- Former Democratic Member of the House of Representatives
- Was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
- Retired from Congress in 2013
Born in Seattle, Washington on November 3, 1937, Lynn Woolsey worked as a human resources manager with Harris Digital Telephone Systems from 1969 until 1980, at which time she began a twelve-year stint as founder and owner of Woolsey Personnel Services, an employment agency. In 1981 Woolsey earned a BS degree in Human Resources and Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco. And in 1984 she was elected to the Petaluma (California) City Council, where she served until 1992. Also during that time period, Woolsey taught at both the College of Marin and the Dominican University of California.
In 1992 Woolsey ran as a Democrat for California’s 6th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. After her popular Republican opponent was diagnosed with a brain tumor and stopped campaigning, Woolsey easily won election (with 65% of the vote) amid that year’s Bill Clinton victory tide. She became a leading member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and went on to hold her seat in House until 2013, when she retired. Over the course of her career, Woolsey voted against the development of a national missile defense system; against the establishment of military commissions to try enemy combatants captured in the war on terror; against President Bush’s momentous 2007 decision to deploy 21,500 additional U.S. troops in Iraq; against requiring American hospitals to report (to the federal government) illegal aliens who receive emergency medical treatment; against the construction of some 700 miles of fencing to prevent illegal immigration along America’s southern border; and against efforts to promote oil and gas exploration in Alaska and along the Outer Continental Shelf. For a more extensive overview of Woolsey’s voting record on a variety of key issues, click here.
As co-chair of the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Welfare Reform, Woolsey in 1996 fought passionately against the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act—a law that ultimately moved large numbers of people off the welfare rolls and into paid jobs.
In June 2005 Woolsey was a founding member of the Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus, along with such notables as John Conyers, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Charles Rangel, Jan Schakowsky, and Maxine Waters.
In September 2005 Woolsey addressed a Washington, DC anti-Iraq War rally sponsored by International ANSWER and United for Peace and Justice. Among her fellow speakers were Amiri Baraka, Ramsey Clark, George Galloway, Cynthia McKinney, Al Sharpton, and Lynne Stewart.
In early 2006, Woolsey invited antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan to attend President Bush’s January 31st State Of The Union (SOTU) address with her. “I’m proud that Cindy’s my guest tonight,” Woolsey told reporters, adding that the invtation was not “a political statement at all.” Just a few hours earlier, Sheehan—who had recently gone to Venezuela with Code Pink leaders Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans to meet with President Hugo Chavez—had participated in a World Can’t Wait-organized anti-war, anti-Bush demonstration in front of the White House. And shortly before Bush began to deliver his SOTU address, Sheehan was arrested by Capitol Police inside the House chamber when she exposed—and refused to cover up—her previously concealed T-shirt which read “2,245 Dead [American Soldiers]—How Many More??”
On September 17, 2009, the House of Representatives voted by a 345-75 margin to defund the notoriously corrupt community organization ACORN. Woolsey was one of the 75 legislators—all Democrats—who voted against the measure, and thus in support of ACORN. For a list of the other Democrats who voted as Woolsey did, click here.
On January 27, 2010, Woolsey was one of 54 Members of Congress who signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to use diplomatic pressure to end Israel’s blockade of Gaza—a blockade which had been imposed in order to prevent Hamas terrorists from importing weaponry from Iran and Syria.
Over the course of her political career, Woolsey received strong support from the Council for a Livable World and EMILY’s List. She also served on the Progressive Majority‘s advisory committee and the Progressive Democrats of America‘s advisory board.
For additional information on Lynn Woolsey, click here.