Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, of Polish-American heritage with humble, working class roots, mirrors the bootstrap nature of her district. Her family operated a small grocery where her mother worked after serving on the original organizing committee of an auto trade union at the Champion Spark Plug Company. Congresswoman Kaptur became the first member of her family to attend college, receiving a scholarship for her undergraduate work. Trained as a city and regional planner, she practiced 15 years in Toledo and throughout the country. Appointed as an urban advisor to the Carter White House, she helped maneuver 17 housing and neighborhood revitalization bills through the Congress during those years. Subsequently, while pursuing a doctorate in urban planning and development finance at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the local Democratic Party recruited her to run for the U.S. House seat in 1982. Kaptur had been a well-known party activist and volunteer since age 13. Although she was outspent by a 3-to-1 margin, she parlayed her deep roots in the blue-collar neighborhoods of Toledo and the rural areas of the district to pull the national upset of 1982. Congress Congresswoman Kaptur fought vigorously to win a seat on the House Appropriations Committee . She has risen in seniority and now serves as the senior Democratic woman on the committee. She has secured appointments to three important subcommittees: Agriculture, the leading industry in her state; Transportation/Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and Defense. Congresswoman Kaptur was also appointed by party leadership to serve on the prestigious House Budget Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for the 112th Congress. Kaptur is the first Democratic woman to serve on the Defense subcommittee. During her legislative career, she has also served on the banking and veterans affairs committees. Congresswoman Kaptur has focused strong efforts on rebuilding the economic might of her district such as improvements in bridge, road, rail and port facilities, including the New Maumee River Crossing - the largest bridge project in Ohio’s history; expansion of Toledo’s Farmers’ Market; development of the Maumee River Heritage Corridor between Ohio and Indiana, which includes passage of legislation and funds to acquire the Fallen Timbers battlefield site as a national affiliate of the U.S. Park Service; clean-up of the waterways adjacent to Lake Erie; development of initiatives to enhance the earnings potential of Northwest Ohio crops; shipping of federal cargos on the Great Lakes; acquisition of wildlife refuges and shoreline recreation; and expansion of university-related research.