CLEVELAND HIGHLANDS, HIGHLANDS OF CLEVELAND, OHIO – Barbara Boyd, a former Cleveland Heights City Council member, and state representative. Who served multiple terms, died Saturday at 80, according to reports.
According to a news release, Boyd died while surrounded by family members after suffering from health issues for several years. Cleveland Urban News was the first to report her death.
Boyd, A former public school teacher involved in politics in the 1970s. When she worked on President Jimmy Carter’s campaign. Her Democrat political career began in 1983 when she became the first Black person elected to Cleveland Heights City Council. She was also the mayor.
Devastated to see this. Rep. Barbara Boyd was a tremendous advocate for public health and wellbeing in Ohio. She was the Health Committee chair when I was first getting active in healthcare advocacy. Her guidance and approval meant so much to me.https://t.co/YwchVAwven
— Gabriel Mann (@OhioGabe) November 7, 2022
She elect to the Ohio Statehouse for the first two terms in 1993 as a state representative for the Ninth District. Due to term limits, She resigns after the 2000 election. But she is re-elected in 2006 and serve the state until 2014. Janine Boyd, her daughter, gets elect to replace her and will serve until April 2022.
Boyd’s health issues began in 2010 when he suffered from collapsed vertebrae that necessitated surgery. Boyd’s recovery stifles by a fall outside her home in November 2012, which aggravated an existing hernia.
Her health issues caused her to miss several state legislature voting sessions, but she continued to work from home with constituents and legislative colleagues.
In 2013, Boyd stated, “You serve a greater purpose than simply being on the House floor.” “You’re there to teach. You’re there to help your constituents.”
Boyd also worked for the Department of Job and Family Services in Ohio. The Children’s Defense Fund in addition to her political work. She was an active member of Cleveland’s Saint Andrews Episcopal Church and a founder of Ohio and Greater Cleveland Black Women’s Political Action Committee PAC).
“Practically every Democratic politician of substance sought her advice and support, and as our state legislator, she was a tenacious fixture advocate for her constituents,” Mary Rice, a constituent, said PAC member and East Cleveland Board of Education member.
According to Elaine Gohlstin, President of the Black Women’s PAC, Boyd “a trailblazer for Black and other women and will be miss sorely.”
What a loss, such a champion for ordinary people, longtime Ohio Rep. Barbara Boyd dies at the age of 80 https://t.co/VQRsIy2xdG
— John Corlett (@CommunitySolsED) November 7, 2022
Caledonia Park in Cleveland Heights is renamed Barbara Boyd Park in July 2018. Boyd was instrumental in getting Cleveland Heights has signed a 99-year lease on the abandoned parcels of land. Including picnic shelters, a ball field, and a playground.
“We love her and will certainly miss her, and she taught us a lot,” said Una H.R. Keenon, president of the East Cleveland School Board and a former East Cleveland judge.
Democratic former state Rep. Barbara Boyd also was mayor of Cleveland Heights, after becoming the first Black person to be elected there. Her daughter Janine Boyd followed in her footsteps, and left the Ohio House in April for a position with HHS. https://t.co/t4kmtAOTn0
— Karen Kasler (@karenkasler) November 7, 2022
Boyd leaves behind her husband Robert Boyd, daughter Janine, a grandchild, as well as a number of other family members, friends, and associates.