Pete Stark

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Pete Stark


Pete Stark was a far left Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 13th district of California.

Stark lost his re-election bid in November 2012. He was defeated by Eric Swalwell (D) in the November 6, 2012 election.[1]

Education/career

Stark is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in engineering and the University of California, Berkeley with a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Before being elected to Congress in 1972, Stark was a successful businessman and banker.

In 1963, he founded Security National Bank in Walnut Creek. The bank grew from a small storefront operation to a $1 billion financial institution with branches in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Stark sold his interest in the bank after his election to Congress.

Before his business career, Stark served in the U.S. Air Force. His other civic activities have included: Director, Common Cause; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Starr King School of Ministry; Board Member, Housing Development Corporation; Board Member, Council for Civic Unity, and many others.[2]

Congress

Congressman Pete Stark served in Congress from 1973-2013. A senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, he was the Ranking Minority Member of its Health Subcommittee. Stark previously served as the subcommittee's Chairman from 2007 to 2010 and 1985 to 1994, and previously as Ranking Minority Member from 1995 to 2006.

Before being elected to Congress in 1972, Stark was a successful businessman and banker. Upon entering Congress, he served on the House Banking and Currency Committee. After completing his first term, Stark was named to the Ways and Means Committee, whose scope includes taxes, Medicare, Social Security, trade and public assistance.

From 1981 to 1984, Stark served as Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. As Chairman, Stark became known as one of the nation's foremost advocates of tax reform. He later served a critical role in shaping the historic tax reform act of 1986. In the years since, he has been a vocal voice for tax fairness and opposed the addition of corporate loopholes to our nation's income tax laws.

In January of 1985, Stark became the Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. As Chairman, he presided over major reforms to the Medicare system. While cutting billions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse, Stark expanded benefits for tens of millions of Medicare beneficiaries, provided COBRA health continuation benefits to workers, and made numerous improvements in the quality of our nation's health care.

As Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee from 2007 to 2010, Stark helped write the health reform law that is bringing quality, affordable health care to millions of Americans.

Stark champions universal health care, and speaks out for peace, freedom of choice, and protecting our environment. He is a tireless advocate for children, families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities, as well as the residents of the 13th Congressional District.[3]

The Chile letter

On August 1 1979 Thirty-five U.S. Congressmen signed a letter[4]to President Jimmy Carter demanding that private bank loans to Chile be barred unless the Chilean government chose to extradite three military officials, including the former director of the Chilean intelligence service. The three had been indicted for complicity in the assassination of marxist Unidad Popular government member and KGB agent Orlando Letelier and the killing of Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) staffer Ronni Moffitt in 1976.

In May 1978 the Chief Justice of the Chilean Supreme Court rejected the U.S. request for extradition.

Chief sponsor of the letter was Rep. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who was joined by Congressmen John Burton (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI), Ron Dellums (D-CA), Berkley Bedell (D-IA), Richard Ottinger (D-NY), Fred Richmond (D-NY), Robert Drinan (D-MA), Leon Panetta (D-CA), Don Edwards (D-CA); Norman Mineta (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA}, Anthony Beileson (D-CA) George Brown (D-CA), Toby Moffett (D-CT), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Eugene Atkinson (D-PA), Michael Barnes (D-MD), David Bonior (D-MI), Adam Benjamin (D-IN), William Brodhead (D-MI), Robert Carr (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Tom Downey (D-NY), Harold Hollenbeck (R-NJ), Pete Kostmayer (D-PA), Stewart McKinney (R-CT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Andrew Maguire (D-NJ) Richard Nolan (DFL-MN), Gerry Studds (D-MA), Bruce Vento (DFL-MN) and Howard Wolpe (D-MI).

The Harkin letter characterized the Chilean government as "an enemy of the American people" and urged the President to "take strong action against this terrorist government." The letter was released (9 A.M. on August 1 1979) at the same time a press statement from the Washington, DC, Chile Legislative Center of the National Coordinating Center in Solidarity with Chile, staffed by veterans of the Venceremos Brigade and the Communist Party USA, supported the Congressional letter and urged pressure so that the State Department does not accept a military trial of the three Chileans in Chile as a substitute for extradition and trial in the US

DSA endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed Pete Stark, California 13, in that year's Congressional elections.[5]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 Pete Stark Democrat was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[6]

As of February 20 2009 Pete Stark was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[7]

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[8]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

Supporting Sandre Swanson

In 2006, Pete Stark was one of many prominent Northern California leftists to serve on State Assembly hopeful Sandre Swanson's Honorary Campaign Committee.[9]

"Progressives' on "Ways & Means" committee

In 2008, the U.S. Congress' most powerful committee, "Ways & Means" was heavily influenced by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus including Chairman Charles Rangel, Pete Stark, John Lewis, Xavier Becerra and Jim McDermott.

Congressional Progressive CaucusVice Chairman Raul Grijalva and Danny Davis, joined "Ways & Means" late in the year.

"Single - payer" movement

According to Michael Lighty, a former National Director of Democratic Socialists of America, and Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, writing in DSA's Democratic Left, Winter 2007/2008 .[10]

There’s a growing movement for single-payer universal healthcare. The movement is led by activists in Healthcare-Now!, doctors in the Physicians for a National Health Program, nurses in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, leaders in labor unions such as United Steelworkers of America and Communication Workers of America, activists in the Progressive Democrats of America, and Congressman John Conyers, with the support for HR 676 by 300 union locals, 75 Central Labor Councils, and 25 state Federations of Labor, and hundreds of clergy and faith-based organizations, as well as civil rights, women’s and healthcare advocacy groups in the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare.
The policy proposals developed by Beltway think tanks and the principles for reform adopted by the AFL-CIO confer support for single-payer while allowing for private insurance-based approaches as well. Other bills in Congress, notably sponsored by Ted Kennedy and John Dingell and “Americare” introduced by Pete Stark, seek to incrementally establish a single-payer system.

Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade

On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Pete Stark was one of the signatories of the letter. [11] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Council for a Livable World, 50th Anniversary

On June 6, 2012, Council for a Livable World, along with its sister organizations Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their founding by Leo Szilard in 1962.

An evening celebration was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Congressman Barney Frank acted as the Master of Ceremonies and, in the process, received a lifetime achievement award from former Rep. Tom Downey, a member of the Council’s Board of Directors. The Robert F. Drinan Peace and Human Award was presented to former Representative and PeacePAC Chairman David Bonior and the late Edith Wilkie, a longtime advocate and leader for peace and justice.

Over 225 people attended to celebrate the Council’s legacy of working to advocate for sensible national security policies and helping to elect congressional candidates who support those policies.

Other notables included Hawaii Senate candidate Mazie Hirono (D), Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), former Sen. Tim Wirth (D-CO) and former Rep. Jim Moody (D-WI).[12]

Staff

The following people are either present or past staff:[13]

External links

References