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In this transformational year of Presidential candidates who are not all white males, we sometimes forget that there were many people who blazed the trail that made it possible for women and minorities to be part of the 2008 field. Stephanie Tubbs Jones was one of those people: both through her congressional career, and the work she did before that. From her biography:
Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was the first African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from Ohio. Congresswoman Jones was a lifelong resident of the 11th District, which encompasses most of the East Side of Cleveland and parts of the West Side of Cleveland and includes parts of 22 suburbs.
Congresswoman Tubbs Jones has made a number of historic achievements in her distinguished career as a public servant. Prior to her election to the House, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones served as the first African-American and the first female Cuyahoga County, Ohio Prosecutor. She was the first African-American woman to sit on the Common Pleas bench in the State of Ohio and was a Municipal Court Judge in the City of Cleveland.
Congresswoman Tubbs Jones has introduced several pieces of legislation including, the Uterine Fibroids Research and Education Act to increase funding for research on uterine fibroids and provide enhanced public education about this condition; the Predatory Mortgage Lending Practices Reduction Act, which would require certification of mortgage brokers and enhance penalties for predatory loans, and the Campus Fire Prevention Act, which would provide money to equip college dorms, fraternities, and sorority houses with fire suppression devices. Most recently, Congresswoman Tubbs Jones introduced the "Count Every Vote" Act of 2005 which seeks to provide an all-encompassing solution to a broad range of voting irregularities that occurred during the 2004 presidential election. She is an original co-sponsor of multiple significant pieces of legislation, including healthcare for low and middle-income families and community reentry for ex-felons.
Congresswoman Tubbs Jones has received numerous honors throughout her lifetime including the National Bible Association Capitol Hill Distinguished Leadership Award, Human Rights Campaign of Cleveland Equality Award, Backbone Campaign's Backbone Award, and the Carib News Multi-National Business Conference Marcus Garvey Award. Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a graduate of Cleveland Public Schools. She received her undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University, graduating with a degree in Social Work from the Flora Mather College in 1971. She received her Juris Doctorate form Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1974. Additionally, she has received honorary doctorates from David N. Myers University, Notre Dame College and Central State University.
The Congresswoman was married to Mervyn L. Jones, Sr., deceased (2003), for 27 years and is the proud mother of Mervyn Leroy Jones, II.Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.