State Rep. Vanessa Summers
State Representative Vanessa J. Summers began serving in the Indiana House of Representatives in 1991 and has worked to improve the infant mortality rate in Indiana, support children in the foster care system, and refine the prisoner re-entry program. In February of 2012, she became the first female as well as first African American to become Indiana House Democratic Caucus Chair.
Summers currently serves as the ranking minority member of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. She is also a member of the Public Policy Committee.
Summers has worked for The ARC of Indiana, a statewide advocacy group for people with intellectual disabilities and their families; and the Julian Center shelter, a domestic violence center. She is also the Public Policy Associate for the Indiana Minority Health Coalition.
Summers graduated from St. Mary’s Academy for Girls, attended IUPUI, and received an associate degree from the Indiana College of Mortuary Science in 1981. She was formerly in the funerary business.
She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; the NAACP; and Light of the World Christian Church. Summers is the daughter of the late State Representative Joseph W. Summers and has one son and one granddaughter.
Representative Vanessa Summers is the author of legislation designed to heighten awareness of the risks posed by diabetes and improve educational efforts to combat the disease. Summers has also authored laws that increased access to health care and services for autistic individuals.
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