The first African-American woman in Wisconsin history to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Gwen Moore took her official oath of office on January 4, 2005. In January of 2011, Congresswoman Moore was elected Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus by her fellow female colleagues. In this capacity, she has become a leader on issues like health insurance reform, women’s health, domestic violence and maternal and infant mortality – problems that affect women both at home and abroad. She served as Democratic Vice Chair from 2009 to 2011.
In her committee work, Congresswoman Moore is a member of the prestigious House Committee on Financial Services, which has jurisdiction over the banking, insurance and housing industries. She serves on two subcommittees of the House Committee on Financial Services, including the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the International Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee. Rep. Moore also sits on 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. She is also a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Congresswoman Moore is a strong advocate for measures that focus on improving the economic and employment conditions in low-income communities. She 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 more affordable housing, and advocated for compliance with respect to the non-discriminatory hiring of minority-owned businesses for government contracts.
She has been an ardent supporter of initiatives that put low-income students on the path to educational success. She has consistently supported legislation to ensure low-income students have school access to three nutritious meals a day, year-round, as good nutrition has been proven to improve children’s attendance and attentiveness. Congresswoman Moore has also advocated for Federal TRIO programs, which are designed to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds and help them get to college. TRIO includes six outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first generation college students — and students with disabilities — to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs.
When it comes to our troops, Representative Moore has been a strong advocate for boosting the efforts of the U.S. Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs Department to ensure our nation’s service members and veterans get the care they need to successfully address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In order to combat the stigmas associated with PTSD, Congresswoman Moore has introduced legislation to promote confidential mental health care services for members of the military.
She has also supported increased funding for PTSD research and treatment programs. With her colleagues, Congresswoman Moore has led efforts urging the Army to help reduce the perception that seeking mental health counseling will negatively impact a person’s military career and promotion prospects.
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 a single, expectant mother on welfare who could only complete her education with the help of TRIO. 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.
She served in the Wisconsin State Senate from 1993-2004. Prior to her election to the Senate, Congresswoman Moore served two consecutive terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1989-92. In 2000, Congresswoman Moore earned a Harvard University Certificate for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. As a state legislator, Congresswoman Moore was a champion of progressive and social issues and has continued to stand up as a voice for each and every constituent and neighborhood across the city. She applied her career expertise to help create jobs and build communities. She made a positive impact in critical issues related to welfare, education and criminal justice. A tireless advocate of women’s rights and civil rights, Congresswoman Moore led the fight against racial profiling, domestic abuse and voting rights violations.