It has been five years since the United States Congress declared genocide in Darfur, but thousands continue to perish. Today I join activists in 34 countries who started fasting in April when aid organizations were kicked out of Darfur by the Sudanese president, leaving 1.1 million innocent civilians without basic access to food, water and medicine. From sunrise to sunset today, I will consume only water to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Darfur. It is an insignificant act relative to the magnitude of the tragedy unfolding there. But I join thousands in this simple act in hope that a critical mass will prick our global consciousness and keep us focused on the hundreds of thousands who have lost their lives. I especially want to thank the Plymouth United Church of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, members of the Save Darfur Coalition, who are joining me today. My fast won’t stop the tragedy unfolding in Darfur, but I hope that it will carry me deeper into thought and to help me reflect on how to end this tragedy.
Congresswoman Gwendolynne S. Moore was sworn in as Representative of Wisconsin’s Fourth Congressional District in January 2005. As a Congresswoman, Moore has continued to champion legislation to foster economic prosperity and to promote progressive social issues.
Shortly after taking her seat, Rep. Moore was named to the House Committee on Small Business, as well as to the prestigious House Committee on Financial Services, which has jurisdiction over the banking, insurance and housing industries. During her second term in Congress, Rep. Moore was appointed to the House Budget Committee, which oversees the federal budget process, reviews all bills and resolutions on the budget, and monitors agencies and programs funded from the budget process. At the start of the 111th Congress Rep. Moore was reappointed to both the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Budget Committee.
In addition to Rep. Moore’s committee work, Congresswoman Moore has been tapped as a leader on world affairs for two consecutive years as a U.S. delegate to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. The OSCE is responsible for helping assure cooperation between European countries on a number of economic, political, and security issues, including the protection of human rights. Rep. Moore also has the honor of serving as a member of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank. Appointed by Financial Services Chair Barney Frank, Congresswoman Moore works with other parliamentarians from around the globe to strengthen accountability and transparency at the World Bank and other international financial institutions.
Congresswoman Moore is a strong advocate for measures that focus on improving the economic and employment conditions in low-income communities. Rep. Moore has fought to curb predatory lending in minority neighborhoods, supported sound efforts to help small businesses grow and advance the creation of new jobs, pushed for the creation of more affordable housing, and also for compliance in the non-discriminatory hiring of minority-owned businesses for government contracts. With two decades of political organizing and activism under her belt, it is clear to Congresswoman Moore that one of the next frontiers in the fight for civil rights is economic.
During her first term in Congress, provisions from Congresswoman Moore’s legislation, the SHIELD Act, were signed into law during reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). These provisions ensure that victims of domestic violence who flee their abuser cannot then be tracked and found through the Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) new Homeless Management Information System.
Dedicated to serving her constituents, Rep. Moore’s work in Congress has brought home over $100 million to the Fourth Congressional District for economic development, the environment, social services, and job creation, among other projects.
Born in Racine, Wisconsin in 1951, Congresswoman Moore was raised in Milwaukee. The eighth of nine children, Rep. Moore’s father was a factory worker and her mother was a public school teacher.
Congresswoman Moore attended North Division High School in Milwaukee where she served as Student Council President. After graduation, Rep. Moore started college at Milwaukee’s Marquette University as an expectant mother on welfare who could only afford her education with the help of TRIO, a program that provides educational opportunity for low-income Americans. Congresswoman Moore earned a B.A. in Political Science from Marquette, and went on to serve as a community leader, spearheading the start-up of a community credit union as a VISTA volunteer for which she earned the national “VISTA Volunteer of the Decade” award from 1976-1986. Congresswoman Moore continues today to work to improve the quality of Milwaukee’s housing and neighborhoods.
Rep. Moore served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989-92, and in the State Senate from 1993-2003. In 2000, Congresswoman Moore earned a Harvard University Certificate for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
Congresswoman Moore is a mother of three and grandmother of three, all of whom live in Wisconsin’s Fourth Congressional District.