- Democratic Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Urban League, and the NAACP
- Supports race-based affirmative action in public-sector employment and college admissions
See also: Democratic Party Congressional Black Caucus
National Urban League NAACP
Joyce Beatty was born on March 12, 1950 in Dayton, Ohio. She earned a BA in speech from Central State University in 1972, and an MS in counseling psychology from Wright State University in 1974. She also pursued some doctoral-level studies at the University of Cincinnati. In her post-college years, Beatty worked as the director of a rehabilitation center from 1970-74, a professor at Sinclair Community College from 1974-83, and the executive director of Montgomery County (Ohio) Human Services from 1983-93. Since 1992 she has been the president of Joyce Beatty & Associates Inc., a consulting/training company.
Beatty first became politically active in 1996 when she served as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention, a role she also filled at the 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 Conventions.
In 1999 Beatty was appointed to succeed her husband, State Representative Otto Beatty Jr., who was retiring from the 21st House District seat he had long held in the Ohio state legislature. The following year, Mrs. Beatty captured 82% of the vote in the general election and won a full term in the State House of Representatives. In 2002 she ran for Ohio's newly redrawn 27th House District seat and again won overwhelmingly—a feat she would repeat twice more, in 2004 and 2006. When term limits prevented Beatty from running yet again in 2008, she spent the next three years (2008-11) as senior vice president of Ohio State University's (OSU) outreach-and-engagement office, a job that paid her a $320,000 salary, plus benefits. Because Ohio, at that time, used the three highest years of salary as the basis for calculating the pension payouts of its public-sector employees, Beatty, after leaving her job at OSU, began earning a state pension of $253,323 annually in 2012.
Also in 2012, Beatty ran successfully for Ohio's Third Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she continues to serve. Between her congressional salary and her Ohio state pension, Beatty currently earns more than $425,000 per year.
In November 2014, Beatty was outraged by a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury's decision not to prosecute a local white police officer who, just over three months earlier, had shot and killed an 18-year-old black male named Michael Brown in an altercation that set off a massive wave of nationwide protests denouncing an alleged epidemic of police brutality against African Americans. (For details of that case, click here.) Though the grand jury's decision was based on overwhelming ballistic, eyewitness, and forensic evidence indicating that Brown in fact had assaulted the officer and had tried to steal his gun just prior to the fatal shooting, Beatty nevertheless depicted him as a young man who had been preparing “to start technical college,” “hoped to start his own business,” and “strove to set an example for his younger siblings.” “Instead,” the congresswoman lamented, “another loss. Michael Brown fell victim to a criminal-justice system that too often fails people of color.”
A longtime member of both the National Urban League and the NAACP, Beatty supports race-based affirmative action in public-sector employment and college admissions. During her tenure in Congress, she has voted:
- against a bill that sought to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases where the procedure was necessary to save the mother's life, or where the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest (2013);
- against two separate bills designed to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds for abortion services, except in cases of rape or incest (2014 & 2015);
- in favor of establishing a framework for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba (2013);
- against a bill requiring an income-verification system to be put in place before any additional taxpayer funds could be given to people receiving (possibly unmerited) healthcare subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) (2013);
- against an amendment requiring that all changes to the Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect (2013);
- against permitting federal agencies to place senior officials who are under serious investigation, on unpaid, rather than paid, leave (2013);
- against a bill requiring the termination of employment for seriously tax-delinquent federal workers (2013);
- against a bill requiring the Obama Administration to get approval from Congress before implementing a carbon tax (2013);
- against a bill authorizing states to require welfare-program beneficiaries to work, or at least to actively seek employment (2013);
- against the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, which aimed to eliminate the federal barriers that blocked offshore drilling by U.S. oil companies (2013);
- against two separate bills designed to prevent the funding and implementation of President Obama's recently issued executive orders conferring administrative amnesty to millions of illegal aliens residing in the United States (2013 & 2014); and
- against a bill prohibiting the President from unilaterally exempting, without Congressional approval, categories of illegal immigrants from legally authorized deportation proceedings (2014).
Beatty is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. For additional information about her voting record on an array of key issues, click here.