Listen: Democratic Party, Congress And Barbara Lee discussed on Pat Thurston
"Lee who is now part of the democratic leadership in the house of representatives, Barbara what is the story in terms of the democratic caucus chair, which is a position you wanted. You lost by ten votes or something to Representative team Jeffries, and it was a very very close race. And one of the things that you are pantley saying was it had to do with the fact that you were a black woman, and that both of these should be a part of the leadership, actually. And when you do the tally, correct? And we're moving forward in terms of what we're gonna do to make sure that this democratic caucus is reflective of all perspective. And I have to tell you. There has never been an African American woman in leader spin the democratic caucus since I think it's seventeen eighty nine. I'm reminded the congresswoman Shirley Chisholm ran for democratic caucus chair. This was in nineteen seventy seven and she got a hundred boats. So, you know, I got one hundred thirteen votes forty one years later, that's not progress asking me, but we have to keep fighting because I think what my campaign showed that women of color African American women. We're fighters we're gonna we have a seat at the table because we have been the most loyal inconsistent abode within the Democratic Party. And we should be there at the leadership table not to dwell on this. But I mean, it was it the fact that you were in fact in African American woman or when thought occurred to me that. That is California. I mean, wouldn't California be it wouldn't bother me, but wouldn't California to be over represented in the house leadership? Absolutely, not when you look at New York, we have the chair of the appropriations committee. We have the chair of the foreign affairs committee. You have the chair of the small business committee. You have so different shares a very powerful committees from New York, and when you look at California population, and what we bring to the Democratic Party to the democratic caucus. We absolutely are not and would not be over just look at how we won these elections. We swept Orange County in terms of turning Orange County blue. And so that's a lot for the value that Californians have in terms of our democratic caucus Democratic Party. And this what hurts the save. But what about the ageism question? Oh, you know, they kept talking about generational change. Well, when you look at the fact that it who I represent my ideas, it's about views about vision. It's about moving the country forward and the majority of the younger members and the new. Members elected voted for me because they know that I am one to insist that we create pathways four hundred members to become leaders in the congress. And also when you look at the following that I have around the country, this is about meals, it's about experience, it's about bringing people along it's really about organizing and bringing young people into the fold, and I've done that for many many years, and I think that the members who voted for me, especially the younger members they recognize that, but we have to move on. And I'm looking forward to the new congress and advancing forward looking at gender. And I have been appointed as a co chair of the steering policy committee, which really gives me an opportunity to be at the leadership table and to expand the perspective and the boys and represent those who have not necessarily been represented women of color African American women. Low income women women working men and women and really help to strengthen our democratic caucus. Then I intend to do that we talking with US congress. Barbara Lee with that in mind. Let's switch over to the the basic schism if you will within the Democratic Party have the moderates, and you have the progressives. You are certainly in that latter category to what degree is the direction of the Democratic Party going eventually gravitate to think it's about unity and coming together. I think everyone can agree that we need to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. For example, we need to raise wages, we need to create jobs, and we need to clean up the corruption in Washington, and that's not a progressive or conservative or moderate agenda. I think that brings people together. So we have to unify our democratic caucus. Also, let remind you that I was a member of the democratic platform committee and helped write the Democratic Party platform. And I'm the Goshi aided the majority of the provisions between the Clinton and the Bernie Sanders delegates and we came out with a unified Democratic Party platform that was very progressive, but it was a unified platform and I intend to continue to work to try to unify our party. And I am who I am. I'm a progressive African American woman. From the thirteenth congressional district. Everyone represents their districts represent who they are based on their experiences. And so we can't be who we are not. But we also know that they're more common ground among us. And now that said there was one point where there was very little common ground. In fact, there was none. And it's a case where I was wrong, and you were right. And that is when you gave a speech seventeen years ago, and you said, quote, let's just pause and think through the implications of our actions today. So this does not spiral out of control, and you were talking about possibly going to Afghanistan and fighting and that were still goes on as we speak. Not only that war trying this case for perpetual war. That was a sixty words blank check authorization to use force. It's been used now in over seventeen countries over forty one time based on declassified report until we repeal this. We're going to beat the state of perpetual war and congress is missing in action and so fast forward eighteen years later, I'm still trying to repeal that and the rest of the country and the rest of the democratic and Republican caucus members. Had begun to understand why we need to repeal that resolution, and let me remind you a couple of years ago and appropriations committee my amendment to repeal that was passed with democratic and Republican votes because sometimes you have to take a stand based on what you know, what is right based on what your conscience dictates based on what the constitution requires and just wait for everybody else to catch up with you. So it's not about being right or wrong. It's about doing what you think makes sense. Here's what we're obviously both on the same side of and that has to do with the question of abortion women's right to choice, and how do you overcome the fact that you've got a president now who calls himself, totally pro-life. What's in congress do? Well, when you look at this president and budget cuts, he proposes of how can you say, he's really pro life. But what we have to do is these anti is Islam anti-choice woman. He really does not believe in women's rights in general, and we're gonna have to keep fighting to preserve role. Versus wade. And we've got to make sure that we insist that the right to privacy the right to all options for comprehensive health care and reproductive health care, including portions granted to everyone, including low income women, which means repealing the Hyde amendment, which I'm trying to do. And so the twentieth and we have to fight hard. This is a long-term struggle. But it's worth it. Ron we have got to protect women's rights in terms of the right to privacy the right to abortion to right to make their own healthcare decisions. We need to keep government out of it. Politicians do not need to be making these decisions for women, and I'm gonna continue to fight as co chair of the pro choice caucus to make sure that we push back on this Trump administration's very backwards and very really terrible hostile policies toward women's well congrats on following through on that. And for that matter congrats on being part of the leadership. I've gotta say for even people who don't agree with you, politically, they will all admit one thing and forgive my French. But you got balls when you want something. You fight for it. And you don't give up and I really appreciate that for that. But let me tell you most black women most women of color and most women have to fight. And you know, we still have sexism ageism braces, we have a lot of issues that are unresolved in this country, and who better to do that than those who are affected by that each and every day because I'm a member of congress. That's not mean that I'm not affected like other women are and so we've got to keep it up, Barbara thanks so much for joining us. I really appreciate it. Thanks a lot talking with these same here. That's the Ron Owens report every weekday afternoons at twelve fifty pm and again at three fifty nine fifty pm on K G O eight. States Amtrak taking a look at K G O traffic,."