven of her eight opponents were from Marin County, and split
that county's vote. In the general elections, she faced Republican
, who was diagnosed with a
brain tumor and was unable to campaign much. This essentially ended
Filante's campaign, though he would have been a heavy underdog in
any case. Woolsey won with 66 percent of the vote, and has been
reelected eight times with no substantive opposition.
Positions on Iraq
Woolsey is an outspoken opponent of the War
. On October 10, 2002, she was among the 133 members of
the House who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq
. She has taken an
active role in calling for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from
She led 15 Members of Congress in writing a
letter to President
on January 12, 2005, calling for
U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq. She also was the first
Member of Congress to call for a troop withdrawal, when she
introduced H.Con. Res. 35 on January 26, 2005. Congresswoman
Woolsey gave Cindy Sheehan
pass to attend the 2006 State of the
speech by George W.
. Sheehan's attendance at the
speech became infamous when she was arrested for wearing a T-shirt
with a political message.
Recognition of Ramadan
On December 11, 2007, Woolsey, along with 8 other Democrats, voted
‘nay’ on a resolution to recognize the importance of "Christmas and
the Christian faith," but did vote to "recognize the commencement
," an Islamic
religious observance, and Diwali
, a Hindu religious holiday, earlier in the
Representative Woolsey introduced the Graton Rancheria Restoration
Act August 6, 1998 (105th CONGRESS, 2d Session, H.R. 4434). It was
ultimately approved and signed by President Clinton as Title XIV of
the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act (Public Law No. 106-568) in
Testifying in support of H.R. 946 before the House Resources
Committee May 16, 2000, Woolsey said:
“This consensus bill restores Federal rights and privileges to the
tribe and to its members. As is typical with restoration
legislation, it reinstates political status and makes tribal
members eligible for benefits such as Native American health,
education, and housing services. These are services, as you know,
that are available to all other Federally recognized tribes!
A unique aspect of H.R. 946, however, is that it specifically
contains a clause that restricts gaming, gaming on land that is
taken into trust for the tribes. This non-gaming clause is at the
express request of the tribe, and is the basis for the broad and
bipartisan support that this bill enjoys throughout my
Congressional District. It is also key to my support for the
Representative Woolsey's original bill (H.R. 4434, later H.R. 946)
would not have permitted the FIGR to have an Indian casino. Senator
removed that prohibition
when she included Woolsey's bill in the Omnibus Act.
of Graton Rancheria, and Station
Casinos of Las Vegas, Nevada, propose to build a large
hotel/casino complex in Sonoma County, California near Rohnert Park.
In response, Representative Woolsey introduced H.R. 2656 (which
never left the House Resources
) and appeared frequently at local townhall meetings
saying that the Miwok Indians double crossed her by seeking to
legalize gambling on their Indian gaming reservation.
Scouting for All Act
In September 2000 Woolsey sponsored H.R. 4892, The Scouting for All
Act, to revoke the charter held by the Boy Scouts of America
, which had been
held since 1916. The charter was issued by Congress to the B.S.A.
for its efforts to promote "patriotism, courage, self-reliance and
kindred virtues" for young boys. Woolsey said, "We're not saying
the Boy Scouts are bad, we're saying that intolerance is bad." The
Boy Scouts does not want atheists, agnostics and gays (scouts,
former scouts, and troop leaders all included) in their
organization, but the Girl Scouts do not have such a policy.
She was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment
, which places
limits on taxpayer-funded abortions in the context of the November
Health Care for America Act
Darfur protest arrest
was arrested April 27, 2009, outside the embassy of Sudan, during a
protest against genocide in Darfur.
Woolsey and four other U.S. lawmakers were protesting the blocking
of aid to victims. They were arrested after ignoring warnings
issued by police maintaining a police line to protect the embassy
Other U.S. lawmakers arrested during the protest include Rep.
Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts), Rep. Donna Edwards
(D-Maryland), Rep. Keith
Ellison (D-Minnesota), and Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia).