Co-chairs' Biographies

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13)

Rep. Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a forceful and progressive voice in Congress, dedicated to social and economic justice. First elected in 1998, the Congresswoman Lee has garnered a positive reputation for her principled and independent stances, unafraid to take on the tough issues and speak her mind for her constituents, for a more just America, and for a safer world. A social worker by profession, she has been a life-long advocate for constituents, families, and others in need of government services.

Congresswoman Lee has been a strong proponent of safe communities, addressing hunger, environmental justice, universal health care, just immigration policies, the establishment of a living wage, reproductive health care rights and affordable housing, among other issues. Her accomplishments include authoring or co-authoring every major piece of legislation dealing with global HIV/AIDS issues since she was elected to Congress. After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the congresswoman was the lone vote against a resolution that gave the President virtually unlimited authority to use force against unspecified organizations, individuals, or nations for an unlimited period of time. She has consistently fought to stop endless wars and to reduce conditions that produce conflict and injustice.

Congresswoman Lee is the Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking African American woman in the U.S. Congress.

Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón (PR-At Large)

Jenniffer González-Colón was elected November 8th, 2016, as Puerto Rico's sole Representative to the U.S. Congress, known as Resident Commissioner. The first woman to hold the office, Ms. Gonzalez-Colón received the most votes of any single elected official on the Island in that election as well as when she was reelected in November 2020.

Her priorities as Puerto Rico’s voice in Congress include spearheading the economic recovery of Puerto Rico, securing equal treatment for Puerto Rico's three and a half million U.S. Citizens in federal laws, regulations, services, and funding, and ensuring that Congress responds decisively to the overwhelming mandate of Puerto Rico’s voters for admission as the 51st state of the Union in by clear majorities in plebiscites in 2012 and 2017, and in a straight Yes or No vote by 52.5% in November 2020.

She made her presence felt in Capitol Hill in her first term, being elected by her colleagues to the influential Republican Conference House Policy Committee and selected to the Speaker’s Intergovernmental Affairs Task Force. González-Colón is a member of the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Natural Resources in the 117th Congress and was part of the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Small Business in the 115th and Science, Space, and Technology in the 116th. She became the co-Vice Chair of the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute in 2019 and co-Chair in 2021; chairs the Puerto Rico Economic Growth Caucus and co-chairs the Congressional Friends of Spain Caucus and was a member of the US delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in 2018 and 2021. González-Colón is currently the republican co-Chair of the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute and co-chairs the Congressional Friends of Spain Caucus, Congressional Rum Caucus, Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, Congressional Endometriosis Caucus and Running Start.