Congresswoman Lee announces office hours in Alameda

Congresswoman Lee announces office hours in Alameda

Michele Ellson

Congresswoman Barbara Lee kicked off her new job as Alameda’s representative in the House on Monday by announcing plans to help constituents who are having issues with the federal government. Lee’s office will hold office hours at the Main Library from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month.

“So many times, people get bogged down with federal agencies. We really try to bring government closer to people, and to be your advocate,” Lee told a small crowd heavily studded with local electeds during a stop at the library Monday afternoon.

Lee ran for and won the local House seat in November after redistricting efforts that saw the Island’s prior rep, Congressman Pete Stark, pushed east. Stark had hosted regular town hall meetings in Alameda, but didn’t hold local office hours for constituents.

Issues Lee’s office is prepared to assist with include Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues; trouble receiving veteran’s benefits; passport and visa emergencies; unpaid internships; and information about financial aid, housing and mortgage programs, federal grants and other funding assistance.

Lee’s office can also help obtain Presidential birthday and anniversary greetings for individuals 80 or older and couples married 50 years or more.

During her visit, Lee – who started her elected career representing Alameda in the state Assembly – promised to provide the city with some assistance with federal agencies on a major issue it is facing – the transfer and redevelopment of Alameda Point.

A member of the House budget and appropriations committees, she also promised not to allow cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

“I’m in the mix, trying to make sure these cuts do not happen,” Lee said.

The main library is at 1550 Oak Street, and Lee’s staffers will hold office hours on the second floor. Lee’s office is at 1301 Clay Street in Oakland.