|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 6th district
January 3, 1993 - January 3, 2013
|Jared Huffman (Redistricting)|
|Born||November 3, 1937|
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Education||University of Washington|
University of San Francisco (BS)
Lynn C. Woolsey (born November 3, 1937) is a former U.S. Representative for California's 6th congressional district, serving from 1993 to 2013. She is a member of the Democratic Party. The district she represented included all of Marin County and most of Sonoma County. She was a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and was its co-chair from 2010 until her retirement in 2013. Woolsey, who described herself as "the first former welfare mother to serve in Congress," was one of two members of the House to have been on welfare; the other is Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI).
Woolsey was born in Seattle, Washington. She was educated at the University of Washington, where she became a member of Alpha Phi sorority, and at the University of San Francisco. She later became a human resources manager and personnel service owner, a teacher at the College of Marin and the Dominican University of California, and a member of the Petaluma, California, City Council before entering the House.
In 1992, five-term Congresswoman Barbara Boxer gave up her seat to make a successful run for the Senate. Woolsey entered a nine-way Democratic primary. Seven of her opponents lived in Marin County and split that county's vote, allowing Woolsey to win the nomination with only 26 percent of the vote. In the general election, she faced Republican Assemblyman Bill Filante, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and did not actively campaign. Woolsey won with 65 percent of the vote.
Woolsey was reelected eight times with no substantial opposition.
Woolsey was ranked as the most liberal member of Congress in 2012 by That's My Congress.
Woolsey was an outspoken opponent of the War in Iraq. On October 10, 2002, she was among 133 members of the House who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq. She has taken an active role in calling for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from that country. She led 15 members of Congress in writing a letter to President George W. Bush dated January 12, 2005, calling for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq. She also was the first Member of Congress to call for a troop withdrawal, when she introduced H.Con. Res. 35 on January 26, 2005. Woolsey gave war protestor Cindy Sheehan a guest pass to attend Bush's 2006 State of the Union speech. Sheehan's attendance at the speech became noted when she was arrested for wearing a T-shirt with a political message.
Woolsey introduced the Graton Rancheria Restoration Act on August 6, 1998. It was signed by President Clinton as Title XIV of the Omnibus Indian Advancement Act in December 2000.
Woolsey testified in support of H.R. 946, citing her approval for the clause restricting gaming on land that is "taken into trust for the tribes."
Woolsey's original bill (H.R. 4434, later H.R. 946) would not have permitted the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to have an Indian casino. Senator Barbara Boxer removed that prohibition when she included Woolsey's bill in the Omnibus Act.
In response, Woolsey introduced H.R. 2656 (which never left the House Resources Committee) and appeared frequently at local town-hall meetings, saying that the Miwok Indians double-crossed her by seeking to legalize gambling on their reservation.
On December 11, 2007, Woolsey, along with 8 other Democrats, voted 'nay' on a resolution to recognize the importance of "Christmas and the Christian faith" but did vote to "recognize the commencement of Ramadan",' a Muslim religious observance in October.
She was strongly critical of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which prevents private health insurance plans from covering abortion if the plan is subsidized by tax breaks in the context of the November 2009 Affordable Health Care for America Act.
Woolsey was arrested April 27, 2009, outside the embassy of Sudan in Washington, D.C., during a protest against genocide in Darfur. Woolsey and four other U.S. lawmakers were protesting the blocking of aid to victims. They were arrested on a charge of trespassing after they crossed a police line.
On December 2, 2003, Woolsey wrote a letter on behalf of Stewart Pearson, the son of one of her senior aides, who had pleaded guilty to rape. In a letter written on her official congressional stationery, she asked the judge to consider mitigating circumstances and show leniency. The judge in the case was not swayed by the letter, and sentenced Pearson to eight years in prison, the maximum allowed under the plea bargain. Woolsey has apologized for writing the letter, saying she did not know all the facts; the victim did not accept her apology.
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||137,642||58.1|
|Republican||Michael J. Nugent||88,940||37.5|
|Peace and Freedom||Ernest K. Jones, Jr.||4,055||1.7|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||156,958||61.6|
|Republican||Duane C. Hughes||86,278||33.8|
|Peace and Freedom||Ernest K. Jones, Jr.||6,459||2.5|
|Natural Law||Bruce Kendall||5,240||2.1|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||158,446||68.0|
|Natural Law||Alan R. Barreca||5,240||2.2|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||182,166||64.3|
|Libertarian||Richard O. Barton||4,691||1.9|
|Natural Law||Alan R. Barreca||2,894||1.1|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||139,750||66.7|
|Republican||Paul L. Erickson||62,052||29.7|
|Libertarian||Richard O. Barton||4,936||2.3|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||226,423||72.7|
|Republican||Paul L. Erickson||85,244||27.3|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||173,190||70.3|
|Libertarian||Richard W. Friesen||9,028||3.6|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||229,672||71.7|
|Libertarian||Joel R. Smolen||13,617||4.2|
|Democratic||Lynn Woolsey (incumbent)||172,216||66.0|
|Peace and Freedom||Eugene F. Ruyle||5,915||2.2|
|Libertarian||Joel R. Smolen||5,660||2.1|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 6th congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Served alongside: Barbara Lee, Raúl Grijalva