Sheila Jackson-Lee

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Sheila Jackson-Lee

Sheila Jackson-Lee is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 18th district of Texas. She is also a vice chair on the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is serving her ninth term representing the 18th Congressional District , centered in Houston, which is the energy capital of the world.[1]


Congresswoman Jackson Lee is married to Dr. Elwyn C. Lee, who holds a dual position of Vice Chancellor and Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Houston System and the University of Houston, respectively. They have two children Erica, who is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Duke University, and Jason, who is a graduate of Harvard University.[2]


Congresswoman Jackson Lee earned a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University with honors, followed by a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.[3]

Houston service

Before her election to Congress, Congresswoman Jackson Lee served two terms as one of the first African American women At-Large members of the Houston City Council, where she chaired the first Human Relations Committee, along with the Airport and Cable Committees. Prior to her Council service, she was an Associate Municipal Court Judge for the City of Houston.[4]


Sheila Jackson-Lee sits on two Congressional Committees — the House Committees on the Judiciary and Homeland Security. The Congresswoman has authored several immigration bills, such as H.R. 750, the "Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act of 2007", which sets forth a comprehensive and humane solution to the immigration problem. Rep. Jackson Lee introduced legislation to enhance federal enforcement of hate crimes with H.R. 254, the David Ray Hate Crimes Prevention of 2007. Rep. Jackson Lee also played a significant role in the recent renewal and reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. Congresswoman Jackson Lee contributed an amendment to the NASA reauthorization bill this year that will ensure equal access for minority and economically disadvantaged students to NASA’s education programs.[5]


Congresswoman Jackson Lee is a founder, member, and co-chair of the Congressional Children's Caucus, the Pakistan Caucus, Afghan Caucus, and newly formed Algerian Caucus. Congresswoman Jackson Lee has been actively engaged in addressing and resolving the genocide in Darfur. Accordingly, she met with Sudanese refugees in Chad, for whom she secured additional funding, and African Union soldiers in Sudan.[6]

Cuba visit

On February 18 1999, six members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus visited Cuba to evaluate the U.S.-imposed embargo. Among the visitors: Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Julia Carson of Indiana and others.[7][8]

Pro Democracy Convention

The Pro Democracy Convention was held June 29th To July 1, 2001. It started with a National Town Hall Meeting, Annenberg Center, University of Pennsylvania.

Come to a National Town Hall Meeting! Hear speakers representing a wide range of communities, including academics, labor leaders,

lawyers, organizers, and elected officials, speak out about Election 2000, recommendations for electoral reform, and how we all can build the movement to expand democracy in the U.S. Partial List of Invited Speakers and Presenters:

CBC 33rd Legislative Conference, 2003

Anger at the Bush administration for waging war abroad and attacking rights at home bubbled up at the Congressional Black Caucus 33rd Legislative Conference in Washington DC, Sept. 24-27, 2003.

“Collective Leadership: Challenging A Bold New World” was the title of the conference, which attracted thousands of participants in 53 plenary and workshop sessions.

A standing-room crowd at a session titled “The Iraq War: America Speaks Out” convened by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), cheered Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who recently accused Bush of “fraud” in tricking the U.S. into war. The White House reacted with rage to that blast.

But Kennedy did not apologize. “If your son or daughter is in the National Guard or Reserves, you know they are going to be called up and sent over to serve in Iraq,” Kennedy thundered. “They are asking $87 billion for the war in Iraq and they cannot find enough to fund ‘No Child Left Behind.’”

Kennedy read from the Pentagon’s 28-page draft plan sent to Capitol Hill after weeks of protests from lawmakers that the occupation is floundering. “Locate and secure weapons of mass destruction,” was the goal one week. A week later, again, “Continue to locate and secure weapons of mass destruction.” The crowd groaned and Kennedy flung the draft in the air, calling it “an insult to our troops serving over there.”

Democratic presidential contender Al Sharpton told the crowd that Kennedy “has nothing to apologize for” in his blistering attacks on Bush. Recalling Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN last Feb. 14 with spy photos allegedly showing Iraqi weapons sites, Sharpton demanded, “Where are they?” He said, “Our children were put in harm’s way. It is immoral to give this president $87 billion for this war.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) asked, “What do you do if a president has committed acts that should lead to his removal? Citing mounting calls to investigate lies and misuse of intelligence by the “unelected president and the people around him,” Conyers said, “How do we withstand the mood of people who are saying to us: ‘What are you waiting for?’”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said, “Every day people are dying. I am appalled and outraged that Republicans are blocking a full and fair examination of the facts.”

Civil rights leader Rev. Willie Barrow said, “Mr. Bush, you didn’t find Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, or weapons of mass destruction. We know a lie when we hear it.” She challenged the crowd to start now to register millions of voters. “It’s not enough to register people. We have to get them out to the polls on Election Day,” she said. “Let’s come together and show Bush the door.[10]

Phillip Burton Award

Sheila Jackson-Lee , was the recipient of the Phillip Burton Award, at the 2006 Phillip Burton Immigration & Civil Rights Awards, from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, in the Bay Area.[11]

Employed Stoney Cooks

In 2006, far left activist Stoney Cooks served as Sheila Jackson-Lee's chief of staff and administrative assistant:[12]

Celebrating the first increase of the federal minimum wage in 10 years

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee held a special press conference July 22, 2007, at the Christian Rescue Mission Church in the heart of the 3rd Ward, near Houston’s downtown, to celebrate the first increase of the federal minimum wage in 10 years.

Her main objective was to publicize the raise among poor and working people in her district, so they can effectively demand it from their employers.

Participants in the event included representatives from the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, ACORN and faith-based groups.

Jackson Lee has worked tirelessly on behalf of her district’s poor and working people, and was instrumental in getting the legislation passed in Congress despite stiff opposition from the ultra-right. She noted that on “Tuesday, July 24, more than 13 million workers will receive a long overdue raise. When the minimum wage increase is fully phased in in 2009, minimum wage workers will have an extra $4,400 to feed, clothe, house and educate their families.”

She stressed that since the minimum wage in Texas has been the old federal minimum, $5.15 an hour, 888,000 Texans will see an immediate increase in their hourly pay. An estimated 1,774,000 Texas workers Women, disadvantaged workers and working households at the bottom of the income scale will be disproportionately helped by the wage hike. She said this increase will help reverse the trend of declining real wages for low-wage workers and their families.

Jackson Lee pointed out the modern-day tragedy that many of the families of soldiers fighting in Iraq are on food stamps because their incomes are so low. Ten percent of military spouses earn between $5.15 and $7.25 per hour. About 50,000 military families will benefit from the minimum wage boost.

Jolanda Jones, a Houston lawyer who represents clients who cannot afford an attorney, said that disadvantaged people are targeted by the criminal justice system. She said the raise in minimum wage will help families defend themselves and ultimately will make our cities safer because “desperate people do desperate things.” [13]

National Congress of Black Women Salutes Sojourner Truth

National Congress of Black Women’s Reception to Meet and Greet Honorary Chairs and Truth Commissioners, honoring Sojourner Truth was held at the NW Washington home of Julian Epstein, Wednesday June 6th, 2007.

Attendees included E. Faye Williams (National Congress of Black Women), Barbara Lang (Chamber of Commerce) Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Eleanor Smeal, Kim Gandy, Alice Cohan, Dick Gregory, and Rep. Bobby Scott.[14]

Take Back America Conferences

Sheila Jackson Lee was on the list of 237 speakers at the 2007 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[15]

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First

Sheila Jackson-Lee is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".[16]

"Agent Orange" campaign connection

November 7, 2007, second from left Merle Ratner, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, far right Susan Schnall

From November 1-14, 2007, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong a leading clinician / researcher on the effects of Agent Orange on women and children in Vietnam from Tu Du Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, visited Washington DC on an Vietnam Agent Orange Public Health Tour

Dr. Phuong, Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange toured Washington DC where a policy of the American Public Health Association on Agent Orange (Vietnamese version) was passed on November 6 2007. Dr Phuong was accompanied by Merle Ratner of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and Susan Schnall (both leaders of the Committees of Correspondence dominated Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign.

The delegation met several members of Congress including John Conyers, Bob Filner and Sheila Jackson-Lee.[17]

Dr. Phuong has held many senior positions in Vietnam's communist government including;[18]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

On November 19 2008 the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced[19]its elected leadership for the 111th Congress.

Co-Chairs are Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (CA) Whip Diane Watson Vice-Chair Liaison to Black Caucus Sheila Jackson-Lee Vice-Chair Liaison to Women's Caucus Hilda Solis Vice-Chair Liaison to Asian Pacific American Caucus Mazie Hirono Vice-Chair Liaison to LGBT Equality Caucus, Dennis Kucinich

As of February 20 2009 Sheila Jackson-Lee was listed as a Vice Chair[20]of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Congressional Black Caucus

Sheila Jackson-Lee is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[21]

Healthcare rally

In July 2009, a spirited rally was held recently at the Harris County AFL-CIO headquarters in Houston to support health care reform. The effort was called by Organizing for America which is the successor to Obama for America.

Participants were treated to rousing speeches from local elected officials who support health care reform, including U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Carol Alvarado, Texas State Senator, U.S. Rep. Al Green, and Jolanda Jones, Houston City Councilperson.

Congressperson Sheila Jackson-Lee said that we have been waiting 60 years for basic medical coverage for all, pointing out the Health Care Choice Act would cut waste, fraud and abuse. Jackson-Lee indicated and that although single-payer health care was the ideal, that the present bill would reduce health care costs for average Americans, families, businesses and government. [22]

Houston "progressives"

Texas Congressmembers Al Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee lead a march of 300 supporters through downtown Houston in March 2007

According to James Thompson of the Communist Party USA paper People's World[23];

Houston also has a strong union movement which is very progressive and is active in electoral politics. The city's three Congress people Al Green, Gene Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee are at the forefront of the progressive struggle in the House of Representatives.

EMILY's List

Jackson-Lee has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

Violated Election Laws

On October 19, 2010, Jackson-Lee entered into Acres Home Multiservice Community Center, walked to where the voting booths were looking for the poll watchers, greeted voters there, and then found and confronted the poll watchers before being directed to, and then asked by, the presiding judge Bernard Gurski to leave the area. A source stated that Jackson-Lee loudly stated to the crowd in the voting area, "I’ve heard a lot of complaints about voter intimidation by poll watchers. I am not going to allow voter intimidation." Lee then reportedly went to the poll watcher and asked, "What’s your name? Who do you represent?" The presiding judge then asked Congresswoman Lee to leave.

It was noted that Congresswoman Jackson-Lee’s office is located in the building where voting takes place.[24]

"Appeal for Redress"

Capturejackson lee.JPG

The Appeal for Redress held a press conference, on October 17, 2007, on Capitol Hill, in the Rayburn Building. The group of 2,050 active duty military members is calling on the U.S. Congress "to end the occupation of Iraq." It is also warning the "Bush-Cheney Gang" from "repeating the same mistake in Iran." Sharing her views in support of the group's goals was Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX). Sponsoring the event was the Institute for Policy Studies. [25]

Congressional Black Caucus

In 2011 Sheila Jackson-Lee was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.[26] The CBC is an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to blacks.

Strategic Consulting Group

The Strategic Consulting Group is a political consulting firm that handles the cases of high-profile progressive organizations and political leaders. The group which has also worked for ACORN, NARAL and USAction, has worked for Sheila Jackson-Lee.[27]


June 18, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Chairman of the House Liberty Caucus, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), the Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to address National Security Agency surveillance.

H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act), restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public.

A coalition of 32 Members of Congress joined Conyers and Amash in introducing the bill. After introduction, Conyers and Amash issued the following statement:

The following Members of Congress cosponsored the legislation:

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) Rep. William Enyart (D-IL) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Rush Holt, Jr. (D-NJ) Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) [28]

Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections

On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.

The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.

“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.

Signatories included Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee.[29].


The following have worked as staff members for FRED:[30]

External links


  1. official Congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  2. official Congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  3. official Congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  4. official Congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  5. official Congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  6. official Congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  7. [ Cuba travel USA website, accessed dec. 13, 2010]
  8. Reflections of Fidel, The seven Congress members who are visiting us, Havana. April 7, 2009
  9. [, internetdemocrats1 · Internet Democrats1, National Town Hall Meeting Posted By: impeach_bush@...Mon Jun 4, 2001]
  10. PWW Black Caucus hears call: Defeat Bush, GOP, by: Tim Wheeler October 3 2003
  11. Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Honorees Legacy
  12. CBS News website WASHINGTON, April 5, 2006 Here's The Thing: It's Not Race, Being Stopped By Security Common For Many Members of Congress By James M Klatell (accessed on Aug. 24, 2010)
  13. PW, Texans greet long overdue minimum wage hike, Paul Hill, July 27 2007
  14. [, National Congress of Black Women Salutes Sojourner Truth, accessed May 26, 2013]
  15. Our Future website: Take Back America 2003 Speakers (accessed on June 17, 2010)
  16. [, Food First staff page]
  17. November 1-14, 2007 Vietnam Agent Orange. Public Health Tour Featuring: Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign website, accessed December 12, 2010
  18. November 1-14, 2007 Vietnam Agent Orange. Public Health Tour Featuring: Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign website, accessed December 12, 2010
  21. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  22. PW, Houston rallies to support health care reform by: MICHAEL TOWSEN July 22 2009
  24. Liberty Pundits: Houston Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee Electioneering And Harassing Poll Watchers, Oct. 22, 2010 (accessed on Dec. 9, 2010)
  25. [, Youtube, Appeal for Redress, Oct. 2007]
  26. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  27. About SCG
  28. NSA Surveillance: Amash, Conyers Introduce Major Bill, Bipartisan Coalition of 34 Members of Congress Propose LIBERT-E Act, Jun 18, 2013
  29. CISPES press release, Press Statement: 51 Members of Congress Call for US Neutrality in Salvadoran Elections December 16, 2013
  30. Legistorm: FRED (accessed on Aug. 24, 2010)
  31. Contacting The Congress website: Sheila Jackson-Lee (accessed on Aug. 24, 2010)