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Barbara-Rose Collins

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 13th and 15th district
In office
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by George W. Crockett, Jr.
Succeeded by Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Born April 13, 1939 (1939-04-13) (age 70)
Detroit, Michigan
Political party Democratic

Barbara-Rose Collins (born April 13, 1939) is a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Collins was born in Detroit, Michigan, graduated from the public schools there and attended Wayne State University as an Anthropology Major. She was a member of the Detroit Region I public school board, 1971–1973; a member of the Michigan State House of Representatives, from the 21st District, 1975–1981; and a member of the Detroit City Council, 1982–1991.

In 1988, she lost a primary election to the incumbent U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district, George W. Crockett, Jr.. Crockett did not run in the 1990 election and Collins was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 13th District to the United States House of Representatives for the 102nd and to the two succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1991, to January 3, 1997. After redistricting due to the 1990 census, Collins represented Michigan's 15th District in the 103rd and 104th Congresses. Controversy unsettled her tenure in Congress, which ultimately caused her to lose her seat.

The U.S. Justice Department and the House Ethics Committee investigated allegations that she had misused her office, campaign and scholarship funds. These claims were never substantiated and have amounted to nothing more than the product of speculation and rumors. She also caused considerable controversy after she was accused of firing a homosexual aide because she was afraid that he might carry AIDS and not because of his slovenly behavior and consistent tardiness. This is claim is comical because Collins has surrounded herself with many other gays on her staff and her openly gay family members. The aide filed a grievance, and won back pay and reimbursement of legal expenses from Collins. As a result, in 1996, Collins lost in the primary election to an old friend, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who was subsequently elected to the seat in Congress.

Collins was again elected to the Detroit city council in 2001 and 2005. Her current term expires in 2009.

In March 2009, Collins led a rousing yet bizarre, rendition of the song "Onward Christian Soldiers" at a meeting of the Detroit City Council after discussion at the council meeting about the pending renovation of Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit. Collins also claimed Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson wanted to take Cobo Hall from Detroit along with some other city assets. In response, Mr. Patterson suggested that the only thing he wanted was Collins' tiara that she once wore to a council meeting to celebrate her birthday. She stated that she wore the tiara only because she was so thrilled to see another birthday at her advanced age.

In May 2009, Collins announced that she'd not seek reelection to the city council, citing her age as the reason. A contributing factor may have been the numerous surgeries, shoulder replacement, and back problems Collins has experienced over the last year.[1]


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
George W. Crockett, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 13th congressional district

Succeeded by
Bill Ford
Preceded by
Bill Ford
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

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