Rep. Lynn Woolsey announces retirement
Rep. Lynn Woolsey announced her retirement Monday afternoon at a gathering of family and friends in the backyard of her Petaluma home.
Woolsey explained, "I turned 55 the day I was elected in 1992. Do the math. I will be 75 the day before the 2012 election. I will not run for re-election in 2012. I will retire at the end of this term."
A former member of the Petaluma City Council, Woolsey, D-Petaluma, succeeded former Rep. Barbara Boxer who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992. Woolsey survived an original field of nine candidates.
Woolsey joined with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, in opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and all Democrats who insist President Obama should have gone to Congress before entering Libya.
Woolsey said, "The wars are a moral blight on this nation," and was the first member of congress to call for U.S. troops to come home.
"I would not keep quiet when my (Democratic) leaders told me to close my mouth. I don't work for them, I work for you. We are at the start of a threat of being in perpetual war, and we cannot have that," Woolsey continued.
A native of Seattle, Wash., Woolsey thanked her children, as well as her ex-husband, Dave Woolsey, who supported her throughout her first campaign, "because he wanted me to have a real job."
Woolsey is a senior member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and serves on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. She authored a recent law that authorizes workers six months of job-protected leave to care for injured family members serving in the armed forces, as well as legislation to protect workers from exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Woolsey has also proposed "The Balancing Act" to help "parents balance their work and family responsibilities, including paid family leave, public universal pre-school, major investments in child care, universal school breakfast, benefits for part time workers, and telecommuting incentives," according to her congressional website.
Woolsey's California 6th congressional district includes Marin and part of Sonoma County. The new congressional district, now being drawn by the California Redistricting Commission, most likely will include Marin and run all the way north to the Oregon border, much like the old 1st district.
State Assemblymember Jared Huffman and activist Norman Solomon have already formed campaign committees to fill Woolsey's shoes, and Marin County Board of Supervisors president Susan Adams is considering a run. There is also speculation that former state senator and current Assemblymember Wes Chesbro, D-Arcata, might be another candidate for Woolsey's seat.