SAN FRANCISCO–A Congresswoman from the East Bay Area has been working with her colleagues in the U.S. Capitol to end the cycle of genocide by raising awareness of the Turkish Government’s continuing denial of the Armenian Genocide. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-09) is standing shoulder to shoulder with more than 218 cosponsors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H. Res. 106).
“We must never forget the heinous acts of the Armenian Genocide that wrought devastation upon a generation of Armenia’s and scarred the conscience of the world. If we let such atrocities be forgotten, then we are in danger of letting them be repeated, and I hope that Congressman Schiff’s resolution helps us to recommit to our efforts to end the terrible, present-day genocide in Darfur,” stated Congresswoman Lee.
H. Res. 106 "calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other purposes." The resolution currently has over 218 cosponsors and is a bipartisan measure. Over 46 of California’s 53 Members of Congress are cosponsors of H. Res. 106.
Since taking office in 1998, Congresswoman Lee has strongly promoted issues of concern to the Armenian American community. As a longtime member of the House International Relations Committee (1998-2006) she has consistently reached out to fellow Members of Congress to build support for the genocide bill and other important human rights legislation.
Congresswoman Lee, who is a close friend of the San Francisco Bay Area Armenian National Committee Chapter (Bay Area ANC), became a cosponsor of H. Res. 106 on January 31, 2007. In addition to being a strong voice in promoting policies that foster international peace, security and human rights, Congresswoman Lee has been a leader in the bipartisan effort in Congress to end the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Her leadership on human rights issues is greatly revered by the Armenian American community living in and around California’s 9th Congressional District.
"Since our first meeting with her in 1998, Rep. Barbara Lee has demonstrated to us a keen understanding of the need for Armenian Genocide recognition," said Bay Area ANC Chairwoman Roxanne Makasdjian. "We are proud that this principled Bay Area Congresswoman has taken every available opportunity to persuade her colleagues to join her in acknowledging and correcting history’s wrongs."
The 9th Congressional District which the Congresswoman represents includes most of Alameda County and the cities of Albany, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Oakland, Piedmont and Emeryville.
Congresswoman Lee serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee which controls the federal budget and is widely considered one of the most powerful committees in the House. She serves on three prominent subcommittees ‘s the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and the Legislative Branch Subcommittee. In addition to her membership in the Armenian-American issues Caucus, Congresswoman Lee Co-Chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and serves as the First Vice-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and a Senior Democratic Whip. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the CBC Outreach Task Force.
Congresswoman Lee was born in El Paso, Texas, graduated from Mills College in Oakland and received her graduate degree from UC ‘s Berkeley. She began her political career as an intern in the office of her predecessor, then-Congressman Ron Dellums (and current Oakland Mayor) where she eventually became his Chief of Staff. She also served in the California State Assembly from 1990-1996 and in the California State Senate from 1996-1998.
The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.