Wisconsin Assembly Committee Assignments Wiki

This article is about the Wisconsin Congresswoman. For the California legislator, see Gwen Moore (California politician).

Gwendolynne Sophia Moore (born April 18, 1951) is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 4th congressional district, serving since 2005. In 2016, Moore was elected to serve as Caucus Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus[1] for the 115th United States Congress.[2][3] She is a member of the Democratic Party.

The district is based in Milwaukee and as a result of the 2011 redistricting also includes some nearby Milwaukee County suburbs: Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Glendale, St. Francis, South Milwaukee, West Milwaukee, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay. She is the first woman to represent the district. She is also the second woman after Tammy Baldwin and the first African-American elected to Congress from Wisconsin.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Moore was born in Racine, but has spent most of her life in Milwaukee. She is the eighth of nine children; her father was a factory worker and her mother a public school teacher. Moore attended North Division High School and served as student council president.[4] She later attended Marquette University and became a single mother and was for a while a welfare recipient. Nonetheless, she was able to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, graduating in 1973.

She worked as an organizer with Volunteers In Service to America.[5] Through the program, she worked to establish the Cream City Community Development Credit Union to offer grants and loans to low-income residents to start businesses. For her work, she was awarded the national “VISTA Volunteer of the Decade” award from 1976 to 1986.[6] From 1985 to 1989, she worked for the City of Milwaukee as a neighborhood development strategist and for the state Department of Employment Relations and Health and Social Services. Moore also worked for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) as a housing officer.[4]

Wisconsin Legislature[edit]

Moore was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1988 and served two terms. She was a prominent voice calling into an investigation into the case of sexual assault and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who lived two blocks away from Moore.[4]

In the election of 1992, Gwen Moore was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate, in which she served the 4th District from 1993 to 2005. Moore was the first African-American woman to be elected to the upper chamber of the Wisconsin legislature.[4] She became a prominent voice against mandatory ID security measures to enter the state capitol. She said "I am too often reminded [9/11 hijacker] Mohammed Atta had a photo ID. This will not tell people whether I am a terrorist. This disenfranchises people who come to their Capitol."[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Moore was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004, earning 69.6% of the vote and defeating Republicanattorney Gerald Boyle in the general election. Moore was one of a handful of African-Americans to have been elected to Congress as freshmen in 2004, and she was the first African-American and second woman (after Tammy Baldwin) to represent Wisconsin in Congress.[7]

Moore is a prominent advocate for women’s rights, releasing frequent statements on topics ranging from domestic abuse awareness to abortion rights. In January 2011, she was elected Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus to become a leader on health insurance reform and the protection of reproductive rights.[8]

During the congressional debate in February 2011 on the Pence Amendment proposing to defund the health services organization Planned Parenthood, in response to comments from Paul Broun suggesting that Planned Parenthood promoted racist eugenics because more black women than white women have abortions, Moore spoke about her experience raising children on little money, and why "planned parenthood is healthy for women, it’s healthy for children and it's healthy for our society".[9] She publicly opposed the investigation into the financial accounting of Planned Parenthood, stating that the investigation “is an unfortunate waste of taxpayer dollars.”[10] Moore voted “nay” on Amends Federal Health Care Law to Prohibit Abortion Coverage on October 13, 2011.[11] In March 2012, during the House debate over re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act, she spoke about her own experience of being sexually assaulted and raped as a child and as an adult, criticizing the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee that voted no on the bill.[12]

Over the first session of the 109th Congress, Moore earned 90% and higher legislative agenda approval scores from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Sierra Club of Wisconsin, and the Service Employees International Union. Moore has focused herself legislatively on traditional Democratic and progressive issues, believing that the federal government should play a significant role in the amelioration of poverty and the resolution of difficult local problems. Moore has received support from interest groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union (93%), The Human Rights Campaign (100%), and The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) (100%), to The National Farmer's Union (100%) and Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund (100%). She lacks support from those supporting hunting and sportsmen rights (0% support from Sportsmen and Animal Owner’s Voting Alliance), pro-lifers (0% support from National Right to Life), and conservative tax reform stances (0% support from Americans for Tax Reform).[13]

During her first term, Moore introduced legislation to provide economic incentives and tax cuts to small businesses to promote job creation, and also cosponsored legislation supporting community block grants, continuing and expanding Medicaid funding, amending the Truth in Lending Act to prevent so-called "predatory lending," and removing troops from Iraq; Moore also cosponsored two prospective amendments to the US Constitution, providing for uniform national election standards and prohibiting gender discrimination under law.[citation needed]

On May 6, 2006, Moore and eight fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus were arrested and ticketed for unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct after they stepped onto the grounds of the Embassy of the Sudan to call attention to the ongoing Darfur conflict in Sudan. Moore said that the group expected ex ante to be arrested but that they were pleased to participate in a "peaceful act of civil disobedience".[14]

She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[15]

Committee assignments[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2004 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — Democratic Primary
  • 2004 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
  • 2006 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 72%
    • Perfecto Rivera (R), 28%
  • 2008 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 88%
    • Michael LaForest (I), 12%
  • 2010 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 69%
    • Dan Sebring (R), 30%
  • 2012 Race for U.S. House of Representatives — 4th District
    • Gwen Moore (D), 72%
    • Dan Sebring (R), 25%

2014 challenge[edit]

In June 2014, former state senator and convicted felon Gary George filed nomination papers to run against Moore in the Democratic primary, claiming that he was running "in response to citizen demands for stronger leadership from Milwaukee's political community."[16] George lost by a large margin in the August 2014 Democratic primary, with 21,234 votes to Moore's 52,380 (69%).[17]

Personal life[edit]

Moore's son, Sowande Ajumoke Omokunde (then aged 26), was arrested in connection with the November 2, 2004 (Election Day) tire-slashing of official Republican Party vehicles in Milwaukee. He was charged with a felony in connection with the event on January 24, 2005, but agreed, on January 20, 2006, to plead no contest in exchange for a sentencing recommendation of restitution and probation.[18]

On April 26, 2006, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael Brennan sentenced Omokunde to serve four months in prison and to pay $2,305 in fines and restitution. In response, Moore said, "I love my son very much. I'm very proud of him. He's accepted responsibility."[19]

Moore has become a U.S. delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.[20]

In 2016, Moore attended the Democratic National Convention as a super-delegate, and pledged her support to Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.[21][better source needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^"Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved 7 March 2018. 
  2. ^"Hoyer Congratulates Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 115th Congress | The Office of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer". www.democraticwhip.gov. Retrieved 2017-11-30. 
  3. ^"It's Rep. Conyers' Right To Fight Allegations, Rep. Moore Says". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-11-30. 
  4. ^ abcde"Gwen S. Moore Biography". Biography.jrank.org. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  5. ^"AmeriCorps: Gwendolynne Moore". Corporation for National & Community Service. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  6. ^[1]Archived June 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^Sandler, Larry (November 3, 2004). "Moore rewrites history: Mainstream appeal makes her state's first black congresswoman". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  8. ^"Rep. Gwen Moore Weighs in on Birth Control Victory". Ms. Magazine. August 3, 2011. 
  9. ^"Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) In Opposition to the Pence Amendment". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  10. ^"Dem Leaders to Stearns: Stop Pointless Political Attack on Planned Parenthood". Project Vote Smart. October 11, 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  11. ^"HR 358 - Amends Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to Prohibit Abortion Coverage". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  12. ^Dolan, Eric W. (March 28, 2012). "In House speech, Rep. Gwen Moore recounts being raped". The Raw Story. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  13. ^"Gwen Moore - Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  14. ^JS Online: Moore expects arrest in protestArchived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^"Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 30 January 2018. 
  16. ^Anderson, Mike. "Gary George files papers to run for Congress; Recalled senator convicted in 2004 of felony fraud"WISN.com June 3, 2014
  17. ^Bergquist, Lee. "Election 2014: Allen, Brostoff, Wanggaard, Bowen win legislative primaries" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel August 13, 2014
  18. ^Milwaukee Journal Sentinel articleArchived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^"Lawmaker's son sentenced for tire slashing - politics". nbcnews.com. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  20. ^Hand, Robert (September 5, 2008). "U.S. Congressional Delegation Visits Kazakhstan for Parliamentary Assembly Annual Session". Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. 
  21. ^List of Democratic Party superdelegates, 2016

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Wisconsin State Legislature



President of the Senate

Rodger Roth (R)
Since January 5, 2015

Senate Majority Leader

Scott L. Fitzgerald (R)
Since January 8, 2013

Speaker of the Assembly

Robin Vos (R)
Since January 7, 2013

Assembly Majority Leader

Jim Steineke (R)
Since January 5, 2015

Seats132 voting members:
33 Senators
99 Representatives

Senate political groups

     Republican (18)[1]

     Democratic (14)

Assembly political groups

    Republican (64)[2]

    Democratic (35)
AuthorityArticle IV, Wisconsin Constitution
Salary$50,950 + $153 per diem

Senate last election

November 8, 2016

Senate next election

November 6, 2018
Meeting place
Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison

The Wisconsin Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The Legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper houseWisconsin State Senate and the lowerWisconsin State Assembly, both of which have had Republican majorities since January 2011. With both houses combined, the legislature has 132 members representing an equal number of constituent districts. The Legislature convenes at the state capitol in Madison.


The land that would become Wisconsin became part of the United States in 1783 and was first organized under the Northwest Ordinance. It became the Wisconsin Territory in 1836 and the state of Wisconsin on May 29, 1848.[3] The 1850s saw an influx of European immigrants.[4]

Women's rights groups in support of temperance and suffrage formed in Wisconsin in the 1860s.[5] The Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Association was formed in 1869. Suffrage bills were introduced in 1855 and 1867 but both failed. However, the state legislature did pass a law allowing women to run for school boards and elective school offices in 1869. It was not until June 10, 1919, that Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th amendment granting national suffrage to women.[5]

Wisconsin was dominated alternately by the Republican and Progressive parties in the first century of its existence, but has been more competitive since then. The Republicans gained majority control in both houses in the 1995 Legislature, the first time since 1969. In 2009, the Democratic Party gained control of both houses for the first time since 1993.

The Republican Party took back control of both houses in 2011.[3] Governor Scott Walker then signed a new redistricting plan.[6] In 2012 elections, Democrats won a majority of the vote but Republicans retained control of the legislature, taking 60 of the 99 seats in the Assembly.[6] In Wisconsin elections, 2016, Republicans secured their largest majority in the Assembly since 1956.[6]

On November 21, 2016, U.S. Circuit Judge Kenneth Francis Ripple, joined by District Judge Barbara Brandriff Crabb, held that the Republicans' 2011 redistricting was unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering, over a dissent by District Judge William C. Griesbach.[7] The court found that the 2011 redistricting plan created three times as many wasted votes as the national average, violating the United States Constitution’s guarantee of one man, one vote.[8]


Qualifications and terms[edit]

To serve in the Wisconsin Legislature, individuals must be a resident of the state for at least one year preceding his or her election and be a qualified elector in the district he or she is elected to represent.[9]

All 99 members of the Wisconsin Assembly are elected in a two year term cycle without term limits. Similarly, all 33 members of the Wisconsin Senate are elected in a four year cycle, also without term limits.[9] Half of the Senate is elected every two years.[9] Prior to an amendment in the Wisconsin Constitution in 1881, Assembly members served a one year term, while Senators were elected every two years. The 100th Wisconsin Legislature began on January 3, 2011.


Members of both houses of the Legislature vote within their ranks to select presiding officers, such as the Speaker of the Assembly and the President of the Senate. These high level positions reflect the party majority in both chambers. An amendment to the state constitution in 1979 removed the Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin as the presiding officer of the Senate, allowing Senators to vote within their ranks for a chamber president. Similarly, majority and minority leaders are also selected by party strength in the legislative houses and within their own respective caucus.

Salary and benefits[edit]

Legislators receive an annual salary of $49,943 and a per diem of up to $88 to cover living expenses when they are in Dane County, Wisconsin on state business, unless their district is in Dane County. Members of the Madison delegation may receive a per diem up to $44 to cover expenses. Legislators also receive $75 per month in "out-of-session" pay when the Legislature is in session for three days or less. Over two years, each legislator is allotted $66,008 to cover general office expenses, printing, postage and district mailings.[citation needed]

Rules and procedures[edit]

In both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature, a quorum is defined as a majority of current members. The majority of a quorum is needed to pass legislation on the floor of the chamber.[10] Three-fifths of the members elected is the quorum necessary for passage or concurrence in either house of any fiscal bill. Proposals may not be introduced or offered unless they are put in proper form by the legislative reference staff if requested by members or members-elect of the legislature.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Wisconsin State Senators
  2. ^Wisconsin State Representatives
  3. ^ abHighlights of History in Wisconsin, Wisconsin Blue Book 2011-2012 (accessed April 25, 2013)
  4. ^19th Century Immigration, Wisconsin Historical Society (accessed April 25, 2013)
  5. ^ abThe Women's Suffrage Movement Wisconsin Historical Society (accessed April 25, 2013)
  6. ^ abcStein, Jason; Marley, Patrick (22 November 2016). "Federal court strikes down GOP-drawn maps". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  7. ^Michael Wines (22 November 2016). "Judges Find Wisconsin Redistricting Unfairly Favored Republicans". The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  8. ^Soffen, Kim (23 November 2016). "Wisconsin's gerrymander being struck down should scare Republicans nationwide". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  9. ^ abcArticle IV, Wisconsin Constitution (accessed April 25, 2013)
  10. ^ abProcedures Derived from State Constitution Wisconsin Legislature (accessed April 25, 2013)

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