She Stands Out, But She No Longer Stands Alone

She Stands Out, But She No Longer Stands Alone

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We in California have known how great Congresswoman Barbara Lee is for years. The Nobel Peace Prize committee thinks so too. In July, Lee was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her ongoing efforts to improve life for us all. She is one of 1,000 women who have been co-jointly nominated for the honor. The women were selected from 150 countries and represent “women as peacemakers”–under the title “1,000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005”. Remarkably, 14 of the nominees come from California’s Bay Area! That’s 1/3 of the American contingency.

You may not have heard of Barbara Lee until she took a stand against the war in Afghanistan. She was the lone voice that voted against the war in the House and Senate. She also voted against the war in Iraq.

Lee was nominated because of her work on international peace, her legislative efforts on behalf of those suffering from HIV/AIDS (She had a state of emergency declared in Oakland, California to focus attention on the problems related to AIDS within the community), and her ongoing efforts to help the unfortunate and those without a voice. She has taken the time to work on efforts against the global AIDS pandemic. According to Lee, this is not only a health issue but an issue of national security. Regions of the world affected by AIDS are becoming increasingly unstable. Since terrorism breeds from hopelessness, the more people affect by AIDS, the greater the risk of terrorism and civil war.

While you may not agree with her views, you must admit that it’s a rare day in politics when an elected official votes based on his or her beliefs and not on poll numbers. So many of our politicians are afraid to take a stand, so they vote “safe”. Otherwise, they might actually have to go out on a limb and explain their votes! Is that the reason we elect them?

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