Representative Deborah Berry is a native of Waterloo, Iowa. She holds a B.A. in Public Administration Communications from Upper Iowa University.
In 2000, when a former 4th Ward Waterloo City Council member approached her to succeed him, an initially hesitant Berry took on the challenge and began her political career. This decision ultimately led her to win a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives, where Berry is serving her sixth term.
One of Berry's early accomplishments was legislation that enshrined Iowa as one of just seven states to codify funding for afterschool programs. Berry's other legislative accomplishments /pursuits include legislation to keep children safe from online predators, as part of Iowa's new sex offender law, keeping sexual predators from nursing care facilities, taking weapons from convicted domestic abusers, and continued funding for Iowa's community colleges.
Most recently, Berry sought accountability of Iowa's criminal justice system to address disproportionately high incarceration rates for African-Americans.
Berry has championed education reform, funding for health and human services, including Medicaid, and chooses to focus on the needs of her constituents instead of divisive social issues.
Berry is Ranking Member of the International Relations Committee, where she was among a tri-state delegation which traveled to Canada and Taiwan to better understand its agricultural trade relationship with Iowa and the United States. Berry also serves on the Environmental Protection, Public Safety and Labor committees.
She is a member of me of the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL); Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL), the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL); and the National Black Conference of State Legislators, where she holds a Council-at-Large position.
In addition to her numerous honors for her public service, Berry's most recent was the Gold Star Award from the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies' Association in 2013.
Berry, who has a background in broadcasting, spent more than a decade at public radio station KBBG-FM, where she held the position of Assistant Development Director and later Corporate Fundraising Director. She has a son, Roshawn, a daughter- in-law, Carrie, and a granddaughter, Nia Rose.