Lynn Woolsey (D-CA-6)

Lynn Woolsey California District 6

Lynn Woolsey, Biography from

Biography of Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey is in her 10th term as the representative from California’s 6th District, just north of San Francisco.  Her district includes all of Marin, and most of Sonoma County.

As president of Americans for Democratic Action, Congresswoman Woolsey is a vocal and visible leader on progressive issues, particularly those dealing with education, children and families.  A passionate and outspoken opponent of the Iraq war, she helped move public opinion against President Bush’s failed Iraq policy.  She introduced the first resolution calling for our troops to be brought home and has been called “the unofficial matriarch of the [anti-war] movement in Congress,” by the San Jose Mercury News.

Congresswoman Woolsey is also active on labor and education issues.  She is a senior member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections.  She also serves on Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.

Congresswoman Woolsey was the author of a recent law authorizing workers six months of job protected leave in order to care for injured family members serving in the armed forces, as well as legislation to protect workers from exposure to dangerous chemicals.

One of Congresswoman Woolsey’s top priorities is a legislative package called “The Balancing Act,” which aims to help parents balance their work and family responsibilities.  Her proposal calls for:  paid family leave; public universal pre-school; major investments in child care; universal school breakfast; benefits for part-time workers; and telecommuting incentives.

Congresswoman Woolsey is also a senior member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and serves on the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, where she works to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and promote the use of clean, efficient energy sources.  In the current Congress, she has reintroduced her legislation to add the Sonoma coastline to the National Marine Sanctuary Program, thus protecting it from oil and gas drilling.

Having lived and raised her family in California’s North Bay for over 40 years, Congresswoman Woolsey understands the concerns of Sonoma and Marin County residents.  She frequently says they are the most important voice she listens to; and she not only listens, she responds.  Her Washington office alone receives and answers over three thousand letters, phone calls, and emails from constituents each week.

Congresswoman Woolsey’s dedication to family issues and her belief in a strong social safety net are rooted in her personal history.  As a young single mother struggling to raise three children by herself, she needed public assistance just to make ends meet, even though she was employed.  The experience of needing a helping hand from her government has shaped her commitment to family-friendly policies.

Woolsey was born on November 3, 1937 in Seattle, Washington.  Now living in Petaluma, California, she is the mother of four grown children and a grandmother of five.

Biography from Woolsey for Congress

Lynn Woolsey:

A Progressive Leader for the North Bay and the Nation

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the first former welfare mother to serve in Congress, has represented California’s 6th District, including Marin County and most of Sonoma County, since 1993.  Widely known for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of progressive causes, she is increasingly recognized as a national leader on issues such as ending the U.S. occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, eliminating wasteful military spending, providing universal health care, improving education, protecting the environment, defending our workers, and safeguarding human rights and civil liberties.

No one in Congress stood up against President Bush and Vice President Cheney on their reckless invasion and occupation of Iraq like Lynn Woolsey did.  She vocally opposed the war from the start, and she was the first Member of Congress to introduce a resolution calling on the U.S. to bring all of its troops and contractors home as quickly as possible. Her relentless advocacy –including more than 300 speeches on the floor of the House devoted to ending the war — played a critical role in the U.S. decision to withdraw its troops.  But Woolsey did not stop there.  She continues to raise her voice until the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are completely ended, and she is working hard to ensure that the United States responds to the Iraqi refugee crisis while assisting both Iraq and Afghanistan with reconstruction efforts.

As Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Woolsey understands that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan – along with wasteful spending on outdated Cold War weaponry – are important factors in our current economic crisis.  That’s why she is fighting hard to eliminate spending on outdated cold war weapons systems.  In addition to proposing the only alternative budget that slashes wasteful defense spending, she successfully enacted a requirement that the Department of Defense ensure that “weapons developed to counter cold war-era threats are not redundant and are applicable to 21st century threats.”  She is also working hard for a dramatic reordering of U.S. security and foreign policy – to place a strong emphasis on the peaceful resolution of international conflicts, respect for international law, increased development and humanitarian aid, and a renewed emphasis on human rights.

Lynn’s advocacy on behalf of universal health care is just as outspoken as her anti-war stance.  She is a longtime supporter of health care reform that will cover all Americans without giveaways to the major insurance companies.  She has prominently joined other progressives in insisting that Americans retain the option to join a public health care plan.

As a senior member of the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education, Lynn works tirelessly to give our students the tools they need to succeed in a modern economy.  She played a pivotal role in protecting Head Start against Republican attacks; took the lead on efforts to reform the failed Bush education law to increase funding and make it more responsive to local school districts; and enacted a series of provisions to make it easier to afford a college education.

As Chairwoman of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee, Lynn Woolsey consistently acts to protect hardworking Americans, especially during this time of economic crisis.  She is a national leader on critical legislation to ensure fair wages, safeguard health and safety, protect union organizing rights, and end workplace discrimination.  In 2009, she helped push through a new law to protect fair pay for women.  And she continues to focus extensive attention on her bill, “The Balancing Act,” to help families balance workplace and family obligations.

Lynn is also using her platform as a senior member of the House Committee on Science and Technology to fight hard against global warming and for dramatic new investments in green technologies that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  She played a key role in legislation calling for more than $2 billion in renewable energy research and development, including the “Woolsey Green Building Amendment,” her plan to promote the use of renewable energy technology in public buildings.  Congresswoman Woolsey’s bill to permanently prevent damaging oil and gas drilling off the coast of the North Bay passed the House of Representatives in 2008.

Lynn has consistently delivered critically needed funds and policy changes to protect the North Bay’s economy and assist local residents in need. Among other successes, she obtained more than $80 million in economic recovery funds for Marin and Sonoma; delivered $120 million to improve safety on the Golden Gate Bridge; procured more than $200 million for transportation improvements; and acquired $135 million to protect local waterways and wetlands. She also saved the local Two Rock Coast Guard training center twice when it was threatened with closure; played a key role in transitioning Hamilton Airfield to civilian uses; and obtained the funding needed to restore the Angel Island Immigration Station.

Lynn has lived, worked, and raised her family in the North Bay for more than 40 years – a fact that helps explain her outstanding responsiveness to local residents.  She has replied to more than 200,000 letters; held more than 80 local meetings; hosted dozens of local hearings and forums; and brought many important Administration and Congressional leaders to speak and interact in our communities.

Congresswoman Woolsey’s strong stance on behalf of average Americans is rooted in her own background.  Early in her career, as a single, working mother caring for three children, Lynn was forced to rely on public assistance to make ends meet. Since that time, she has had a firm and abiding belief in the availability of a comprehensive social safety net for those facing life’s most difficult challenges.

After working her way off of public assistance, Lynn Woolsey rose to become a Human Resources Manager for a Marin high-tech firm and later opened her own human resources firm.  In 1984, she was elected to the Petaluma City Council, and she ran for and won a seat in the U.S. Congress in 1992.  She has since won re-election 8 times.

Lynn Woolsey was born on November 3, 1937, in Seattle, Washington and now lives in Petaluma, California.  She has four children, all grown, and five grandchildren.

Do you know where you still on the political spectrum? See “Political Beliefs, Where Are You” to find out where you stand.

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