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An announcement by California Congresswoman Barbara Lee that she will seek a seat in the United States Senate has rallied progressives and women who believe that the chamber’s membership should include an African American woman.
If elected, Congresswoman Lee, who represents the 12th Congressional District of California, which includes the city of Oakland, would become the only Black female in the 100-member U.S. Senate.
Currently, there are three Black male senators in the body that has been without a Black female presence since former California Senator Kamala Harris resigned her seat after being elected the country’s vice-president in 2020.
“Currently, there are no Black women in the U.S. Senate,” Barbara Lee, who was born in El Paso, TX, said in a statement received Friday by Texas Metro News. “And there have only been two Black Women senators in our almost 250-year history.”
Barbara Lee, who has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1998, said that her life has been devoted to creating a more equitable society for people of color, women, residents of underserved communities and others who exist on the economic margins of American life.
Veteran political consultant, Lauren Harper, said that Congresswoman Lee’s long list of impressive political credentials and experiences made her a very attractive Senate candidate.
“If elected I am certain that Congresswoman Barbara Lee will continue to govern in a manner that brings equity and integrity to the people of California, and our nation,” said Ms. Harper, the Dallas- ased co-founder of ‘Welcome Party’ and ‘Welcome PAC,’ two organizations that work with elected officials and candidates in Texas and throughout the United States.
Stella Grace, the owner of a tax preparation business in Irving, said that Representative Lee’s life and political accomplishments inspired young African American women, and others.
“Her journey is one of the reasons that young Black women like me are encouraged to dream big dreams and believe that we can accomplish anything in life that we set our minds to,” added Ms. Grace, of Grace Tax Services. Diane Feinstein, one of two Democrats who represent California in the Senate, has not said whether or not she will seek re-election in 2024.
Two Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation, Representatives Katie Porter and Adam B. Schiff, have announced that they will be candidates in the senatorial race.
“Black women have been the backbone of the Democratic Party,” said Tracey Falon King, who leads Collective Pac, an organization that promotes African American women in political races. “We need a seat at the table.”