2013 1st Extraordinary Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Simmons (13th), Horhn

Senate Concurrent Resolution 503


     WHEREAS, Charlie Horhn, District Director for United States Congressman Bennie G. Thompson of the Second Congressional District of Mississippi, has announced his retirement after 20 years of achievement and enormous civic energy in the public sector; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Horhn is best known for his ability to organize, network and provide mediation and counseling advice throughout the community.  As District Director for Congressman Thompson, Mr. Horhn has provided staff assistance and constituent's oversight for 23 counties; and

     WHEREAS, the husband and father of five began his life in rural Holmes County on July 9, 1934.  Charlie, the sixth of 10 children born to the union of Tommie and Emma Lee Horhn, grew up, like many black Mississippians, during the depression era, understanding the value of hard work, from cotton chopping to pulpwood hauling.  A major influence on his early development was his sister, Fannie, a school teacher, who instilled in him a desire for lifelong education.  Married at a young age to the former Willistene Levy, Horhn traveled to Jackson seeking a better way of life as a factory worker.  This proved to be a life-changing move in that it set the stage for a lifetime of union organizing, voter education and registration, and other grassroots organizing; and

     WHEREAS, starting out as a metal polisher at Presto Manufacturing Company, Charlie's natural leadership skills eventually catapulted him to the Office of Local Union President.  He became an expert in union arbitration and negotiation and sat at the bargaining table representing workers for numerous manufacturers.  Horhn became involved in voter education/registration activities being carried out by the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI).  After APRI established a presence in Mississippi, Charlie was soon elected President of the APRI serving Central Mississippi; eventually he would assume the Office of President of APRI's State Chapter.  APRI in Mississippi has been recognized nationwide for its pivotal role in determining the outcome of elections with grassroots candidates.  A lot of that credit goes to Charlie whose political savvy is well known throughout the state; and

     WHEREAS, from 1990-1993, Charlie Horhn was selected for the position of Assistant to the President of the Mississippi AFL-CIO and Director of its Political Action Committee, which afforded him a statewide vantage point for improving employee and labor relations.  There he impacted legislation, organized worker conferences, and helped build local membership.  Charlie was appointed IBEW Delegate to the National AFL-CIO Convention from 1975 to 1986 and was elected as a delegate to each IBEW Convention and Mississippi AFL-CIO Convention from 1970 to 1986.  Prior to that, Mr. Horhn coordinated a displaced worker program for the Department of Health and Human Services and later served as Special Assistant to the Medicaid Division Director; and

     WHEREAS, the list of boards Charlie has served on is vast.  It includes the Board of Directors, Community Improvement Corporation, for WLBT Television Station in 1978.  He was appointed by Governor Allain to serve on the State Council for Vocational Education in 1985; and served on the Board of Directors, Hinds County Human Resources Agency, and the United Way from 1975 to 1981.  He served on the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee from 1974 to the present day; and

     WHEREAS, in the spring of 1993 Charlie embarked on another career.  He became Campaign Manager for then Hinds County Supervisor Bennie Thompson, who was making a bid to become the second African-American in modern times to be elected to the United States Congress from Mississippi.  He was a veteran of numerous political campaigns, including the successful election of his son John Horhn to the Mississippi Senate.  With Charlie Horhn's help, Supervisor Thompson was elected Congressman Thompson and Charlie was tapped to head-up six field offices for the District, beginning yet another set of challenges for the son of sharecroppers from Holmes County; and

     WHEREAS, when Charlie transferred his grassroots talents to the public sector, a gesture of compassion and brotherhood, the Mississippi Chapter of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute saluted their comrade for service to the organization which assured him a place among the people who have made a difference in Mississippi proclaiming as A. Phillip Randolph said "A community is democratic only when the humblest and weakest can enjoy the highest social, civil, and economic rights that the biggest and most powerful possess"; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we commend this record of achievement and legacy of leadership and dedication by a wonderful example for public servants:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby recognize the civic leadership and public service of Charlie Horhn on the occasion of his retirement as District Director for United States Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, and extend our best wishes to Charlie and his family on this auspicious occasion.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Charlie Horhn at his special retirement celebration on June 1, 2013, transmitted to Congressman Bennie Thompson and made available to the Capitol Press Corps.