Congresswoman Woolsey Hangs Up Hat After Two Decades of Service

Woolsey has represented Sonoma and Marin counties in Congress since 1992


Petaluma resident Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey is hanging up her hat after two decades representing Sonoma and Marin counties in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The owner of an employment agency and a college professor, Woolsey got her political start as a Petaluma Councilwoman from 1984 to 1992. Then Congresswoman Barbara Boxer announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate, creating an opening for Woolsey, who won with 65 percent of the vote.

In her time in the House of Representatives, Woolsey tackled issues close to her heart, including childhood nutrition, poverty and the environment. Through her efforts, a national free breakfast program for school children was created and the Family Medical Leave Act amended, helping those caring for injured military family members get time off from their jobs. 

Last year, Skaggs Island was transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Service for inclusion in the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which Woolsey helped accomplish via an amendment she authored.

But the congresswoman’s biggest achievement may be her most recent one: expanding the Cordell Bank and Gulf of Farallones national marine sanctuaries, a biologically rich area stretching from Bodega Bay to Point Arena. The diversity of fish, seabirds, marine mammals and other life will now be protected, and ecotourism and sustainable fishing practices promoted.

Soon after the U.S. invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, Woolsey and fellow Congresswoman Barbara Lee formed the Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus, urging for troops to be withdrawn from the region. 

“Our leadership helped hasten the end of a major combat operation in Iraq,” Woolsey last year at an event at her B Street home, where she announced her retirement.

Asked about how she’d spent her time after retirement, Woolsey said that she was looking forward to spending time with her family, which includes four children and five grandchildren.

She also plans on focusing more of her energy on Americans for Democratic Action, a liberal political organization whose goal is to promote progressive policies and of which Woolsey is president.

And the congresswoman doesn’t plan on getting involved in Petaluma politics again, but always follows what was going on.

“Whatever I do, I will be doing useful things,” she said.

What do you think of Lynn Woolsey's track record? 

David Rice December 28, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Honorable Congressional Woolsey, We are all going to miss you but we all have to get on with our lives and I hope you have a very long and meaningful Retirement. With all due Respect. David A. Rice.
Susan Kirks December 28, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Thank you for the national marine sanctuaries advocacy. What wonderful timing to add to your legacy as our representative in Congress. Thank you!
Misol December 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Good riddance! She is one of the many reasons we desperately need term limits in this country for members of Congress. Before she was ‘earning’ her salary at the expense of the taxpayers, she was sucking our tax dollars as a welfare recipient. She should have stepped down in 2004, when she used Congressional stationary to request that a judge go easy on rapist Stewart Pearson, because he was the son of one of her staffers. Her ‘slap on the wrist’ request was a slap in the face to all victims of rape, and all women as well. With Woolsey departing, the real winners are the people in Sonoma and Marin counties who have had to put up with her over the past 2 decades. While our Congress will most likely continue to disappoint us, it will be a better Congress without her. 2013 is looking like a happy new year already!
Bookworm December 28, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Bravo for the extension of the marine sanctuary! If congresswoman Woolsey never did anything else, that alone would be incredible. Bravo Lynn!
Barry Bussewitz December 28, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Ms. Woolsey, I am indebted to you for your work for peace, for the earth and for justice. Thank you! Barry Bussewitz
Barry Kruse December 28, 2012 at 07:27 PM
I wish I knew what Woolsey's definition of 'useful' is. I wish I knew why she thought parents needn't be responsible for the basic act of feeding breakfast to their own children. I wish I knew a lot of things about Woolsey, but I don't expect to ever get satisfactory answers.
Rayne Wolfe December 29, 2012 at 05:59 PM
And the haters come out of the woodwork! You know what I'll remember about Lynn Woolsey? I'll remember the time she was introduced at a technology symposium as Lynn Woozley and she just laughed. I'll remember that she always rode in Butter and Egg and enjoyed seeing all the people she represented. I'll remember that she always answered her phone unless she was in session - and then she'd always call you back same day, even if it was 8 or 9 p.m. I may not have always agreed with her but I knew she would discuss things. She's a stand-up gal and I her well on her retirement.
Marjorie Helm December 29, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Congratulations on your retirement Congresswoman Woolsey and thank you for the courage and dignity with which you consistently stood for peace and progressive values! You are a role model for so many of us!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something