Congresswoman Joyce Beatty
Congresswoman Joyce Beatty is a native Ohioan with a strong history of connecting people, policy and politics to make a difference. Since 2013, Beatty has proudly represented Ohio’s Third Congressional District. In the 117th Congress, Beatty serves as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Beatty serves on the exclusive House Committee on Financial Services as Chair of the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion and is a member of two additional Subcommittees: Housing and Insurance and Oversight and Investigations. The Financial Services Committee oversees the entire financial services industry, including the nation’s banking, securities, insurance, and housing industries, as well as the work of the Federal Reserve, the United States Department of the Treasury and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Prior to her service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congresswoman Beatty was Senior Vice President of Outreach and Engagement at The Ohio State University and a member in the Ohio House of Representatives for five terms. During her tenure in the Ohio House, she rose to become the first female Democratic House Leader in Ohio’s history and was instrumental in spearheading and enacting legislation to require financial literacy in Ohio’s public school curriculum, to expand STEM education, and to secure funds to help under- and uninsured women access breast and cervical cancer treatment.
In 2014, Congresswoman Beatty’s efforts proved pivotal in securing nearly $4 million in federal funds to address Columbus’ infant mortality rate, which is one of the highest in the country. In the same year, she also brought then-Department of House and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan to the Third Congressional District to announce a $225 million project to revitalize the Near East Side, led by nearly $30 million in federal funds.
A longtime advocate and champion to end human trafficking, during the 114th Congress, Congresswoman Beatty’s bipartisan legislation to combat child sex trafficking unanimously passed the House of Representatives in 2015 and was signed into law as part of a larger measure, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, by President Obama. That same year, Congresswoman Beatty introduced legislation that made the tax deduction for out-of-pocket expenses paid by elementary and secondary teachers for supplies and expenses permanent. Her bill, the Reimburse Educators who Pay for Academic Year (REPAY) Supplies Act of 2015, was later included in the bipartisan tax package, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, and was signed into law on December 18, 2015.
In 2015, Beatty also introduced the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2015 to improve first-time homebuyers’ financial knowledge by providing a discount on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) backed mortgage insurance premiums upon successful completion of a HUD certified housing counseling course.
Recently, she introduced the Free Credit Score Act, legislation to require consumer reporting agencies to include a credit score when providing consumers with a free annual credit report. In addition, Beatty authored the Jumpstart Housing Opportunities Utilizing Small Enterprises (HOUSE) Act, or Jumpstart HOUSE Act, which would reauthorize the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) for eight years and require state business development agencies to set aside the lesser of $2.5 million or 10 percent of unobligated SSBCI funds for small businesses to purchase, rehabilitate, or operate affordable housing units. She also played a major role, alongside other federal and local officials, in helping the City of Columbus win the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Smart City Challenge, a nationwide competition powered by a pledge of up to $40 million in federal funds to transform one mid-size city’s transportation network and make it safer, easier to use and more reliable.
Congresswoman Beatty is a committed and vocal supporter of the Congressional Black Caucus, concussion awareness and education legislation, and the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI), which seeks to increase the participation of women and minorities in all facets of the financial marketplace.
A sought after public speaker and the recipient of numerous awards, she was previously named one of Ebony Magazine’s 150 most powerful African-Americans in the United States.
Congresswoman Beatty is active in The Links, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Columbus Urban League, The American Heart Association—where she previously served on the board—and numerous other organizations.
Beatty received her Bachelor of Arts from Central State University, her Master of Science from Wright State University, and completed all requirements but her dissertation for a doctorate at the University of Cincinnati. In addition, she has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Ohio Dominican University and Central State University.
Congresswoman Beatty was a loving, devoted wife and partner to attorney Otto Beatty, Jr. until his death in 2021 and is a proud grandmother to Leah and Spencer, who lovingly call her “Grammy.”
Katrina Blasingame, Moms Clean Air Force SuperMom
Katrina Blasingame, is a Moms Clean Air Force SuperMom from Atlanta, Georgia. She is serves as a civic and community leader in multiple Atlanta community organizations. She is an advocate for clean air and protecting children’s health. Ms. Blasingame has actively engaged in speaking up on behalf of Moms’ campaigns for electric school buses and clean air.
She recently appeared as a SuperMom on the Today Show to share her experiences as the mother of a teenager with asthma.
Ms. Blasingame was born in Atlanta, attended Atlanta public schools and is a graduate of Georgia State University. After marrying in 1993 and rearing her children, the mother of four, has focused on helping others as a health and wellness coach.
Ohio Representative Paula Hicks-Hudson
Currently Ohio House District 44’s Representative, Paula Hicks-Hudson’s experience, education and training provided her with tools to address whatever challenges she encounters and be prepared for the places she goes. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College, a Certificate of Study from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, West Africa, a Master of Arts from Colorado State University, and a Juris Doctorate from The University of Iowa Collage of Law.
As an attorney for more than 35 years she has served the public Reginald Heber Smith Fellow for Toledo Legal Aid Society. She had the honor of being as an assistant prosecuting attorney, assistant public defender, Managing Attorney for the Ohio Attorney General’s office, Legislative Director to Toledo City Council, and Chief Legal Counsel to the Ohio of Budget and Management. She is a past director of the Lucas County Board of Elections. Further, she has taught legal courses at the University of Toledo Law School and Ohio Northern University Claude Pettit College of Law.
Rep. Hicks-Hudson’s service as an elected official has included Toledo City Council District 4 Representative and President of Council. She is the former Mayor of the City of Toledo; being the first African-American female to serve in that office. As a State Representative she has held the positions of Minority Whip of the Democratic Caucus and the 2nd Vice President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. Currently she serves on the Government Oversight, Agriculture and Conservation, and Finance Committees. She is a member of the Ballot Board, the Capital Square Advisory Board, and was appointed to the Attorney General’s Facial Recognition Task Force.
Her faith is a sustaining part of who she is. She is an organist at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Toledo, OH.
Arthur James MD, Obstetrician, Gynecologist and Pediatrician
Dr. Arthur R. James is a retired Obstetrician, Gynecologist, and Pediatrician who has been involved in the care of underserved populations for the entirety of his medical career. He has been the Medical Director of two different Neighborhood Health Centers (FQHC-sites), Medical Director of Bronson Methodist Hospital’s Women’s Care Clinic, and founding/Medical Director of Borgess Medical Center’s Women’s Health office. In each of these efforts, he has been instrumental in expanding services to indigent patients, patients using drugs, HIV positive pregnant patents, to teens as well as to women with private insurance. He is also the founder and former Medical Director of the Kalamazoo County Fetal and Infant Mortality Review team and, for many years, lead Kalamazoo County’s efforts to reduce infant mortality., former Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pediatrics at Michigan State’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Co-Chair of the Ohio Collaborative to Prevent Infant Mortality, and Senior Policy Advisor to the Ohio Department of Health (2011-2017).
He has also been a member of the Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, a former member of the Board of Directors for the National Healthy Start Association, former board member for the Centering Healthcare Institute, Inc., former Executive Director of The Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, former Senior Consultant to First Year Cleveland (a Cuyahoga County community-wide effort to decrease the infant mortality rate and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes), and former co-chair for the Center for Disease Control and March of Dimes Health Equity workgroup. He is currently, Evaluator for the Indianapolis Healthy Start Project, and a member of the March of Dimes Mom and Baby Action Network.
Dr. James has received numerous local and national awards for teaching and for his advocacy to achieve equity in birth outcomes. He is also a frequent national speaker on infant mortality, especially regarding the national racial disparity in birth outcomes.