Congresswoman Tubbs Jones, a strong feminist and friend of the Feminist Majority has died of a brain aneurysm. We’re “shocked and saddened over the death of Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She was a strong supporter of the feminist movement, women candidates, and an inspiration for young women aspiring to political leadership positions,” said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. Tubbs Jones keynoted at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National 2008 Young Women’s Leadership Conference for college activists. A student who attended the conference remembers that “she was an eloquent and powerful speaker who made me feel empowered to create change as a young woman. She was a leader and it was clear she fought incredibly hard for equality and for humanity. We dubbed her our ‘shero’.”
A moving tribute to the Congresswoman published by the National Organization for Women says that “We can’t imagine losing your voice, your verve, your vitality, your valor. We can’t imagine the years ahead, unable to work with you on our unfinished agenda, unable to sit with you and plot some new, grand effort. We can only say thank you for your spirit, your grit, your sense of urgency and dedication, your heart.” At the Feminist Majority, we couldn’t agree more.
Congresswoman Tubbs Jones became the first African-American woman elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio in 1998 and won reelection by large margins ever since. Prior to her service in the House of Representatives, Tubbs Jones served on the Ohio State Common Pleas bench as well as a Cleveland city Municipal Court judge. She was a leading advocate for civil rights, women’s issues, children, and election reform. Together with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) she objected to the certification of the 2004 presidential election results for Ohio. Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed her to chair the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics) in 2006. She also served on the Ways and Means Committee.
She was an indefatigable candidate and campaigned relentlessly for women candidates. On Monday night, she spoke at a campaign event for Sharen Nuehardt, who is running for the House of Representatives from Ohio’s 7th District. Tubbs Jones was not only also a very strong supporter of Hillary Clinton, but also campaigned nationwide for her.