Donna Christensen

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Donna Christensen

Template:TOCnestleft Donna M. Christensen is a Democratic, non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the Virgin Islands.

Christensen is serving her eighth term as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and is an Assistant Minority Whip in the Democratic Caucus.

Early life

Donna Christensen was born in 1945 to the late Judge Almeric Christian and Virginia Sterling Christian. She earned a Bachelor of Science in 1966 at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She earned an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) in 1970 from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She interned at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California from 1970 to 1971 and did her residency in family medicine at Howard University Medical Center from 1973 to 1974. She became a board certified physician in 1977.

Christensen began her medical career in the Virgin Islands in 1975 as an emergency room physician. She served as staff physician at the Maternal & Child Health program, Medical Director of the Nesbitt Clinic in Frederiksted, Director of the Frederiksted Health Center, Director of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning, served as the Medical Director of the St. Croix Hospital (later renamed Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center) and rounded out her medical career as the Territorial Assistant Commissioner of Health and as the Acting Commissioner of Health. She maintained a private practice in family medicine from 1975 until her election to Congress in 1996.[1]


Christensen is a member of the National Medical Association, the Virgin Islands Medical Society, the Caribbean Studies Association, the Caribbean Youth Organization and the Virgin Islands Medical Institute. Prior to her election to Congress she served on a variety of church and civic associations.[2]

Democratic Party

As a registered member of the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands , she has served as Democratic National Committeewoman, member of the Democratic Territorial Committee, Delegate to Democratic Conventions from 1984 to present, Member, Platform Committee of the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to present. She was elected to the Virgin Islands Board of Education from 1984 to 1986 and was appointed as a member to the Virgin Islands Status Commission from 1988 to 1992.[3]


In the 112th Congress, Delegate Christensen serves on the following House Committees, Subcommittees and Caucuses: She is a Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittees on Oversight and Communications and Technology. Congresswoman Christensen was the first Delegate to Congress in history to serve on the exclusive Energy and Commerce Committee, which she first did in the 111th Congress. The Energy and Commerce Committee covers a wide range of issues to include health, energy independence, climate change, telecommunications, broadband and commercial and consumer issues with oversight over many federal departments and agencies to include the departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Commerce, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.[4]


Delegate Christensen is the First Vice-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and chairs the Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Braintrust, which oversees and advocates minority health issues nationally and internationally. She is a Member of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues; Member of the Steering Committee of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus; Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Member of the Congressional Rural Caucus; Member of the Friends of the Caribbean Caucus; Member of the Coastal Caucus; Member of the Coast Guard Caucus, Member of the Congressional Fire Caucus and a Member of the Congressional National Guard and Reserve Caucus.[5]

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;[6]

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..

HR 3000

On September 3, 2003 Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3000, the United States Universal Health Service Act, which would provide health coverage for all Americans. H.R. 3000 would establish a United States Health Service (USHS), which would eliminate profit issues from health care because it would be owned and controlled by the public and administered primarily at the local level.[7]

According to the Communist Party USA's People's World, initial supporters of HR 3000 were Julia Carson, (D-Ind.), Donna Christensen (D-Va.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Major Owens (D-N.Y.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).

The World went on to say;[8]

We will not win the United States Health Service without a massive, prolonged struggle by working people against the corporate defenders of the current for-profit health care industry.

Martinez Jobs Bill

Circa early June 1997 Congressmen Sidney Yates, Jesse Jackson, Jr., William Clay, John Conyers and delegate Donna Christensen, all signed on as co-sponsors of the Communist Party USA inspired Martinez Jobs Bill.[9]

Peace Pledge Coalition

In 2007 90 Members of Congress, pledged in an open letter delivered to President Bush: "We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office." The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition. The Coalition was led by Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America, Bob Fertik, Medea Benjamin, CodePink, Bill Fletcher, co-founder of Center for Labor Renewal David Swanson,,, Progressive Democrats of America, Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution, Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign.

Donna Christensen signed the letter.[10][11]

H. RES. 426/Hulbert James

Recognizing the impact of Mr. Hulbert James on politics, urban development, and New York City, and paying tribute to Mr. James for his lifetime of public service.


Ms. Yvette Clarke of New York (for herself, Mr. Charles B. Rangel, Mr. Edolphus Towns, and Mrs. Donna Christensen) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services

RESOLUTION Recognizing the impact of Mr. Hulbert James on politics, urban development, and New York City, and paying tribute to Mr. James for his lifetime of public service.

Whereas Mr. Hulbert James has spent a lifetime working in politics and community development, recently becoming field director for the Unity Diaspora Coalition;

Whereas Mr. James, born in the United States Virgin Islands, received his undergraduate degree from Hampton University, and Masters degrees from Queens College and Union Theological Seminary;

Whereas Mr. James worked to end third world poverty as director of the Economic Justice Office for the [[National Council of Churches]], as President of the Pan African Skills Project, co-founder of the [[Center for Third World Organizing]], founder of the Jamaica Project, and cofounder of the Diaspora Project;

Whereas Mr. James has spent years advancing his causes through the political realm as chief of staff to Representative Major Owens, a senior member of the Mayor David Dinkins Administration, New York director of the Presidential Campaign of Reverend Jesse Jackson, and advisor to the Clinton for President Campaign;

Whereas Mr. James has worked tirelessly to develop housing and business opportunities for distressed communities both as the Representative of the Secretary of Labor in region 11 and as a community builder for the [[Department of Housing and Urban Development]];

Whereas in his role at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. James provided strategic planning services to government and community leaders to develop projects to assist distressed communities and developed a program to help low-income persons save money for home ownership;

Whereas since retiring from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. James has worked with a number of organizations to promote Caribbean heritage and political inclusion; and

Whereas the life of Mr. Hulbert James demonstrates the best attributes of public service and dedication to helping fellow Americans:[12]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

As of February 20 2009 Donna Christensen was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[13]

Congressional Black Caucus

Donna Christensen is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[14]

Nelson Mandela's funeral

In December 2013, the following Democratic legislators traveled to South Africa to attended Nelson Mandela's funeral Democrats Dels. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) and Donna Christensen (V.I.); and Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge, John Conyers (Mich.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), John Lewis, Jim McDermott (Wash.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Mel Watt (N.C.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Tex.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Gene Green (Tex.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Karen Bass (Calif.), Joyce Beatty (Ohio) and Terri Sewell (Ala.).[15]


The following have worked as staff members for Donna Christensen:[16]

External links