Speaker Tracy Maxwell Heard, Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives for the 130th General Assembly of Ohio, will offer a Call to Action.
About the Speaker
Tracy Maxwell Heard, the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives for the 130th General Assembly of Ohio, is dedicated to securing an adequate and equitable school funding formula for Ohio’s children, strengthening the state’s communities and local governments, and ensuring the political process is inclusive of Ohio’s diverse population.
For seven years, Leader Heard has represented the 26th District in the House, which includes eastern and southern parts of Ohio’s capital city - Columbus. She first made history when House Democrats elected her the first African American woman to be Majority Floor Leader in 2009; and only the second African American to hold that position since William L. Mallory, Sr.’s unrivaled 28-year tenure. Heard also served as the Democratic Whip from 2011 to 2013.
Under Heard’s leadership, and in concert with President Barack Obama, Governor Ted Strickland and Speaker Armond Budish, the 128th General Assembly began Ohio’s turn around from the Great Recession. By 2009, Ohio’s economy had climbed out of recession and was placed on the path of recovery. With the House Democratic Caucus, Heard continues to focus on securing a broad and all-encompassing economic recovery.
Heard has made criminal sentencing and collateral sanctions reform her flagship issue, securing passage of House Bill 86 in 2011, and Senate Bill 337 in 2012. The passage of those two bills made Ohio a national leader in criminal justice issues, and provided a model of bipartisan cooperation for the General Assembly and beyond.
Leader Heard holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Akron in communications. She parlayed her educational background into becoming an on-air news anchor for an ABC news affiliate less than six months after graduation. In 1996, Heard plied her trade for the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign in Ohio; which then led to her service as a legislative staffer in the Ohio Senate. In 1998, she started her own consulting business, Millennium Solutions, Inc. Afterward, she would serve as the executive director of the Livingston Avenue Collaborative for Community Development.
The Democratic Leader serves on numerous community and civic boards, and is a member of the deaconess board of Smyrna Missionary Baptist Church.
Leader Heard is the proud wife of Howard D. Heard, and daughter of Annie L. Maxwell and the late Robert S. Maxwell, Jr.
Her life philosophy is, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33