3rd Anniversary Of The Death Of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones Brings Remembrance By Family, Others, Coleman Gets Last Interview

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Sun, 08/28/2011 - 16:50.

The late U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is now Secretary of State, and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland during Clinton's unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008

From the Metro Desk of The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com) (See the Tubbs Jones interview that was taken shortly before her death on Aug 20, 2008 below this brief story. Thanks for taking the time to read what we write, Kathy Wray Coleman). 

The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com remembers the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio's first Black Congresswoman who died of a brain aneurysm just nine days before Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America. Obama, America's first Black president, went on to beat then Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) of Arizona.

Greater Clevelanders are still morning her death as the third anniversary of it was August 20, 2011. She would have turned 62 on Sept. 10. 

"She was such a phenomenal woman and I miss her," said Meredith Turner, choking back tears."I went to her sculpture on Aug 20, the anniversary of her death, and talked to her." 

Turner, an advocate for Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, is a member of the executive committee for the 11 Congressional District's Annual Labor Day Parade on Sept 5 that was started by retired U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes of Shaker Hts, continued by Tubbs Jones, and now furthered by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), a Warrensville Hts. Democrat and close friend of Tubbs Jones who replaced her and went on to win election to the seat. (Editor's Note: For more information on the annual Labor Day parade call Fudge's campaign office at 216-360-0300)

Tubbs Jones, a Cleveland Democrat, was preceded in death by her Husband Mervin Jones, her parents, and a sister. In addition to her constituents and friends and family her absence is dearly felt my her son Mervyn II, 26, who has an eighth- month-old daughter whom he named Stephanie Nicole, and Barbara Walker, another sister and the chief of staff for the City of Warrensville Hts. 

Walker admits that she too talks to Tubbs Jones at her sculpture in University Circle in Cleveland and says that not a day goes by that she does not miss her older sister.

"I think about her everyday," said Walker. "We were only two years apart and she was a great sister and such a dynamic woman. I do stop by her sculpture sometimes on the way home from church and I tell her that Mervyn is doing fine and that we miss her."

Walker said that the new Huron Medical Center, located at 13944 Euclid Ave. in East Cleveland, will be named The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center at a ceremony at 6:30 pm on Sept. 30. 

Below is the last major interview with Tubbs Jones by Journalist Kathy Wray Coleman that was featured on Sept. 28, 2008 in the Cleveland Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's Black Press. It comes with Tubbs Jones' on record approval.

By Kathy Wray Coleman
(National and Cleveland, Oh. Area News)

(Originally published on September 24, 2008 in the Call & Post Newspaper, Ohio's Black Press with distributions in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, Oh., where Reporter Kathy Wray Coleman interviewed the late Tubbs Jones in her capacity as a freelance journalist)

This is an exclusive interview with the late U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones held shortly before her untimely death where the beloved congresswoman of the 11th Congressional District spoke on various issues including her tenure as the national campaign co-chairperson for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton relative to Clinton's failed pursuit of the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America. Such audio-taped interview, which occurred with Tubbs Jones' on record approval, was undertaken three days after Clinton gave her historic concession speech in New York City. There she urged her supporters and others to rally behind Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the first Black presidential nominee of a major American political party.

The one-on-one interview highlights the complicated concepts of race and gender in American politics. As Clinton's national campaign chairperson, Tubbs Jones did not waiver in her support of Clinton, even after an overwhelming number of Blacks from across the country and in her own congressional district rallied behind Obama. Though Clinton won Ohio's Democratic primary by some 200,000 votes, 70 percent of Tubbs' Jones constituents in the majority Black 11th Congressional District voted for Obama where tensions ran high with no holds barred. Still, Tubbs Jones remained loyal saying that she came aboard for Clinton long before Obama revealed his intentions to seek the Democratic nomination for president and that her word was her bond.

In this in depth yet spontaneous interview Tubbs Jones talks about the congressional legislation and other activities she sought on behalf of the Black community. She also gives her perspective as to the ups and downs that ambitious women encounter when they seek to positively manipulate the status quo. She says that men are typically in and women must still struggle for acceptance at all levels of the continuum, in politics, in corporate America, and otherwise. The interview further reveals a loss to the Black community as Tubbs Jones speaks of the Blacks in public office in Cleveland and in other Cuyahoga County communities that she helped to get elected. 

CALL & POST FREELANCE REPORTER KATHY WRAY COLEMAN:
Can McCain beat Barack?

Tubbs Jones:
I think that Barack can beat McCain but we have a lot of work to do for him to beat John McCain.

Ohio is so very important isn't it?

Tubbs Jones:
I think Ohio is very important. No [Republican] president has won the presidency without winning Ohio.

C&P:
Would you be as responsive to Obama as you were to Hillary?

Tubbs Jones:
Absolutely. At this juncture Hillary says it and I'm saying the same thing, that that's history and we're moving forward and the only thing we can do now is get Sen. Obama elected.

C&P:
Can he win if you don't help him?

Tubbs Jones:
I'm willing to help, but I don't predispose that I am that important.

C&P:
Did Hillary hurt you in your district?

Tubbs Jones:
I believe that there were many people who did not like the fact that I supported Hillary, but I don't believe it hurt my ability to represent the district or my record of support for other candidates. And you know what is so amazing Kathy, where were all these people when I was trying to help Raymond Pierce get elected mayor of the City of Cleveland? And where were all these people when there were other African-American elected officials that have been running for public office and we couldn't find them to support us? The list goes on.

C&P:
So what you are saying is that you supported a whole lot of African-American candidates, right?

Tubbs Jones:
Of course.

C&P:
Name a few

Tubbs Jones:
[Cleveland Mayor] Frank Jackson, Ramond Pierce, all the municipal court judges in Cleveland, Peter Lawson Jones for county commissioner, and upcoming Lillian Greene to be the county recorder.

C&P:
I guess if you said put Hillary on the ticket that would be a another thing wouldn't it?

Tubbs Jones:
[laughter].. I think she'd be a great vice president but I don't know whether that's what she wants or whether that's what he [Obama] wants, and I'm not pressed.

C&P
Did you see any racism or sexism in this Democratic campaign?

Tubbs Jones:
Absolutely. I want to send you this article from the New York Times about sexism in the city and sexism in the campaign.

C&P:
Do you believe that this time sexism was more prevalent than racism?

Tubbs Jones:
Yes, absolutely. 

C&P:
Men still like to run things, don't they?

Tubbs Jones:
Yes, absolutely. Men like to run things, and its alright. Men like to run things and women like to run things, and that's a competition.

C&P:
Sexism can be stronger than racism in some arenas?

Tubbs Jones:
Absolutely. All you have to do is look at how many women there are in the Senate, how many women there are in the House compared to the number of men, how many women governor's there are, women elected officials, women in the board rooms, and CEOs in large companies. We have come a long way, but we've got a long way to go. I felt blessed to have had the opportunity to advise a presidential candidate in 2008 having come from a father who was a sky cap and a mother who was a factory worker. I will always remember the experience I had and I am thankful for it. Sen. Clinton has thrown her wholehearted support behind Barack Obama and I throw mine as well.

C&P:
What are some of the [bills] that you have sponsored or co-sponsored on behalf of the Black community?

Tubbs Jones:
The fugitive safe surrender and the uterine fibroid tumor [bills], and The Second Chance Act. It [The Second Chance Act] passed [into legislation] in the last 60 days. The Second Chance Act focuses on giving ex-offenders the opportunity for jobs, on housing, drug treatment, family counseling and job training.

C&P:
Are Black women disproportionately affected by fibroids?

Tubbs Jones:
Absolutely, and no one knows the cause. They say that the highest incidence of hysterectomy is the result of uterine fibroids. I have been working on legislation around instate renal disease and kidney failure that predominates in African-Americans. So you know, people called in about she hasn't done anything for veterans and I created a veterans advisory committee, that I hadn't done anything for Black men, and the list went on. And as I said, I stand on my record for support for my community and my constituents.

C&P:
Is there anything else that you want me to get across to the Black community?

Tubbs Jones:
[Get across] how much I love and support them. And I say to them that you may not have liked my decision or you may not have supported my decision for Hillary Clinton, but look at my record and support of the community and the work that I have done in the past 26 years.

C&P:
Thank you.

Tubbs Jones:
You're welcome.

Tubbs Jones, 58 at her death, was the first Black congresswoman from Ohio. She died of a brain aneurysm Aug 20, just nine days before Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Her death took the state of Ohio and the nation by storm where thousands attended her memorial service in Cleveland including Sen Clinton, Sen. Obama, Michelle Obama, vice presidential Democratic Nominee Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Congressional Black Caucus Chairperson Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, retired U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes, and many of her constituents from the 11th Congressional District, which encompasses the City of Cleveland and parts of its eastern suburbs.

Journalist and Community Activist Kathy Wray Coleman can be reached at 216-932-3114 and ktcoleman8 [at] aol [dot] com.

 

 

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