Lynn Woolsey is a Democratic Member of Congress who represents the Sixth District of California.
Born in Seattle in November 1937, Woolsey attended the University of Washington. She subsequently found work as a human resources manager and personnel service owner. After that, she taught at both the College of Marin and the Dominican University of California.
In 1968 Woolsey divorced her husband and promptly put herself and her three young children on welfare.
In 1984 Woolsey won a seat on the Petaluma (California) City Council, where she served for 8 years before running for Congress in 1992. After her popular liberal Republican opponent was diagnosed with a brain tumor and stopped campaigning, Woolsey easily won election amid the Clinton victory tide in 1992 with 65 percent of the vote.
Woolsey belongs to the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives. Her voting record, according to Americans for Democratic Action, is between 95% and 100% on the left side of legislation.
During her congressional career, Woolsey has voted:
against the development of a national missile defense system;
In September 2000 Woolsey sponsored H.R. 4892, "The Scouting for All Act," which called for a revocation of the congressional charter held by the Boy Scouts of America since 1916. “We're not saying the Boy Scouts are bad,” Woolsey explained. “We're saying that intolerance is bad” -- a reference to the fact that the Boy Scouts do not wish to include homosexuals either as members or as troop leaders.
On December 2, 2003, Woolsey wrote a letter (on her official congressional stationery) on behalf of Stewart Pearson, the son of a senior aide in her office. Pearson had recently pleaded guilty to rape. In the letter, Woolsey asked the presiding judge to consider mitigating circumstances and to impose a light sentence. The judge ultimately sentenced Pearson to the maximum of eight years in prison. When reports of Woolsey’s letter became public, she apologized for having written it.
In December 2007 Woolsey, along with 8 fellow Democrats, voted against a resolution to formally recognize the importance of “Christmas and the Christian faith.” Earlier that year, by contrast, she had voted to “recognize the commencement of [the Islamic holy month] Ramadan” and the Hindu religious holiday Diwali.