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Rep. Diane Watson
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Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, born in Los Angeles, is a lifetime resident of the 33rd California Congressional District. After graduating from Dorsey High School, Congresswoman Watson attended Los Angeles City College and matriculated at UCLA where she received her B.A. in Education. She also holds an M.A. in School Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, and a PhD in Educational Administration from the Claremont Graduate School.

Her lifetime commitment to education stems from her involvement in the Los Angeles public schools where she worked as an elementary school teacher and school psychologist. She has lectured at both California State Universities at Los Angeles and Long Beach.

In 1975, Congresswoman Watson became the first African-American woman to serve on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education. Her legacy there includes efforts to expand school integration and toughen academic standards.

The year 1978 marked her joining the California State Senate where she was chosen to chair, from 1981 to 1998, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. She also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

During her tenure in the California State Senate, Congresswoman Watson became a statewide and national advocate for health care, consumer protection, women, and children. In 1993, she authored the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program Act, which led to pioneering research into the causes of birth defects, and the Residential Care Facilities Act, to ensure that senior citizens receive quality care in nursing and assisted living homes. In 1997, she introduced legislation to toughen food health safety requirements for restaurants. She also played a key role in the enactment of legislation to promote breast cancer research.

Congresswoman Watson has also been an advocate for commonsense welfare reform in the state of California. She played a major role in formulating the state of California’s TANF program , which provides education, child care, and employment to welfare recipients. She sought funding to help teen mothers complete their education and gain jobs through the Cal-Learn program.

In 1998, Congresswoman Watson served as the United States Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia until 2001 when she was sworn in as a Member of Congress after the death of Congressman Julian Dixon, who held the seat for 22 years. In January 2003, Congresswoman Watson was sworn in as a member of the 108th Congress.

Congresswoman Watson currently serves on the International Relations and Government Reform Committees.

Blog Entries by Rep. Diane Watson

35 Years Later: Hope for a Solution Of, By, and For the Cypriots

0 Comments | Posted July 20, 2009 | 9:00 AM

July 20th is the 35th commemoration of the Turkish invasion and division of the island of Cyprus. On July 15, 1974 the military junta in Greece staged a coup against then Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios III, a move perceived as provocative enough by Turkey to invade the island under...

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Jim Crow in Indian Country

0 Comments | Posted October 25, 2007 | 6:55 PM

Imagine yourself as an African American and resident of the State of Alabama in 1964, the year that President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the historic Civil Rights Act. And again imagine in 1964 that Alabama Governor George Wallace, in an act of defiance that not even he considered, introduced...

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Casual Bigotry

0 Comments | Posted April 18, 2007 | 2:17 PM

Don Imus is only the latest of a growing list of celebrities who have been called on the carpet for making bigoted and sexist statements. But I doubt this is the last time we have seen or heard from Mr. Imus. The vast majority of public figures who fall from...

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LA Comes to Obama

0 Comments | Posted February 23, 2007 | 9:40 AM

Senator Barack Obama's first public appearance in Los Angeles since he announced his candidacy for President is both symbolic and inspirational. Symbolic in that he held his Los Angeles rally at the predominantly African American Dorsey High School, also my alma mater. Inspirational because he is a fresh face and...

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The Beginning of the End of Mercury in Dentistry

0 Comments | Posted October 24, 2006 | 3:16 PM

In a remarkable reversal of policy and precedent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month rejected its own staff report that concluded mercury amalgam fillings used by millions of Americans are safe. The panel of FDA advisors said the report did not objectively and clearly present all current...

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The President's Press Conference

0 Comments | Posted October 11, 2006 | 10:23 PM

Today President Bush held a press conference on the heels of North Korea's apparent detonation of a nuclear device. A press conference is a rare event for this administration. It appeared to be a tortuous event for Mr. Bush. More than any other President in recent memory, his inability...

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Media for Everyone

0 Comments | Posted August 4, 2006 | 9:02 PM

The Federal Communications Commission has reinitiated its effort to further loosen media ownership rules. The last time the FCC tried this, in 2003, I, and nearly three million Americans, objected. We wanted to make sure that the media worked in the public interest, not to the benefit of a few....

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The Expulsion of Congressman William Jefferson

0 Comments | Posted June 20, 2006 | 7:20 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives voted late last week to expel Representative William J. Jefferson (D-LA) - the unindicted but widely reported subject of an FBI bribery investigation - from the powerful Ways and Means Committee. The action is unprecedented.

Mr. Jefferson represents a congressional district in New Orleans...

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Would Mrs. King Have Approved?

0 Comments | Posted February 10, 2006 | 8:12 PM

As befitted the first lady of the civil rights movement, a host of political and civil rights leaders - including four American Presidents, poets, three plane loads of members of Congress, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and personalities from the entertainment world - filled the hall of mourners at Coretta Scott...

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Scooter Libby Indictment Fits Pattern

0 Comments | Posted November 1, 2005 | 6:20 PM

The indictment of Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in the CIA leak case says a lot about the integrity of the Bush Administration and its false portrayal of the threat that Iraq posed to the U.S. and the world. Unlike Watergate, Plamegate has significantly contributed...

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President Bush and African-Americans

0 Comments | Posted October 19, 2005 | 8:13 PM

President Bush's presidency is in free-fall. Recent poll numbers confirm it. Bush's job approval rating is at 39%. 68% of Americans now want the nation to move in a significantly different direction than President Bush, and 44% say that they have simply lost confidence in the President.

On almost every...

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William Bennett

0 Comments | Posted October 7, 2005 | 7:35 PM

William Bennett believes that you can reduce the crime rate in the United States by aborting every black baby. In his mind this is a truism if crime reduction is your only goal.

Mr. Bennett's chilling statement, made during a syndicated broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, indicates a political...

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All Is Not Well on Sesame Street

0 Comments | Posted October 3, 2005 | 6:18 PM

Despite the Republican congressional leadership's best efforts to the contrary, funding has been restored for public broadcasting. But there is still much damage to undo and ill winds to deflect from our national debate on the future of public media.

First and foremost, the public must understand that Republican attacks...

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Katrina Aftermath: Business as Usual

0 Comments | Posted September 16, 2005 | 4:59 PM

In his address to the nation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, President Bush committed the vast resources of our nation to rebuild the shattered Gulf Coast region. But I am not convinced that he understands the depth of the problem or the level of sustained commitment needed to rebuild...

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John Bolton: Nobody Likes a Bully

0 Comments | Posted August 5, 2005 | 12:00 AM

For the first time in the sixty-year history of the United Nations, the United States has sent an unconfirmed ambassador to the United Nations. John Bolton's recess appointment demonstrates the President's contempt for Congress, particularly when you consider that Bolton had not been confirmed because the administration refused to provide...

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Iraq: $200 Billion Later

0 Comments | Posted July 11, 2005 | 10:03 PM

So far we have spent over $200 billion on the war in Iraq. According to the Congressional Budget Office, by 2010 our expenses may be as much as $600 billion. The $200 billion we've spent would be enough money to provide health care for the 45 million Americans without health...

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