(born August 15, 1938)
an American politician, serving as the U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district, and previously the 35th and 29th districts, serving since 1991.
A member of the Democratic Party, she is the most senior of the 12 black women currently serving in the United States Congress, and is a member and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Before becoming a member of Congress she served in the California Assembly, to which she was first elected in 1976. As an Assembly member, Waters advocated for divestment from South Africa's apartheid regime.
Waters was born in 1938 in Kinloch, Missouri, the daughter of Velma Lee (née Moore) and Remus Carr. Fifth out of thirteen children, Waters was raised by her single mother once her father left the family when Maxine was two. She graduated from Vashon High Schoolin St. Louis, and moved with her family to Los Angeles, California, in 1961. She worked in a garment factory and as a telephone operator before being hired as an assistant teacher with the Head Start program at Watts in 1966.
She later enrolled at Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles) and graduated with a sociology degree in 1970.
In 1973, she went to work as chief deputy to City Councilman David S. Cunningham, Jr.. Waters entered the California State Assembly in 1976. While in the assembly she worked for the divestment of state pension funds from any businesses active in South Africa, a country then operating under the policy of apartheid, and helped pass legislation within the guidelines of the divestment campaign's Sullivan Principles. She ascended to the position of Democratic Caucus Chair for the Assembly.
Waters voted against the Iraq War Resolution, the 2002 resolution that funded and granted Congressional approval to possible military action against the regime of Saddam Hussein.
She has remained a consistent critic of the subsequent war and has supported an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. Waters asserted in 2007 that President George W. Bush was trying to "set [Congress] up" by continually requesting funds for an "occupation" that is "draining" the country of capital, soldier's lives, and other resources.
In a subsequent floor speech, Waters told her colleagues that Congress, lacking the votes to override the "inevitable Bush veto on any Iraq-related legislation," needed to "better [challenge] the administration's false rhetoric about the Iraq war" and "educate our constituents [about] the connection between the problems in Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran with the problems we have created in Iraq."
A few months prior to these speeches Waters became a cosponsor of the House resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney for making allegedly
"false statements" about the war.
Waters has been very critical of the Tea Party movement. On August 20, 2011, while at a town hall discussing some of the displeasure that supporters of President Obama have had with the Congressional Black Caucus not supporting the president, Waters stated,
"This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened.
And as far as I’m concerned, the ‘tea party’ can go straight to Hell ...
and I intend to help them get there.
In a 2017 discussion with MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes, Waters said President Trump's friends and advisors who have ties to Russia or have oil and gas interests are "a bunch of scumbags". In February 2017, Waters said that Trump was "leading himself" to possible impeachment because of his conflicts and because many have suspicions,
and that he was creating "chaos and division".
Waters initiated urging for President Trump's impeachment shortly after he was sworn
In April 2017, Waters stated “I want this president impeached.”
Then Waters began publically leading activists in chants of “Impeach 45!