• Democrat

    Barbara Lee

  • Reelect Congressional Representative Barbara Lee to keep CD-12 on the right track for progress.



    The Position


    Congressmembers represent and advocate for the needs of their district constituents at the United States Capitol. They are responsible for creating, debating, and voting on legislation that addresses issues within their district.

    The United States is divided into 435 congressional districts, each with a population of about 710,000 individuals. Each district elects a representative to the House of Representatives for a two-year term. California has 53 congressional representatives, the largest delegation in the country. There is no term limit for this position.

    The District


    California’s 12th Congressional District includes parts of Alameda County. Democrats typically hold this district. Of the registered voters in this district, 5% are Republican and 69% are Democrat, and the district’s demographic breakdown is 15% Latino, 21% Asian, and 20% Black. After the 2021 redistricting process, CD-12 retains a steady 63% Democratic registration advantage. The most recent election results show that CD-12 voted for Joe Biden for president in 2020 by 81 points and Gavin Newsom for governor in 2018 by 81 points.

    The Race


    There are five candidates running for this seat, including Democrat Incumbent Representative Barbara Lee, Democrat Eric Wilson, Republican Ned Nuerge, and Republican Stephen Slauson. Rep. Lee’s campaign has raised $1 million, and has received donations from real estate, corporate PAC, and fossil fuel interests. Wilson, Nuerge, and Slauson have not yet filed any fundraising receipts with the FEC.

    The Recommendation


    Rep. Lee, a community advocate and elected official, is from El Paso, TX, and moved to the San Fernando Valley when she was a child. According to campaign materials, she is running for reelection to continue to fight for social equity for all. Prior to redistricting, Rep. Lee represented CD-13, and won her 2020 reelection against Republican Nikka Piterman by 80 points.

    Rep. Lee’s priorities for CD-12 this year have included 49 bills about health care, international development, equity, and nondiscrimination. The majority of these are in committee or referred to committee, and none have been passed by the House and Senate. She currently sits on the Budget and Appropriations committees, and serves as co-chair of the Policy and Steering Committee. She is the highest-ranking African American woman in Democratic leadership. This year, Rep. Lee has voted 99% of the time with Nancy Pelosi and 98% of the time with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Notably, Rep. Lee voted in favor of the INVEST in America Act, the Libya Stabilization Act, and the Preventing Crimes Against Veterans Act, while Rep. Ocasio-Cortez voted against.

    Rep. Lee had a long career in politics before winning her seat. As a young social worker, she founded a mental-health service organization, Community Health Alliance for Neighborhood Growth and Education, to benefit her local East Bay community. She then spent eleven years working on the staff of Congressmember Ron Dellums, eventually serving as his chief of staff. After her tenure in congressional staffing, she founded a facilities-management company. A few years later, in 1990, Rep. Lee launched a successful bid for a seat in the California Assembly, where she served for six years, before she was elected to the State Senate. In 1998, she won a special election for her current congressional seat. In her 24-year tenure in Congress, Rep. Lee has been outspoken on a variety of important progressive issues, including ending poverty, and has been a prolific author of legislation related to ending AIDS/HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. She was also the only Congressmember to vote against the authorization for the use of military force after the September 11, 2001, attacks, a controversial position at the time.

    Rep. Lee is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where she serves as a chair emeriti. She has the endorsement of a strong majority of progressive groups in the district. She has received several donations from problematic groups, including Realtors PAC, Energy Leaders PAC of Vistra Energy, and Amazon PAC. Despite these fundraising discrepancies, our analysis shows that Rep. Lee’s long track record and policy positions demonstrate that she will continue to be a progressive champion for the constituents of CD-12 and will govern effectively in the best interest of this diverse district.
    Last updated: 2022-04-28

    Barbara Lee

    Reelect Congressional Representative Barbara Lee to keep CD-12 on the right track for progress.



    The Position

    Barbara Lee

    Reelect Congressional Representative Barbara Lee to keep CD-12 on the right track for progress.



    The Position

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