An experienced leader and dedicated public servant
Joyce Elliott is a lifelong pioneer for positive change. Born and raised in rural Arkansas, Joyce was only the second person of color to graduate from the newly integrated school after her older sister was the first. As a young woman, she committed to staying in the South to make change happen where she saw great need for it. Joyce earned an undergraduate degree from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and a graduate degree in English from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and began her career in public service as an educator. For thirty years, Joyce taught high school students in Arkansas public schools. She was elected to the Arkansas state House in 2000, and quickly earned a reputation as an outstanding leader. She served three terms and chaired the education committee. Joyce went on to win election to the Arkansas state Senate, where she serves today. She is an outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys traveling to our National Parks, hiking, dancing, canoeing, zip lining, and whitewater rafting. A proud mother and grandmother, she lives in Little Rock.
A proven champion for Arkansans
Joyce is a proven champion for Arkansans, and she has what it takes to lead in a time of crisis. After the 2008 economic crisis, she worked with the governor to pass legislation to support worker training programs, attract outside investment to Arkansas, and create thousands of jobs. Joyce has a comprehensive plan for Arkansas' long-term recovery from the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, and she is dedicated to expanding access to health care for all Arkansans. “We can’t go backward or pursue policies that would disrupt the hard fought-progress we’ve already achieved,” she has said. “There’s no reason for everyday Arkansans to pay the human and economic cost of this catastrophe.” Joyce is a pro-choice champion who understands that supporting working families means supporting women's access to reproductive care. “Respect women,” she has said. “Trust women to make difficult decisions.” She is a fearless fighter for Arkansas working families. “I've stood with working people and unions for decades, and they can tell you the power of numbers for securing good pay and good benefits,” Joyce has said. In Congress, she will fiercely advocate for policies that increase opportunity for all.
An opportunity to flip a seat from red to blue
Joyce is challenging Republican incumbent Congressman French Hill, an extremist whose dangerous agenda hurts the Central Arkansas families he was elected to serve. Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District has never before elected a woman or an African American representative to the House, but Joyce is poised to make history as the first. Deep-pocketed Republican special interests are sure to do everything they can to hold on to this seat, but Joyce has what it takes to fight back and win. Let’s show Joyce the full support of the EMILY’s List community and help elect this champion for Arkansas working families to Congress.