By Jessica Hilberman ’03
On September 14, 2001, Congresswoman Barbara Lee ’73 voted against the use of retaliatory force after the September 11 attacks, casting the only “no” vote from the House or Senate against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. Her reason: The powers the authorization gave the president were too broad.
The correspondence Lee received after that historic vote, both positive and negative, is now housed at Mills’ Olin Library and ready for researchers to explore. Along with other papers Lee is transferring to the College, they represent Mills’ first congressional archives.
Mills students are helping Special Collections Curator Janice Braun to organize and catalog the papers as they become available for use. She says, “I’m lucky because I have really great students working with me. The material is here for people to use and conduct research.”
Building the archive will be an ongoing process. The College expects to continue to receive Lee’s legislative files and records, speeches, official correspondence, photographs, press clippings, and other materials. While not officially part of the archive, a set of DVDs from the first Real Policy, Real Politics class that Lee taught at Mills in 2007 is also available from the Olin Library.