Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement:
This is an enormously solemn day for Members of Congress, the Congressional Black Caucus family, Ohio residents and the world. Chairwoman Tubbs Jones was undoubtedly a true steward of the people. She dedicated her life to ensure that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was afforded to every American. Her command of the law was only matched by her boundless sense of integrity.
Tubbs Jones was the first African American woman to represent Ohio in Congress. She was the first black woman to sit on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and served as chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee.
Along the way, she championed wealth building and economic justice, access to health care and quality education, ex-offender reentry programs and voting rights.
In the wake of problems at the polls in Ohio's 2004 presidential election, she mounted a challenge to the state's 20 electoral votes. She later introduced the "Count Every Vote Act" to fix the widespread voting irregularities that occurred nationwide during the 2004 election.
Her career as a public servant was characterized by historic firsts. Prior to her election to Congress in 1996, she served as the first black and the first female Cuyahoga County, Ohio prosecutor. She was the first African American woman to sit on the Common Pleas bench and was a Municipal Court Judge in Cleveland.
She caught a lot of flak for her role as a "top-tier cheerleader" for Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential run. But she took the hits and kept on keeping on.
She was scheduled to travel to Denver on Sunday to attend the Democratic National Convention as a superdelegate. Instead, this black-leather-pants-wearing self-described "bad sister" with an infectious smile will be missed.
Her son Mervyn L. Jones II, entire family and friends will be in our thoughts and prayers. You can post your condolences here.