Hi, I’m Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and I’m proud to represent the beautiful 13th District of California in Congress. Every February, we celebrate Black History Month.
But this year is particularly meaningful, as we mark the 400th year since the first African slaves arrived on the shores of America. Families were separated, children were taken from their parents, and they entered into lives of bondage and unspeakable cruelty.
From this painful history, African Americans have risen – to lead our nation, transform music and art, pioneer new inventions, and speak as the conscience of this country. I stand on the shoulders of Black leaders who spoke truth to power.
Visionaries like James Baldwin, a clear-eyed social critic who told the stories of disenfranchised African Americans. James Baldwin used to say: ‘I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.’
We cannot believe what President Trump says, because we see what he has done.
And after offering a lukewarm pledge of unity in his speech, he then turned around and threatened anyone who would hold him accountable. So let me be clear: we will stand up for the truth. We have seen what he has done. And we will stand up for the American people – and for justice, for righteousness, and for truth.
As one of three co-equal branches of government, Congress will be the check that this President so sorely needs. We will work For The People. In fact, we’ve already begun.
We’re also tackling rising health care costs, because no one should have to choose between refilling their prescriptions or putting food on the table. And we’re working to raise wages for everyday families who are still struggling to get ahead, while billionaires hoard wealth at the very top. We will start by rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure and creating good-quality, good-paying jobs.
Our agenda was written For the People, for all the people. It is an agenda built on radical truth, on the understanding that every American will benefit from fairer elections, lower health care costs, and higher wages.
There are more chapters to be told, more battles to be won.
Yes – there is more work to be done.
Thank you for honoring me with this solemn responsibility. I welcome it.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees, Vice Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and former co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She also serves as chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty.