On behalf of all Members of Congress, I express my deepest condolences on the sudden death of our friend and colleague, Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, to all who loved her, particularly her son, Mervyn Leroy Jones, II, and her sister, Barbara Walker.
Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a tremendously vibrant presence in the halls of Congress. She believed in all the best things about our nation, and was a tireless force for justice, equality, and opportunity. As a leader in election reform, she fought on behalf of voting rights to ensure that every American voter can vote. She loved her hometown of Cleveland, and she believed that serving her constituents was the best job in the world.
As Chair of the House Ethics Committee, Stephanie Tubbs Jones ably and conscientiously enforced the rules of the House in an even-handed and non-partisan fashion. She was also a highly effective legislator, passing bills to invest in the health of the American people, and protect children from abuse and neglect.
Stephanie Tubbs Jones broke barriers her entire professional career: she was the first African-American and the first female prosecutor in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She was the first African-American woman to sit on the Common Pleas bench in the Ohio. As the first African-American woman to be elected to Congress from Ohio, and the first African-American woman to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Stephanie Tubbs Jones always worked to ensure that the House of Representatives reflected the diversity of the American people.
Stephanie Tubbs Jones was always full of enthusiasm for the work of the Congress and for life in general. In our sadness at her sudden passing, we remember that she seized every opportunity and enjoyed every moment that she was given. I hope it is a comfort to Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones’s family and friends that so many people mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.