Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the following remarks at a memorial service in the Capitol today honoring the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
“My, my, my, wouldn't Stephanie have liked to see this turnout for her birthday party?
“When we were in Ohio, I was pleased to take two planeloads of Members of Congress to Cleveland for her memorial service. In that auditorium was a former President of the United States, a former First Lady who is a Senator and was a candidate for President, a nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States, her colleagues, her friends, and her family - all gathered together to celebrate the life and leadership of Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
“I would like to welcome the family and loved ones of Chairwoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones to Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol to join her colleagues in celebrating her life.
“All of us in this room loved Stephanie Tubbs Jones - though this room or even this building could not hold all those who counted themselves among her friends.
“I would like to offer a particularly warm welcome to two members of Stephanie Tubbs Jones's family: her son, Mervyn Jones, II, and her sister, Barbara Walker.
“Mervyn is named for his father, Stephanie's beloved husband of almost 30 years whom we lost a few years ago. With Mervyn here today, we also feel the presence of his loving father. We proudly welcome you to the Capitol, Mervyn. We are your family. Barbara, we welcome you too.
“It was once written that the simple act of going to the grocery store could take Stephanie Tubbs Jones two and a half hours - because as she crossed items off her list, she added the names and numbers of her constituents in need.
“Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a beloved figure in her hometown of Cleveland, and she loved and served her constituents in return. Their problems were her problems.
“Their story was her story - an American story - she was the daughter of a factory worker and a skycap at the Cleveland airport who went on to chair of one of the most powerful committees in Congress.
“Her work in Congress was informed by all the greatest things about our nation: Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a tireless force for justice, equality, and opportunity. She fought to ensure that every American voter can vote. She passed bills to invest in the health of the American people, and to protect children from abuse and neglect.
“And in January of last year, she became Chair of the House Ethics Committee. There, Stephanie Tubbs Jones ably and conscientiously enforced the rules of the House in an even-handed and non-partisan fashion.
“Though her accomplishments were many, Stephanie Tubbs Jones had a simple wish. As she said: “I hope I made you proud.”
“I was proud to be able to appoint Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first African American woman in history, to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
“I was proud to appoint Stephanie Tubbs Jones as Chairwoman of the Ethics Committee.
“I know that every person in this room, especially Stephanie's family and certainly her colleagues in the Congress, can say to Stephanie on her birthday: as a Chairwoman, as a Congresswoman, as a Representative of Cleveland who loved her district and constituents, and most of all, who loved her family--you made everyone who cared about you or knew about you, very, very proud. We'll miss you, darling.”