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'Barbara Lee Speaks For Me': California Congresswoman Announces Senate Run Against Adam Schiff, Katie Porter

'We Have To Stop These MAGA Extremists Who Think They Can Control People's Bodies And Dismantle Our Democracy'

California Congresswoman Barbara Lee announced her candidacy for the United States Senate on Tuesday.

Lee is seeking current 30-year Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat, who revealed she would not seek re-election at the end of her term in 2024.

“Today I am proud to announce my candidacy for U.S. Senate. I’ve never backed down from doing what’s right. And I never will. Californians deserve a strong, progressive leader who has delivered real change. ”

“No one is rolling out the welcome mat — especially for someone like me,” Lee’s video began, suggesting she was the “girl they didn’t allow in” and “couldn’t drink from the water fountain,” appearing to allude to pre-Civil Rights era Jim Crow laws.

Lee detailed she had previously sought abortion “in a back alley when they all were illegal.”

“I escaped a violent marriage; became a single mom; a homeless mom; a mom who couldn’t afford child care and brought her kids to class with her,” Lee continued. “They didn’t want to hear my voice or anyone who wasn’t like them. But by the grace of God, I didn’t let that stop me.”

The video displayed previous outlets’ comments on Lee, including a 2021 statement from the Martha’s Vineyard Times which referred to the congresswoman as a “civil rights icon” along with another 2021 article from Oakland Voices referring to Lee’s political work as “staggering.”

A 2023 Forbes article suggested Lee “championed progressive causes.” The California congresswoman was further referred to as a “revered figure” in a January Politico article, and the “voice everyone wants to hear” in an August 2021 edition of the Philadelphia Tribune.

“To do nothing has never been an option for me,” Lee continued.

“When my high school said cheerleaders couldn’t be black, I took them on,” the California congresswoman said, detailing her work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to become the school’s first black cheerleader.

Lee detailed her experience writing California’s Violence Against Women Act which was signed in 1994 by former President Bill Clinton and in 1995 followed up with the Hate Crimes Reduction Act.

“I didn’t quit when I refused to give the President completely unlimited war powers after September 11,” she said of former President George W. Bush following the 2001 terrorist attack. “And in the face of countless death threats, I was the only ‘no’ vote.”

“I didn’t quit then, and I won’t quit now.”

Lee indicated she supports easing the “burden on middle class” along with “[finding] a solution to poverty and homelessness” and the need to “take on the climate crisis.”

“And we have to stop these MAGA extremists who think they can control people’s bodies and dismantle our democracy,” Lee said as images and video of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 2021 are featured. “And even though there are no African American women in the United States Senate, we won’t let that stop us either.”

“When you stand on the side of justice, you don’t quit if they don’t give you a seat at the table,” Lee concluded. “You bring a folding chair for everyone and they’re here to stay.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly claimed that Katie Hobbs—not Katie Porter—was in the race.

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