|Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus|
January 3, 2021
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Ohio's 3rd district
January 3, 2013
|Member of the Ohio House of Representatives|
from the 27th district
May 31, 1999 - December 31, 2008
|Otto Beatty Jr.|
|W. Carlton Weddington|
Joyce Marie Birdsong
March 12, 1951
Dayton, Ohio, U.S.
(m. 1970; div. 1990)
|Education||Central State University (BA)|
Wright State University (MS)
Joyce Marie Beatty (; née Birdsong, March 12, 1951) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 3rd congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously was the Senior Vice-President for Outreach and Engagement at Ohio State University. Beatty was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1999 to 2008, representing the 27th district; during her tenure, she served for a time as minority leader. Her husband is Otto Beatty Jr., who is also a former Ohio State Representative.
In 2012, she ran for the newly redrawn Ohio's 3rd congressional district, based in the City of Columbus, and won the Democratic primary by defeating former U.S. Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy. Beatty went on to win the general election against Republican Chris Long.
Beatty was born in Dayton, Ohio. She has a B.A. in speech from Central State University, an M.S. in counseling psychology from Wright State University in 1975, and has studied at the doctoral level at the University of Cincinnati. Beatty served as the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Director responsible for administering the county's health levy and area public nursing homes, including Stillwater Nursing Home. In 2003, she received an honorary doctorate from the Ohio Dominican University. Beatty served as a delegate for John Kerry on the Ohio delegation to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Beatty is married to attorney and former State Representative Otto Beatty Jr. She has been a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association. She served on the Columbus American Heart Association Board, Ohio Democratic Committee, Women's Fund, NAACP, and Delta Sigma Theta sorority. In addition, she was a legislative chair of The Links and was a chairwoman of the Columbus Urban League Board. She won the 2002 YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, the Ohio Health Speaking of Women Health Award, NAACP Freedom Award, Woman of Courage Award, and the Urban League Leadership Recognition Award.
In 1999, longtime State Representative Otto Beatty Jr. of Ohio's 21st House district decided to resign early to begin an opportunity in the private sector. His wife, Joyce Beatty, was appointed to his seat. She won a full term in 2000 with 82% of the vote. After redistricting, she decided to run in the newly redrawn Ohio's 27th House district and won re-election to a second term in 2002 with 82% of the vote. In 2004, she won re-election to a third term unopposed. In 2006, she won re-election to a fourth term with 87% of the vote.Term limits kept Beatty from seeking another term in 2008, but her leadership helped Democrats to obtain the majority in the 128th Ohio General Assembly.
After Chris Redfern left to become chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, Beatty was named Minority Leader. She served in that capacity for the entire Ohio 127th General Assembly. She was the first female Democratic House Leader in Ohio history.
On March 6, 2012, Beatty defeated former Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy, Columbus city councilwoman Priscilla Tyson, and state representative Ted Celeste 38%-35%-15%-12% to win the Ohio 3rd congressional district Democratic Primary. Beatty received early support from the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, and various other Central Ohio political figures, including Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard and former Rep. W. Carlton Weddington.
Between 2013 and 2020, 5 of the 88 bills that Beatty sponsored became law, all wrapped into broader bills. In 2020, she noted she had "helped to secure" local funding for the revitalization of parts of Dayton and research at Ohio State.
Starting in late 2019 and into early 2020, she was campaigning for her fifth term as the representative of Ohio's 3rd congressional district. She faced her first primary challenge since she was elected in 2012, with the Columbus Dispatch writing that the "winner of the Democratic primary almost certainly will go to Washington representing the heavily Democratic district." At the end of 2019, it was reported she had $1.7 million in her campaign account. In February 2020, she was criticized by opposition for accepting campaign contributions from financial services PACs while also overseeing the House Financial Services Committee. According to FollowTheMoney.org, at the time, Beatty had raised a total of $5.1 million as a candidate for the US and Ohio House, of which $1.5 million was from the finance, insurance and real estate industries. Beatty in defense argued she had a "record of grilling bank executives who come before her committee and that much of the money from those PACs came from lower-level employees," and that while Congress needed campaign finance reform, the PAC contributions were "legal under current rules."
In March 2020, The Intercept reported that Beatty and her husband sold one of their Columbus properties in 2013 "to a developer while Otto Beatty sat on the zoning board that approved the sale," leading to accusations of gentrification and "money in politics" by Beatty's political opposition. Beatty called the criticism a "distortion" of her husband's record. Otto Beatty, in an interview with The Dispatch, said his wife had nothing to do with the property's pricing - it had been sold when Otto Beatty was on the Downtown Commission, which "reviewed a request to demolish the existing structures on the property and replace them with a high-rise apartment building." Arguing at the time in favor of demolition and redevelopment, Otto Beatty noted he did not take part in the final vote.
On April 28, 2020, Joyce Beatty won the Democratic Party primary for Ohio's third congressional district seat. She defeated challenger Morgan Harper, a self-described progressive who had been backed by the Sunrise Movement, a group that backed U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, by a margin of 68% of the vote share to Harper's 32%. Beatty faces Republican Party challenger Mark Richardson in November 2020.
On June 21, 2013, the National Journal published an article, "Nearly One in Five Members of Congress Gets Paid Twice". It was reported that Beatty's state pension of $253,323 is the highest, and, combined with her congressional salary, is greater than President Obama's total government compensation.
Beatty voted in favor of a defense bill which included $1.3 billion for fencing at the US-Mexico border.
At one point, Beatty opposed legalizing cannabis for recreational use. However, in December 2020, she voted for the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884), which would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, provide a pathway for expungements and resentencing for marijuana convictions, and create a community reinvestment fund to help create an equitable cannabis industry.
She opposes decreasing corporate taxes to support economic growth.
Beatty supported Obamacare and opposed the repeal of it. In 2019, she introduced the End Price Gouging For Insulin Act bill, which would lower insulin prices nationwide. Beatty's father was a diabetic and her husband is diabetic. Beatty has supported efforts in Ohio by Hearcel Craig and Beth Liston to also regulate insulin prices. In 2019 she supported "some of" the "health-care fixes that focus on smaller changes to Obamacare rather than a complete overhaul of the system." In March 2020, she voted with a majority of US representatives in favor of a $8.3 billion bill to combat COVID-19.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 3rd congressional district
| Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus|
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority