On Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California tossed her hat in the ring to run for House Democratic Caucus chairwoman and if elected will become the first black women to secure a top a leadership position in either major political party, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“African American women are the most loyal voters. We’ve never had a seat at the table ever in history,” Lee said. “The time is now. Really, it’s past time. It is way past time.”
Earlier this year, Lee told Politico, that black women have led the fight for this country, which further demonstrates why she should jump in the fray and run.
“When you look at the history of the Democratic Party and the Democratic leadership, African American women … we’ve been the backbone of the Democratic Party — we should be in the face of leadership also.”
Black women, she said, have proved they can “lead not only our communities, but lead our country, on the very tough issues facing us.”
Lee, of Oakland, will face Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Lee’s bid comes at a time when a record number of women are taking us residence in high profile seats in Congress.
Barbara Lee is a Member of Congress from California’s 13th Congressional district. In 2001, she gained national attention as the only member of either chamber of Congress to vote against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
Recent years have shown a diverse change of the guard in the House.
African-American, Latino and Asian-American lawmakers make up almost half the House Democratic caucus. And for the first time, less than half the Democratic candidates for the House are white men, and the Democrats are poised to send the first Native American and Muslim-American women to the House. It’s what the Reflective Democracy Campaign calls a “historic shift.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.