Rep. Stark represents the 13th district of California which includes parts of the East Bay including Alameda, and parts of Oakland.
Rep. Stark is one of the most liberal members of the House and he is one of the founders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is known as a strong advocate for the uninsured and he is chair of the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep Stark also voted against the Iraq war and is a strong antiwar voice.
However the reason I chose Rep. Pete Stark to be Backbencher of the Week is because in this week of religious celebration I wanted to honor the only member of Congress to be an atheist. This led Rep. Stark to be one of nine no votes to Rep. Steve King's(R-IA) bill to recognize the importance of Christmas and the Christian Faith. As Christians celebrate Christmas, and as our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate Hanukkah, it is important to recognize that freedom of religion means the freedom not be religious.
Thank you Rep. Pete Stark for reminding us of this important lesson and congratulations on being this week's Backbencher of the Week