2015 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: The Entire Membership

House Resolution 80


     WHEREAS, the distinguished gentleman from Jackson, Mississippi, Representative James "Jim" Evans, an honored and cherished member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, completed 24 years of consecutive service as a member of the House of Representatives from District 70, representing Hinds County with a precocious and tenacious approach to legislative policy and leadership and an inherent understanding of procedural protocol; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Evans, who was born on October 13, 1950, grew up in Newton, Mississippi, and upon the completion of his formal education attended South Carolina State College, where his prolific athleticism made him a standout performer as a linebacker on the Bulldogs' Football Team and a prized prospect for the professional football league, which afforded him the privilege of being drafted by the New York Giants as the first pick of the 14th Round and 339th overall selection in the 1972 NFL Draft; and

     WHEREAS, after a brief stint under the canopy of the lights and cameras of professional football arenas, Jim returned to collegiate life as a student of the Reformed Theological Seminary upon accepting his calling to the Ecclesiastical ministry of preaching God's gospel, and undertaking additional studies at Mercy College before acquiring his Doctor of Divinity from A.P. Clay Bible College; and

     WHEREAS, called to a life of service, whether through the teaching of the gospel or as an educator, Representative Evans' dogged determination to be the guardian of the working man's interests propelled his desire to effectuate meaningful change that would benefit the entire citizenry of the State of Mississippi, thus prompting the announcement of his candidacy for the Mississippi Legislature and his subsequent election to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1991, which was affirmed with his taking the oath of office at the commencement of the 1992 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature; and

     WHEREAS, a gentleman of towering physical stature, Representative Evans soon gained political stature as a prominent statesman by rising from freshman lawmaker to Vice Chairman of the House Constitution Committee in 1999, to his subsequent appointment as Chairman of that committee in 2006, and to the Vice Chairmanship position of the House Executive Contingent Fund Committee, which he currently holds; and

     WHEREAS, during his tenure in the House, Chairman Evans, who also dons the professional hat as a sports agent/promoter, has maintained an unwavering position in his advocacy of workers' rights, promotion of organized labor unions, and eradicating the disparagement in wages between individuals of the opposite races and gender performing the same work tasks; and

     WHEREAS, over the course of his storied legislative career, Chairman Evans' diligence and devotion to the office to which he was elected has been fueled by the desire to make the quality of life better for his immediate constituency base and the entire citizenry of the Hospitality State, epitomizing the meaning of a true and public servant championing the causes of his constituency's outcry, as he has endeavored with feverish propensity through his fiery and sometimes pointed debate and filibustering, to his vocal participation on the committees to which he was assigned, including:  Agriculture; Apportionment and Elections; Banking and Financial Services (formerly Banks and Banking); Constitution; Education; Executive Contingent Fund; Fees and Salaries of Public Officers; Gaming; Juvenile Justice; Labor; Oil, Gas and Other Minerals; Public Property (formerly Public Buildings, Grounds and Lands); Public Health and Human Services (formerly Public Health and Welfare); Rules; Select Committee on Poverty; State Library; Universities and Colleges; and Ways and Means; and

     WHEREAS, Representative Evans' love and deeply felt respect for the Legislature as a hallowed institution has led him to fight to preserve and nurture its integrity, becoming a guardian of this democratic institution during a time in Mississippi's history when the diversity of the House membership expanded to include meaningful participation by women, African Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, who equally hold a lion's share in the stake of advancing the direction of the state's economic, educational and political climate; and

     WHEREAS, apart from his deeply rooted passion as an organizer, minister, teacher and yeoman's service as State Director of the AFL-CIO, Representative Evans is an individual beholden to his moral convictions as an affiliate of the Interdenominational faith with previous ties to the Presbyterian and Baptist faiths, as well as association with the Prince Hall A.F. and A.M. Masons; and

     WHEREAS, a true statesman vetted by the authenticities of the legislative process, Representative Evans, who holds sacred the bonds of family, endured every triumphant, historic, laughable and daunting moment with the love, support and encouragement of his family:  devoted wife, Sarah O'Reilly Evans, also a committed public servant and shrewd barrister; and daughters, Lilli and Clora Evans; and

     WHEREAS, Chairman Evans has announced that he will retire at the expiration of his present term and the members of the House of Representatives wish to express sincere appreciation to the  iconic chairman for his dedicated service to the people of the State of Mississippi and for the personal sacrifices he has made on their behalf:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend our friend, colleague and leader, the esteemed Chairman, Representative James "Jim" Evans, for all he has meant to the Mississippi House of Representatives and for his tireless devotion and unmatched contributions to the people of the State of Mississippi.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Representative James "Jim" Evans and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.