Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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Deborah Berry

Deborah Berry House District 62

Waterloo

Address:

208 Greenbrier Rd

Waterloo, IA 50703

Phone: 319-233-9934

Website: http://www.repdeborahberry.com

Email: deborah.berry@legis.state.ia.us

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Biography

Representative Deborah Berry is a native of Waterloo, Iowa. She is a product of the Waterloo Community Schools public education system and holds a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of Northern Iowa.

In 2000, Rep. Berry began her political career as 4th Ward Waterloo City Council member. Two years later, she was elected to the newly opened House District 22 seat, now House District 62. Rep. Berry is serving a seventh term.

One of Rep. Berry’s early accomplishments was legislation that enshrined Iowa as one of just seven states to codify funding for afterschool programs. Berry’s other legislative accomplishments/pursuits include legislation to keep children safe from online predators, as part of Iowa’s new sex offender law, keeping sexual predators from nursing care facilities, taking weapons from convicted domestic abusers. She has been a strong advocate for funding for higher education and continued funding for Iowa’s community colleges. Most recently, Rep. Berry sought accountability of Iowa’s criminal justice system to address disproportionately high incarceration rates for African-Americans. Rep. Berry has championed education reform, funding for health and human services, including Medicaid, and chooses to focus on the needs of her constituency in a bipartisan way.

Rep. Berry has national and international stature. She is Ranking Member of the International Relations Committee, where she was among a tri-state delegation that traveled to Canada, Nigeria, Turkey, and Taiwan to better understand its agricultural trade and cultural relationships between Iowa and the United States. Rep. Berry’s committee assignments for the 86th General Assembly include: International Relations, Ranking Member, Ethics, Administration and Rules, State Government, Judiciary and Administration and Regulations Appropriations. Over the years other committee assignments include: Public Safety (10 years), Labor and Business Relations, Administration and Rules, Government Oversight (six years), Veterans Affairs, Human Resources, Rebuild Iowa, Commerce, Health and Human Services Appropriations, full Appropriations, Judiciary, Education, and Local Government. National membership affiliations include National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women, Council of State Government Midwest Canada Relations, National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), National Black Conference of State Legislators (NBCSL) and State Director of Women Legislative Lobby (WiLL).

In addition to her numerous honors for her public service, in 2014, Rep. Berry’s was inducted into the Iowa African American Hall of Fame. In 2013, she received the Gold Star Award from the Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association.

Rep. Berry, who has a background in broadcasting, spent more than a decade at public radio station KBBG-FM, where she held the position of Assistant Development Director and later Corporate Fundraising Director.

Her hobbies include public speaking, cooking, critiquing featured films, and traveling. She has one son, Roshawn (wife Carrie) and a granddaughter, Nia Rose.

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