August 21st, 2008
06:14 PM ET

A Woman of Conviction

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/21/art.stephanietubbsjones.jpg width=292 height=320]

Rep. José E. Serrano
(D) New York

Stephanie Tubbs Jones was a dear friend of mine and a great leader whose untimely passing came as a great shock.

When I first met her, I had no idea the depth and breadth of her accomplishments. As I learned more, it seemed like she had been the first black woman to achieve everything in Ohio. And she deserved to have been first at everything—she was truly a first-class leader but also down-to-earth. Often you meet people in higher office who have achieved a great deal but are somewhat remote and unapproachable. Stephanie was the complete opposite. Anyone could speak to her about anything and feel that they were truly being listened to and understood. She was, beyond doubt, one of the most kind and compassionate people you could ever meet.

Recently I was deeply impressed with her staunch support for Hillary Clinton in her presidential bid. Stephanie’s support went beyond the political; she truly believed in Hillary and what she represented to women of this country (of any color). And Stephanie was a fabulous advocate for Hillary wherever she was. She would build a case for supporting Hillary that few could argue with. She was the best surrogate a candidate could have.

Finally, her position in the House as Chair of the House Committee on Standards and Conduct (Ethics) speaks volumes to the regard we all had for her. This is the job that no one wants, but that only few can successfully take on. It means that you are regarded by your colleagues as ethically beyond reproach, competent and above all fair. She handled herself with aplomb and confidence and won more respect for her work in this most difficult position.

She did all these things while also displaying a great sense of humor.

Stephanie was a great woman, a great friend and a great leader. She will be missed but not soon forgotten.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Stephanie Tubbs Jones • T1
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Lana - Ohio

    Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ death saddens me a way that is indescribable. She was a woman who stood strong by her beliefs and inspired women everywhere. I had never met Mrs. Tubbs Jones but somehow I feel like I have. Her presence in Ohio and Cuyahoga County had long watched over Ohio and her achievements have affected and touched my life and lives of Ohioans alike. Congresswoman Tubbs Jones was someone who Ohioans are proud to have known and to have had representing them. Her death is indeed a great loss to the people of the United States, the State of Ohio, Cuyahoga County and the 11th Congressional District. She will be someone that will be greatly missed.

    August 22, 2008 at 9:20 am |
  2. dj

    I cant belive congrres women get just a snapshot coverage she deserves more

    August 22, 2008 at 1:37 am |
  3. Tish,NC

    God Bless You, Congress Woman Jones! May your spirit continue to soar! ;o)

    August 21, 2008 at 10:41 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    Its sad that we lost this amazing Congresswoman at such a young age. There don't seem to be many like her and her death is a loss for us all as a country. Its decent people like her that make you proud of your government. My condolences go out to her family. She will definitely be missed.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  5. Holly, CA

    I hadn't heard that she passed away. Yesterday both CNN and Fox reported that she had died, however a family friend called the networks and said she was still alive, although in ICU. Has she passed away since then?

    August 21, 2008 at 9:05 pm |