Representative Deborah “Deb” Berry is a native of Waterloo Iowa. She attended Waterloo Community Schools. She received her B.A. from Upper Iowa University and the University of Northern Iowa graduate program. IN 2000, she was first elected to the Waterloo City Council and is now serving a sixth term in the Iowa House of Representatives.
As an advocate for children, one of Representative Berry’s early accomplishments includes legislation that led Iowa to become only one of seven states to codify funding for afterschool programs for Iowa’s children. She led the charge in introducing legislation to keep children safe from online predators, as part of Iowa’s new sex offender law. She floor managed a bill that removed weapons from the homes of convicted domestic abusers, and supported funding for community colleges who contribute greatly to growing and training Iowa’s workforce.
As an advocate for seniors, Rep. Berry recently introduced legislation to keep violent sexual predators out of long-term care facilities and legislation to keep seniors in our state safe from abuse and neglect. As an advocate for the underrepresented, she has worked to address the high incarceration rate of African-Americans in Iowa prisons and has opposed legislation preventing a greater proliferation of guns in the hands of minors and off Iowa’s streets.
Rep. Berry also works for the interests of middle-class families and has supported legislation benefiting small business. She works hard for education reform that would benefit Iowa’s children, to preserve the funding for health and human services, including Medicaid, and to keep the focus on the needs of the people of Iowa rather than on divisive social issues.
Her legislative committee assignments include Ranking Member of International Relations, Public Safety, Local Government, and Veterans Affairs. Some of her national activities include membership in the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative (NOBEL) Women; the Women Legislative Lobby/Women’s Action for New Direction, WiLL/WAND; the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL); and the National Black Conference of State Legislators (NBCSL), to name but a few. In addition, she is the recipient of several local, state and national awards.
For more than 10 years, Rep. Berry was employed at KBBG-FM, beginning her broadcasting career on air, promoted to Assistant Development Director and serving as Corporate Fundraising Director. She has one son Roshawn (Carrie) and one granddaughter Nia Rose.
House District 62 includes Waterloo.