Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur is seeking re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's Ninth Congressional District. The new Ninth District stretches along Ohio's Lake Erie coastline from Cleveland to Toledo and includes parts of five counties--Cuyahoga, Lorain, Erie, Ottawa and Lucas.
A Democrat, Congresswoman Kaptur is the senior woman member in the House, having served 15 terms. She is currently 13th in seniority among the 435 Members of the House and next year will rank first in seniority among Democrats on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
The daughter of a Polish-American, working-class family, Congresswoman Kaptur has mirrored the bootstrap nature of her district. Her family ran a small grocery and her mother also worked at Champion Spark Plug, where she helped organize the workers into an auto trade union.
Ms. Kaptur began her public career as an urban policy adviser to President Carter. She and her colleagues crafted numerous bills on housing and urban development, including the Community Reinvestment Act. In 1982, while she was pursuing a Ph.D. at MIT, she was recruited by local Democratic Party leaders to run against the incumbent Republican, whom she defeated in an upset that attracted national attention.
She currently serves on both the Appropriations Committee and the Budget Committee. She is the first woman to serve on Appropriations Defense subcommittee. She has used her memberships on the agriculture, housing and transportation subcommittees to secure vital federal investments for the Ninth District, focusing on jobs, economic growth, infrastructure and support for veterans and our military.
She has been an outspoken critic of the reckless policies of Wall Street banks that led to the national economic crisis in 2008.
She has been a vocal opponent of so-called "free trade" agreements that have shipped American jobs overseas. In 1993 she led the fight in the House against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and later against legislation to grant the People's Republic of China most favored nation trading status. She has introduced legislation to renegotiate unbalanced trade agreements to reflect the principle of fair trade that respects workers rights and protects the environment.
Congresswoman Kaptur has been a leader in the public-private partnership to build a vibrant alternative energy sector in northern Ohio. She secured the federal funding to build the largest solar field in Ohio at the 180th Fighter Wing base in Toledo, alternative energy enhancements at the Camp Perry National Guard base in Ottawa County, and a solar field to power the central pylon for the Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge over the Maumee River.
That span, which represents the largest bridge project in Ohio history, serves as a symbol for her pursuit of major infrastructure investments, which also include multi-modal transportation facilities along Ohio’s North Coast, renovation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. train station in Toledo, and dozens of highway, rail, air and water projects throughout Lucas, Ottawa, Erie and Lorain counties.
She has secured funding for quality of life initiatives such as Toledo’s renowned Farmers’ Market, development of the Maumee River Heritage Corporation, the Western Lake Erie Basin Partnership, the Ottawa River cleanup project, the Kent Branch Library computer center, expansion of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, agricultural income enhancement projects, and preservation of important community assets such as Gasholder House, a stop on the Underground Railroad in Oberlin.
She authored the first energy title in a U.S. farm bill and she pioneered the Senior Farmers Market Coupon program, which provides eligible seniors with coupons for fresh fruit, vegetables and foodstuff. She is also an ardent advocate of community gardening and urban agriculture.
A signal accomplishment: the National World War II Memorial in Washington,D.C.
Back in the mid-Eighties, a constituent who was rural mail carrier asked Congresswoman Kaptur at a local fish fry why there was no memorial to World War II. His name was Roger Durbin and he had fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Congresswoman Kaptur listened to his idea and introduced legislation to build a World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. That bill was the start of a 14-year legislative mission that culminated with Congresswoman Kaptur joining President George W. Bush to dedicate the memorial on May 29, 2004. The memorial has become one of the most popular sites in our nation’s capital, the ultimate destination for dozens of "Honor Flights," and a fitting tribute to the sacrifice and valor of America’s "greatest generation."
Indeed, she has always championed the cause of America’s veterans. She has secured funding for a new regional VA health care facility in Toledo as well as a a study by Case Western Reserve University of the mental health challenges that often afflict our warriors returning from combat.
Congresswoman Kaptur has been honored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars with their coveted Americanism Award. She is also the only woman ever to receive the American Prisoner of War "Barbed Wire" Award for her commitment to veterans.
Demonstrating her support for Middle East diplomacy, Congresswoman Kaptur organized efforts to monetize surplus agricultural commodities to support the peace process in Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. She remains dedicated to democratic institution-building throughout the world and has spearheaded private charitable efforts for people of developing nations from Ukraine to Vietnam.
A lifelong resident of Toledo, Congresswoman Kaptur is a member of Little Flower Roman Catholic Church and a graduate of St. Ursula Academy. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Arts in urban planning from the University of Michigan.