Congresswoman Gwen Moore was elected to represent Wisconsin’s 4th Congressional District in 2004, making her the first African American elected to Congress from the State of Wisconsin. She is a member of the prestigious House Committee on Financial Services, which has jurisdiction over the banking, insurance and housing industries. She serves as the Ranking Member on the Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, which oversees domestic monetary policy as well as the U.S.’s relationship with multilateral development banks and finance organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In 2016, Congresswoman Moore was elected by her colleagues to serve in the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus as Caucus Whip.
On the Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Congresswoman Moore works to guarantee the cooperation of federal agencies and private entities with federal law. She is also a member of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, which presides over the federal law that governs the provision of consumer credit and depository financial institutions. She is an active member on the Congressional Progressive Caucus, LGBT Equality Caucus, and Great Lakes Caucus, as well as a member on the House Budget Committee, Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and the former Regional Whip for the Democratic Caucus.
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, led efforts to help small businesses grow and advance the creation of new jobs, pushed for affordable housing, and advocated for compliance with respect to the non-discriminatory hiring of minority-owned businesses for government contracts. She has been outspoken on behalf of low-wage workers, and in 2014, peacefully demonstrated for a living wage with fast food workers, leading to her arrest.
A champion for women, Congresswoman Moore served as the Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus from 2011 to 2013. In this capacity and through her subsequent work, she has become a leader on issues like health insurance reform, women’s health, maternal and infant mortality, and domestic violence – leading the charge to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act over the past two Congresses. She has also been an outspoken opponent of efforts to limit women’s reproductive freedom and care.
The Congresswoman has made it her mission to give voice to the voiceless, both domestically and abroad. As a member on the House Democracy Partnership, a commission of the U.S. House of Representatives, she collaborates with international partners and serves as a global presence to advocate for and implement the development of responsible democracies. In January of 2015, she received global recognition for assembling members of Congress to raise pencils in honor of free speech and the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
She has been an ardent supporter of initiatives that put low-income students on the path to educational success. The Congresswoman 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 is an alumnus and strong advocate for the 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.
Born in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1951, Congresswoman Moore was raised in Milwaukee. The eighth of nine children, Congresswoman Moore’s father was a union 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, she started college at 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 was also a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate before serving in Congress.
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 1989-1992. 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 for progressive and social issues and has continued to stand up as a voice for each and every constituent and region 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 for women’s rights and civil rights, Congresswoman Moore led the fight against racial profiling, domestic abuse, and voting rights violations.
She is the proud mother of Jesselynne, Ade, and Sowande “Supreme,” and a grandmother of three.