Tubbs Jones, 58, Passes

Stephanie Tubbs JonesStephanie Tubbs Jones addressed NASW's Annual Leadership Meeting in 2007.

Social workers are mourning the loss of social worker and U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) who died Aug. 20 after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm. She was 58.

Serving her fifth term in office, Tubbs Jones introduced several pieces of legislation that continue to champion the social work profession and the people social workers serve.

Most recently, she was an original co-sponsor of the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr., Social Work Reinvestment Act (H.R. 5447/ S 2858), which calls for programs designed to keep the social work profession viable and relevant for years to come, and to ensure that those who need the help of a social worker are able to receive it. Additionally, Tubbs Jones introduced legislation to promote loan forgiveness for social workers in child welfare, provide healthcare for low and middle-income families and community reentry for ex-felons.

"NASW is deeply saddened by the tragic and unexpected death of one of our social work leaders," said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark. As the first African-American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio, she represented her constituents from Cleveland with dignity, advocating for wealth-building and economic development, access and delivery of health care, and quality education for all, Clark said.

Tubbs Jones served on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and was active with numerous congressional caucuses, including the Congressional Black Caucus.

Ohio NASW Chapter Executive Director Cynthia Webb said, "We feel the impact of her loss. I spent 15 years working in juvenile justice settings, so I know the importance of her work in trying to reduce the prison population by promoting community re-entry for ex-prisoners."

In an Associated Press story, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama called Tubbs Jones "an extraordinary American and an outstanding public servant.

"It wasn't enough for her just to break barriers in her own life," Obama said in a statement published by the AP. "She was also determined to bring opportunity to all those who had been overlooked and left behind - and in Stephanie, they had a fearless friend and unyielding advocate."

President Bush was also quoted in the story. He said Tubbs Jones "was an effective legislator who was dedicated to helping small businesses, improving local schools, expanding job opportunities for Ohioans, and ensuring that more of them have access to health care. Our nation is grateful for her service."

Tubbs Jones received her undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University. She graduated with a degree in social work from Flora Mather College. She went on to receive a juris doctorate from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.