2021 Regular Session
By: Representative Anthony
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE ESTEEMED AND LAUDABLE LEGISLATIVE CAREER AND PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE MOST HONORABLE AND DISTINGUISHED GENTLELADY FROM SUNFLOWER, REPRESENTATIVE SARA RICHARDSON THOMAS, UPON THE OCCASION OF HER RETIREMENT FROM THE MISSISSIPPI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
WHEREAS, the honorable and distinguished Gentlelady from Sunflower, Sara Richardson Thomas, retired from the Mississippi House of Representatives on Saturday, June 30, 2018, after tirelessly working on behalf of the people of Mississippi and House District 31, which has included portions of Sunflower, Bolivar, Humphreys and Washington Counties, for 21 consecutive years from the historical floor of the majestically adorned, ornate and hallowed House Chamber; and
WHEREAS, before assuming her seat as the member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from District 31, the same seat previously held by her brother, William (Bill) Richardson, Representative Thomas, a graduate of Gentry High School's Class of 1958, charted the path for a career in education by matriculating at Mississippi Valley State University, where she acquired both her bachelor of science and master of science degrees in elementary education, the attainment of which further fueled her passion for education and insatiable quest for knowledge, as she undertook additional courses of study at Delta State University and Mississippi State University, the latter of which conferred upon her a master of science degree in administration and supervision; and
WHEREAS, the Honorable Representative Sara Richardson Thomas was diligently serving the citizens of her community, having served in both instructional and administrative capacities at East Sunflower Elementary and East Moorhead Elementary, respectively before her retirement, and before being catapulted into the political arena after the untimely passing of her predecessor and brother, the late honorable William (Bill) Richardson, on March 25, 1997; and
WHEREAS, upon her election in 1997, Sara became the distinguished Gentlelady from Sunflower and wasted no time requesting the legislation, amendments and reports that would help effectuate into law the ideologies and policy changes that her constituents had elected her to further, due, in great part, to her passion and genuine desire to better this great Magnolia State; and
WHEREAS, Representative Thomas' love and deeply felt respect for the Legislature as a sacred institution were assets used to lead her fight to preserve and nurture its integrity, becoming a guardian of this sacred 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, social and political climate; and
WHEREAS, during her tenure as a legislator from 1997 until 2018, Representative Thomas served on the following committees: Agriculture; Conservation and Water Resources; Corrections; Education, of which she served as vice chairperson from 2008-2012; Ethics; Executive Contingent Fund, of which she served as vice chairperson from 2004-2006; Gaming; Investigate State Offices; Judiciary B; Juvenile Justice; Municipalities; Penitentiary; Public Buildings, Grounds and Lands; Public Property; State Library; Tourism, of which she served as vice chairperson from 2006-2008 and again from 2017-2018; Universities and Colleges; and Youth and Family Affairs, of which she served as vice chairperson from 2012-2016; and
WHEREAS, not one to limit her community involvement to the Legislature, Representative Thomas has always been active in her district and dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens, as evidenced by her service through membership and affiliation with the following: Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church; Phi Delta Kappa; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; both the Mississippi and National Associations of Educators; Mississippi Retired Teachers Association; Mississippi Valley State Alumni Association; Regalette Civic and Social Club; Delta Uniserv; Crepe Myrtle Garden Club; Sunflower County Educators Association; Mississippi Blues Commission; Lower Mississippi Delta Service Corps, Inc.; Flemming Fellow; and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and
WHEREAS, the members of the House of Representatives will cherish the bond and common goals for the betterment of this great state shared with the Honorable Sara Richardson Thomas, and that her impeccable service was unparalleled to the Mississippi Legislature and to the constituents of District 31; and
WHEREAS, Representative Thomas has led and continues to lead a life of bravery in the face of challenge, sincere commitment in the face of apathy and honesty in the presence of deceit, and through it all, this remarkable giant of a lady has remained phenomenally grounded in her integrity and great conviction, as her entire career in public service, from the classroom to committee rooms, has sought to improve the lives of others through positive example, hard work and the undeniable truths of the Word of God; and
WHEREAS, the service of Representative Thomas would be without honor but for the continued support, encouragement and love of her family, who have endured the daunting struggles that accompany the life of a public official, and much credit is also due to her loved ones who have sacrificed countless hours without her in order to allow her to fulfill her legislative obligations, including: her husband, Arthur Thomas; sons, Kenneth Orlando (Delinda) Thomas and Edwin Terrell (Misti) Thomas; and grandsons, Marcus and Tai; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to honor the indelible legacy of remarkable service of our former colleague and friend, Representative Sara Richardson Thomas, who represented her district, this body and the people of this state with honor and dignity:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the esteemed and laudable legislative career and public service of the most honorable and distinguished Gentlelady from Sunflower, Representative Sara Richardson Thomas, and express fondest respect and best wishes for continued success in all of her future endeavors as she enjoys the lighter years of retirement.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Representative Sara Richardson Thomas and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.