Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Oakland was nominated Tuesday by President Barack Obama to be a U.S. representative to the United Nations.
Lee, who represents California’s 13th congressional district and will continue her work in Oakland, said she was “deeply honored” to receive the nomination.
“It will be my goal as a Representative to the U.N. to help foster stronger ties, deeper bonds, and increase our commitment to the vision of the United Nations: a better world for all,” said Lee in a statement on her website.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan pointed to Lee’s interest in international issues, like her work against the genocide in Darfur, as well as local leadership in diverse caucuses like the Asian Pacific American caucus, as an indication of her readiness for the job.
“I was very proud when I heard the news,” said Quan, who said she knew about the nomination for a few months. “(Lee) really tries to be a member of all the communities. I think she’s the perfect person.”
The 68th session of the U.N., for which Lee will be a representative, will begin on Sept. 17 of this year. This session will include meetings on the Millennium Development Goals, resources for people with disabilities, nuclear disarmament and international migration and development.
Lee has spent her entire political career in Northern California. She got her start in Oakland, as an intern in former mayor Ron Dellums’ office, and eventually served in the California State Assembly. In 1998, she was elected to the 9th congressional district, which became the current 13th congressional district.
As a U.S. congresswoman, she twice opposed U.S. military action abroad. In 2001, she was the lone vote opposing authorization to retaliate against anyone involved in the September 11 attacks. Most recently, Lee has spoken out against air attacks in Syria.
“The dangers of a military strike and its unintended consequences are dire: the further loss of life, so called, “collateral damage,” the possibility of retaliation, escalation, further U.S. involvement in the war, or even sparking a broader regional war,” she said, in a statement on her website.