ALAMEDA -- As a result of redistricting, Alameda has been moved from the 13th to the Ninth Congressional District, bringing with the change a new federal representative -- Barbara Lee.
U.S. Rep. Lee met with about 40 Alameda attendees Monday afternoon at the Main Library branch in an informal meet-and-greet to spread the news that she has returned. Lee, who replaces former Rep. Pete Stark, also served Alameda during her service to the 13th District in 1989.
She will hold office hours from 3 to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The location will be the administrative conference room on the second floor of the library at 1550 Oak St.
"I'm very pleased and excited to be back in Alameda," Lee said. "This town is unbelievable in terms of the progress it has made. We will complete Alameda Point. Every bit of federal focus you need will be there."
She called Washington, D.C., a "madhouse," with the wrangling over what to cut and what to save in terms of military spending and social programs. Lee serves on the budget and appropriations committees.
"There are a lot of folks there fighting benefit cuts," she said.
Though Lee held no formal question-and-answer session, she invited attendees to chat with her about their concerns and ideas. In addition to the city and other officials in attendance were people who just wanted to meet Lee and hear her perspectives on Alameda. Islander Mary Ann Kirschenhenter was among the attendees.
"I just want to get her views for Alameda in terms of how she sees us fitting into the big picture." she said.
Mayor Marie Gilmore said Lee is an "absolute champion for all of us."
Lee noted that people are also welcome to contact her Oakland office at 510-763-0370, located at 1301 Clay St., Suite 1000N. Among the areas the staff may help people with are resources for student financial aid, expediting emergency passports and visas (which requires a minimum of 72 hours' notice), accessing veterans benefits, grant programs and housing assistance programs.