CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

Congressional black caucus urging Obama to appoint Oakland’s Barbara Lee as Secretary of Labor

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President Barack Obama has been urged by the head of the Congressional Black Caucus to nominate Oakland Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee for U.S. Secretary of Labor, according to a letter released today.

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge mailed her letter this week to Obama, recommending that he nominate Lee to fill the post vacated by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

Lee, who has represented the East Bay’s overwhelmingly Democratic 9th Congressional District since 1998, is an outspoken anti-war advocate, and a longtime champion of progressive causes, including labor and HIV/AIDS awareness. She is a former co-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The move comes in a week in which Obama has been under fire for what many women are calling a disappointing lack of diversity in his top level appointments. Here’s a post earlier this week from SFChron/SFGate comrade Joe Garofoli on that issue.

UPDATE: Here’s the reaction from Lee –
“While I’m honored by my colleagues unsolicited recommendation, my focus remains the 13th Congressional District. If the President were to be ask me to join his Cabinet, I would of course have to give that very serious consideration.”

And here’s the letter from Fudge to Obama on Lee:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Mr. President,
As you consider candidates for your cabinet, it is with great privilege that I recommend Congressman Melvin Watt of North Carolina for the position of Secretary of Commerce and Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California for the position of Secretary of Labor. Both Melvin Watt and Barbara Lee have served the American people in the United States House of Representatives and the citizens of their respective Congressional districts with distinction.
Congressman Watt and Congresswoman Lee are exceptionally well-qualified, proven candidates. It is without reservation that I urge you to strongly consider this recommendation. I am available at your convenience should you desire further information.

Sincerely,

Marcia Fudge

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