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Locals speak for Iraq redeployment bill

Here’s what some Bay Area House members had to say about the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act, a measure the House passed today on a 223-201 vote requiring U.S. forces to begin redeploying within 120 days and to complete the transition to a limited presence in Iraq by April 1, 2008.

mcnerneyportrait.jpg Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton: “After more than four years of engagement in Iraq, it is far past time to recognize certain truths: The President’s stay-the-course strategy is failing; the Iraqis must take responsibility for their own country; this war has severely diminished our military readiness and diverted our attention in the war on terror; and we must change course. That is why I wholeheartedly support the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act. This bill represents a comprehensive strategy to move in a new direction by responsibly redeploying our troops, demanding the Iraqis stand up and take responsibility for their country, and refocusing our efforts on disrupting and destroying the terrorist networks that threaten our national security.”

miller.jpg Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez: “I have long believed that as long as American forces are in Iraq to prop up the Iraqi government, the Iraqi government will never come into its own and the various factions in Iraq will never come to terms with their own future. Our presence in Iraq is not simply failing to bring violence to an end, or create stability, or ensure a democratic and functioning government. It is in fact preventing those goals from being achieved. But it comes from no fault of America’s soldiers. America’s soldiers have done everything asked of them. Yet they continue to be placed in an impossible situation by the failures of this President. We can no longer leave our troops in this situation with nothing but misplaced hope that things will get better … They will not get better …not for our troops. They have been treated horribly. Their tours extended to unsafe lengths, repeatedly, and without adequate armor or training. We must redeploy them now and bring them home.”

lee3.jpg Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland: “If we are to climb out of this deep hole, we are going to have to make sure that when our troops come home, that they all come home. That means no permanent bases, and it means ending our blind commitment to arming and training Iraqi security forces. And it also means that come September, we must use the power of our purse and we must begin to fully fund the safe redeployment of our young men and woman and our contractors out of Iraq. The civil war in Iraq is raging within the very security forces we are arming and training. Our weapons and expertise are being used for sectarian violence and for killing Americans and Iraqi civilians. This policy only further endangers our troops and fuels the civil war. We must end the Bush administration’s failed policy in Iraq – and it has failed – and we must reconsider this blind commitment to arming and training Iraqi security forces. Let us support our troops, and I mean support our troops in a real way, by bringing them home. This is the will of the American people, that is the goal of the Out of Iraq Caucus, and that is in the national security interest of our country.”

lantos.jpg Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo: “The people of Iraq and our fighting forces there know the situation all too well. The index of progress that they face each day tells them much more than a 25-page report can ever say. With every car bomb that takes a civilian toll, every insurgent’s bullet that finds its mark, every roadside explosive that maims or kills one of our own brave men and women in uniform, the sacrifices mount – and the result is anything but satisfactory. This is why, Mr. Speaker, our measure deserves our full and unwavering support. We need to direct a misguided Administration to face reality and to start the responsible redeployment of our forces from Iraq. By asking this Congress to extend our patience yet again, by pointlessly risking our troops, and by continuing to ignore the will of the American people to end this war, the Administration is reaching for a bridge much too far.”

tauscher3.jpgRep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo: “Chairman Skelton’s bill, of which I am a proud co-sponsor, would make significant reductions in our troop presence by April 2008. The President continues to blindly stay the course in Iraq with disastrous and deadly consequences. Democrats, along with Republican colleagues who no longer trust the President’s leadership, are doing all we can to slow the President’s full-speed ahead mismanagement and divert the policy toward returning the troops home sooner and safer. This more responsible presence, consisting of limiting US presence to fighting terrorism and training Iraqi forces, will protect American interests in the region and be the first step toward restoring the readiness that has been exhausted over the last four years.”

Posted on Thursday, July 12th, 2007
Under: Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, General, George Miller, Iraq, Jerry McNerney, Tom Lantos, U.S. House | No Comments »

Belated Scooter-bashing

(An administrative snafu had left us unable to post anything for a while, so we’re going to play catch-up now.)

Amid all the Democratic screaming over President Bush’s commutation of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s prison sentence were some notable quotes from right here in the Bay Area:

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland: “President Bush’s decision to commute the sentence of Scooter Libby for his role in covering up the deliberate exposure of the identity of an undercover CIA operative is what we have come to expect from an administration that has consistently shown more interest in protecting its own than protecting the nation.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo: “This decision sends the wrong message about the rule of law in the United States, just as the President is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. How can we hold the line against injustices in other countries when our own executive branch deliberately sets out to smear its critics, lies about it and then wriggles away without having to pay the price in prison? This is exactly what happened in the case of Valerie Plame Wilson, whose status at the CIA was leaked to media by Scooter Libby; Libby tried to cover it up, and for his loyalty to the White House he will now simply walk away. This is an outrage against the values of a free and just society.”

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo: “By commuting Scooter Libby’s sentence, President Bush is showing that he thinks there are two sets of laws in America — one for his wealthy and well-connected friends and one for everyone else. Scooter Libby was convicted of obstructing justice, perjury, and lying to investigators. His role in exposing the identity of a covert CIA agent, which did untold damage to our national security, appears now to be the ultimate act of loyalty to the Vice President. The Vice President’s Chief of Staff is now his fall guy. Scooter Libby should be held accountable, as the President stood before America and promised anyone involved would be. This partisan political decision does not serve justice or our county well.”

Posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
Under: Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, Tom Lantos, U.S. House | No Comments »

House members urge Cheney fish probe

All Bay Area House members except Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, were among 36 California and Oregon lawmakers who wrote yesterday to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall, D-W.V., requesting a Congressional probe of Vice President Dick Cheney‘s role in the diversion of water from the Klamath River Basin. The diversion preceded the largest commercial salmon fishing disaster in U.S. history and devastated commercial and recreational fishing in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties in 2002.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Cheney had pressured mid-level bureaucrats in the Department of the Interior to divert water from the Klamath River Basin to benefit Republican political prospects among Oregon farmers.

“This smells as bad as 80,000 dead salmon,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, a House Energy and Commerce Committee member. “Those who depend on salmon for their livelihood, including many of my constituents, deserve to know exactly what the Vice President did to implement a water policy that circumvented the Endangered Species Act and devastated commercial, sport and tribal fishing in California and Oregon.”

The call comes even as the White House refuses to comply with Congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony relating to the firings of federal prosecutors last year, setting up a potential constitutional confrontation over its claim of executive privilege.

The 2002 salmon die-off still resonates; in 2006, low salmon eturns to the Klamath forced the closure of most Pacific Coast commercial and recreational salmon fishing, hurting fishermen at San Mateo County’s Pillar Point Harbor. Lawmakers pressed Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to declare a fishing disaster for the West Coast, and last month secured $60 million to help the industry recover.

Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2007
Under: Anna Eshoo, Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, General, George Miller, Jerry McNerney, Lynn Woolsey, Mike Honda, Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, Tom Lantos, U.S. House, Vice President Dick Cheney, Zoe Lofgren | No Comments »

Tauscher seeks Maze-related transit $$$

tauscher3.jpgRep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, has introduced a “Commuter Emergency Relief Act” which would help the Bay Area recoup about $2.7 million in transit and traffic-information costs from the MacArthur Maze meltdown.

The bill she introduced yesterday would make all mass transportation services provided as a result of highway emergencies eligible for reimbursement by the federal government, and it’s retroactive to April 29, 2007 to cover the Bay Area’s freeway fracas. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has estimated that free transit services on April 30 and operation of the 511 system during the traffic crisis cost about $2.7 million. The Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief program already reimburses the state for repairs made to a damaged interstate highway.

“When there’s a catastrophe on a major artery, everyone is forced to switch gears and make changes that affect their daily lives,” Tauscher said in a news release. “In the case of the MacArthur Maze meltdown, thousands of commuters needed to find alternate routes to and from work, and in a record number of cases, that involved people getting out of their cars and onto mass transportation.”

Among the bill’s 16 original cosponsors are Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton; Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont; Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez; Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo; Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; and Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma. Tauscher sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to which her bill has been referred.

Posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
Under: Anna Eshoo, Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, George Miller, Jerry McNerney, Lynn Woolsey, Pete Stark, Tom Lantos, U.S. House, Zoe Lofgren | No Comments »

Today’s Congressional odds and ends

lantos.jpgLantos and Lee tout AIDS funding boost: Note the date and time, folks — House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, had something nice to say about President Bush today, as he requested a broadening of the U.S. fight against global HIV/AIDS. Lantos and Lee in 2003 were among co-authors of legislation that led to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which the president now wants to renew and expand. Lantos called Bush’s call to double the budget “music to my ears, and I will do all I can to ensure harmonious support for it.” Lee called PEPFAR “one of the few foreign policy initiatives where the President has broad bipartisan support among the Congress.” But both called for removing the requirement that a third of the program’s funds be spent solely on abstinence-only-until-marriage education. “The Institute of Medicine and the Government Accountability Office have reported that this requirement has been a hindrance to the effectiveness of prevention efforts across the board. Mandating the preaching of abstinence may not be the best use of one-third of the funds in this fight,” Lantos noted. And Lee said added investment in our global AIDS programs must be “coupled with increases in funding for other core development and humanitarian programs, including for programs to address basic education, nutrition, the health worker shortages, water and food security and other diseases like malaria and TB.”

lee3.jpg No fuzzy math for Lee: Lee is in Berkeley tonight speaking at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute’s 4th annual Critical Issues in Education conference, updating educators on K-12 legislation in Congress and in particular the debate over renewing — and perhaps, fully funding for the first time? — the “No Child Left Behind” law implemented five years ago. The conference, focusing on “Teaching Teachers Mathematics,” has gathered more than 200 prominent educators and mathematicians from across the nation to improve teachers’ training for certification and beyond.

mcnerneyportrait.jpgMcNerney’s next meet-and-greet: Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, will hold his next “Congress at Your Corner” session with constituents from noon to 1 p.m. this Friday, June 1 at Vic’s All Star Kitchen, 201A Main St. in Pleasanton. Wanna know the latest about what’s happening in them marbled halls on ethics, the war, gas prices, anything at all? Bring yer questions, grab a cuppa joe with your voice in Congress — he’s all ears.

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
Under: Barbara Lee, Jerry McNerney, President Bush, Tom Lantos, U.S. House | No Comments »

No Bay Area support for Iraq spending bill

The House has voted 280-142 for an Iraq emergency supplemental spending bill which has no timetable for withdrawal or benchmarks for progress; the entire Bay Area delegation — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco — voted against it.

lantos.jpgSaid Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo: “Everyone in Congress is keenly conscious of the need to support our troops, and it’s even more on our minds as Memorial Day approaches. But giving the president as much latitude as this bill provides to conduct this war, in which our fighting men and women have engaged so bravely, is no way to show our support. We have to ensure that feasible, responsible plans are guiding our country’s military strategy so that we can bring our troops home as soon as possible. … In the election last November and in every subsequent public expression on this subject, the American people have made clear they are looking for a responsible plan for bringing the war to an end. Instead, the President launched an ill-conceived escalation plan. He went on to reject legislation that Congress put forth to create real benchmarks for improvement and timelines for redeploying the troops. It is time to take more stringent measures in order to get the situation under control.”

tauscher3.jpgSaid Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo: “I have voted for every bill to bring our troops home because I am deeply committed to ending our involvement in an Iraqi civil war. After much thought, deliberation and listening to my constituents I voted against the supplemental appropriations bill. I cannot vote to give the president one more blank check. Each time he has proven irresponsible, irrational and obstinate. This entire debate is sprung from his failure to lead both in Iraq and here at home. If the president won’t lead, Congress will. That is why I look forward to voting on a de-authorization of the use of force. Speaker Pelosi has promised me that a vote on my bill, the Change the Course in Iraq Act (H.R. 1460), will come to the floor in September at the end of this short term funding measure. The mission in Iraq no longer bears any resemblance to what Congress authorized four years ago. Repealing the Congressional authorization for the war is the responsible way for the Congress to make it crystal clear to the president that Congress and the people we represent have had enough.”

More after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007
Under: Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, General, Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, Tom Lantos, U.S. House | No Comments »

Pelosi, Lantos meet with Chinese Vice Premier

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Franicsco; Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo; Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., met today in Pelosi’s office with Vice Premier Wu Yi of China. Said Pelosi:

“I was pleased to welcome Madam Vice Premier Wu Yi and the Chinese delegation to the Capitol this afternoon. In light of the significance of the U.S.-China relationship, we have a responsibility to work together to build a brighter future for the people of our two countries –- economically, politically, diplomatically, culturally, in every way.

“Today we engaged in an open and frank dialogue on issues such as intellectual property rights violations, the undervaluation of China’s currency, the genocide in Darfur and human rights in China and Tibet. I believe that the Chinese government can do more in each of these areas.

“On global warming and protecting the environment, there is an opportunity for us to build a stronger relationship to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources and to protect our environment for future generations. Members of Congress are closely following the Strategic Economic Dialogue and are hopeful that Treasury Secretary Paulson can achieve concrete results.”

On a related note, the House Foreign Affairs Committee today passed a resolution by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, calling on China to use its “unique influence and economic leverage” with the Sudan regime to help stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur. With Lantos among its several dozen co-sponsors, the legislation now goes to the House floor.

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
Under: Barbara Lee, General, Nancy Pelosi, Tom Lantos, U.S. House | No Comments »

McNerney breaks from Bay Area pack on Iraq vote

mcnerneyportrait.jpgWhen legislation requiring withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within nine months was defeated in the House yesterday on a 255-171 vote, all but one Bay Area House member supported the bill. Somewhat surprisingly, the local loner was freshman Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.

McNerney, you’ll remember, last November unseated former House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, with the support not only from environmental activists and groups but also from a fair number of antiwar liberals. His platform last year said: “For voters in the 11th Congressional District, the choice is between Richard Pombo’s support for indefinite occupation and my demand for a real plan that will end the occupation and strengthen our national security. … By securely redeploying our troops over the next year, we will put the Iraqis on notice that they need to be responsible for their own security and allow the international community to participate in rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq.”


Andy Stone, McNerney’s press secretary, told me this morning:

“H.R. 2237 included neither specific provisions to bring about a diplomatic solution to the war in Iraq, nor funding for the needs of this newly created generation of veterans. The supplemental bill, which Congressman McNerney supported for the third time, had both.

“He supported the supplemental because he believes it is the most responsible course to take and is the only way to ensure that Iraqis begin to take responsibility for Iraq.

“The supplemental plan provides the framework to end the conflict by achieving a diplomatic solution, which experts from across the political spectrum recognize is the only way to end the war responsibly.

“He saw it as a vote of conscience and supported what he considered to be the most effective method of bringing America’s involvement in the conflict to an end.”

Questions? You can ask McNerney yourself tomorrow, Saturday, May 12, as he holds his next “Congress at Your Corner” meet-and-greet from 2 to 3 p.m. at Mountain House Fire Department Station #98, 911 Tradition St. in Mountain House, just northwest of Tracy.

((UPDATE @ 11:33 P.M. FRIDAY: There’s a very lively discussion of McNerney’s vote at

Voting for the nine-month withdrawal plan were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo; Education & Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez; Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Pete Stark, D-Fremont; Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo; Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto; Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose; Mike Honda, D-San Jose; and Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma.

The House instead passed legislation, on a 221-205 vote, to provide partial funding for the war but hold back most of the money until President Bush makes a progress report in July. Lee, Stark and Woolsey voted against this one; McNerney, Pelosi, Lantos, Miller, Tauscher, Eshoo, Lofgren and Honda voted for it.

Said Miller, of the defeated nine-month bill: “There is not enough support yet in Congress to pass this type of bill, but there is enough support in Congress to require a sharp change in course in Iraq and we will continue to push for that direction. I believe the support for immediate redeployment of US troops, and a new direction in Iraq is growing. And I have a strong feeling that come July, we will be much closer than we are now to our goal of ending this tragic war.”

Said Lee: “This was an historic vote and the strong showing in favor of redeploying our troops was a turning point. While this measure was defeated today, it will prevail.”

And Stark, said: “My constituents have been calling for withdrawal for years and I’m proud for vote for it on the House floor today.” Feel free to go ask Stark about it at one of the three town meetings he’s holding in his district tomorrow, Saturday, May 12:

  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. in the City Council Chambers at Fremont City Hall, 3300 Capitol Ave.
  • 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in the Dave Karp room at the San Leandro Public Library, 300 Estudillo Ave.
  • Noon – 1 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Bay Farm Elementary School, 200 Aughinbaugh Way in Alameda
  • Posted on Friday, May 11th, 2007
    Under: Anna Eshoo, Barbara Lee, Ellen Tauscher, General, George Miller, Iraq, Jerry McNerney, Lynn Woolsey, Mike Honda, Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, President Bush, Tom Lantos, U.S. House, Zoe Lofgren | No Comments »

    Requiem for ‘Leadfoot Lou’

    House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, has placed the following statement in the Congressional Record:

    papan.jpgMadame Speaker, I rise with sadness today to share with my colleagues in the House news of the death of a California public servant from my home district. Lou Papan, known as the “Dean” of the California State Assembly, died unexpectedly on Saturday, April 28, 2007. He was 78 years old.

    Lou Papan was practically a force of nature in state and local politics. His distinguished life’s work included service to his country as a member of the Armed Forces, his professional career with the FBI, a successful banking and business experience and ultimately, serving two decades as a State Assemblyman from California’s 19th District.

    Madame Speaker, this big, burly bear of a man was also known for his enormous heart and his devotion to his family. The father of a seriously disabled son, Lou Papan was well known along Highway 80 as he commuted between Sacramento and Millbrae, making a point of being home every night to help his wife Irene with the added complexities of life parents of seriously ill children often face. John died in 1981 at the age of 21 and it is doubtful that Lou Papan ever regretted a single, highly publicized, speeding ticket he received. Those tickets earned him the nickname “Leadfoot Lou.”

    This personal dedication translated into public and private activities geared to helping other families facing similar challenges. The creation of “John’s Closet,” a unique organization that collected clothing for disabled and poor children, was but one example of how Lou Papan shouldered his community’s concerns in order to help make everyone’s life just a little better.

    Madame Speaker, Lou Papan was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, as Elias Papandricoupolos. His parents were Greek immigrants and his own name was accidentally changed to “Louis” by a doctor who did not recognize the original name on a form. Lou Papan spoke only Greek when he began elementary school.

    As a young man, Lou Papan served in the U.S. Army. Family lore has it that fellow soldiers kidded the young man about the length of his last name, saying that the 16 letters nearly wrapped all the way around his helmet. He later earned a degree in economics from Syracuse University and during the Korean War, was an officer in the Air Force. He then went to Georgetown Law School. His government service continued with the FBI, which sent him to San Francisco where he met his wife and where he settled.

    Madame Speaker, Lou Papan left the FBI to embark on a business career that was highly successful in banking, insurance and real estate. He was a co-founder of the Peninsula Bank of Commerce. His first elected office was as a member of the Daly City Council. In 1972, he took the leap to the California State Assembly.

    Lou Papan’s political career is full of dynamic successes as well as controversial emotions. His legacy is one of “hardball politics” in which legislators were strongly encouraged to support the political policies of their party. Known as “The Enforcer” for his ability to shepherd votes, Lou Papan’s shadow was cast large in Sacramento, over both opponents and supporters.

    His political goal to become a State Senator was never realized, although he tried on two occasions. Madame Speaker, this gregarious, sometimes garrulous politician left the State Assembly in 1986 to run for State Senate. He failed in that effort, but in 1996, he easily recaptured his former Assembly seat. As a footnote to his legislative legacy, Lou Papan became one of the longest-serving politicians in recent California history, having served time both before and after voters approved term limits.

    As the Chairman of the powerful Assembly Rules Committee, Lou Papan wielded considerable power over the day-to-day activities of the California Legislature. His position and political style often resulted in decidedly mixed reviews, but almost everyone agreed that he was an effective leader.

    It was during his Assembly tenure that the California Capitol Building was renovated and upgraded through a six-year, $67 million effort. A plaque bearing his name testifies to his successful oversight of that project.

    Madame Speaker, it is difficult to capture a life of public service in these few short words, but let me say that during his 20-year career in the California Assembly, Lou Papan championed the causes of children, including legislation to improve public instruction for disabled students, require reporting of child and elder abuse and establishment of childcare centers for families with business before the courts. He also authored legislation to help firefighters suffering from life-threatening illnesses as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals on the job. Lou Papan played a key role in establishing and expanding California’s public transportation agencies, carried legislation to ensure reliability of regional water delivery systems, and submitted bills aimed at encouraging conservation and recycling, among many other contributions. Lou Papan also served as the Chairman of the Banking and Finance Committee, where he spearheaded efforts to support independent banking institutions.

    In 1996 he was granted the Ellis Island Medal of Honor given by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations to ethnic Americans who have made significant contributions to this country.

    In another effort to recognize his public service, the California Legislature renamed a section of Highway 1, from the Daly City border south through the City of Pacifica along the scenic coast, as the “Louis J. Papan Highway.” He is given credit for successfully securing funding to purchase beachfront property in Pacifica for the State Parks system.

    Madame Speaker, Lou Papan lived a big, at times boisterous life. His dedication to public service speaks for itself and his impact on the people and politics of California are now part of history. He is survived by his daughters Virgina “Gina” Papan and Diane Papan, son-in-law Dan Latini and granddaughter Alexa Papan Latini.

    His daughter Gina says her dad “was the real deal.” Madame Speaker, I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment. Lou Papan was a unique and dynamic personality who made his mark on his home, his county, his state and his country. I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing the contributions of this fellow politician and servant of the public.

    Posted on Friday, May 4th, 2007
    Under: Assembly, Tom Lantos, U.S. House | No Comments »

    Lee brings U.S. HIV/AIDS czar to Oakland

    lee3.jpgRep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, has organized a meeting tonight in Oakland between representatives from local organizations engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Mark Dybul.

    “I have long said that our battle against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic is linked to our battle against HIV/AIDS in the United States and here in Oakland. We are part of this global pandemic, and as we talk about the need to confront HIV in Africa and the Caribbean, we must also talk about the need to confront it here in the United States,” Lee said in a news release. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Dybul here in Oakland to discuss both local and global efforts to stop this disease.”

    Dybul oversees the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which Lee co-authored legislation to create. This year he will manage nearly $4 billion in global AIDS programs across several departments and agencies of the U.S. government. As previously reported here, Dybul was the featured speaker earlier today at a public forum at the San Francisco Public Library on challenges and opportunities in U.S. efforts to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide, hosted by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo.

    Scheduled to attend tonight’s meting are Dr. Robert Scott, co-chair of the Allen Temple Baptist Church AIDS Ministry; Ellen Schell, director of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance; Dr. Anthony Iton, director of the Alameda County Public Health Department; Dian Harrison, CEO and director of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate; Ronald Person, director of the Alameda County Public Health Department’s AIDS office; Dr. Eric Goosby, CEO and chief medical officer of the PANGEA Global AIDS Foundation; Rene Durrazzo, program development consultant at the PANGEA Global AIDS Foundation; Dr. Daniel Robbins, chairman of the KAPNEK Pediatric AIDS Fund; Gloria Locket, director of the California Prevention and Education Project; and Denise (Denny) Martin, community health program officer at the San Francisco Foundation.

    Lee has been working overtime to get national and international players in the battle against HIV/AIDS to visit Oakland; U2 frontman Bono was here early last month.

    Posted on Friday, April 27th, 2007
    Under: Barbara Lee, General, Oakland, Tom Lantos, U.S. House | No Comments »