2023 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Blackmon, Barnett, Butler (36th), Butler (38th), Frazier, Hickman, Horhn, Jackson, Jordan, Norwood, Simmons (12th), Simmons (13th), Thomas, Blount
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE LEADERSHIP, ADVOCACY AND COMMITMENT THAT THE HONORABLE SENATOR ANGELA TURNER-FORD PROVIDED DURING HER TERM AS CHAIRPERSON OF THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS.
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC), which evolved as an informal organization in 1976, operating in a manner consistent with other states' racial legislative caucuses, was formally established in 1980, with Representative Robert G. Clark, Jr., serving as the organization's first chairman, has continued to function in support of the State of Mississippi's African American and underserved communities; and
WHEREAS, Senator Angela Turner-Ford was elected as MLBC Chairperson in 2019, and has maintained the tradition of remaining dedicated to the state's African American population, leading the charge of advocacy for many of the social and economic issues impacting many of the smaller and more rural communities throughout the state; and
WHEREAS, serving with the same thoughtful analysis, civility and even-keeled approach to legislating as her predecessor and late father, the Honorable Senator Bennie Turner, Senator Turner-Ford has intuitively championed those issues of significant importance which support public education, increase access to healthcare, promote unfettered access to voting, advocate for equitable spending of state funds and implementation of policies that promote Mississippi's appeal to its next generation of leaders; and
WHEREAS, born in Columbus, Mississippi, on July 2, 1971, Senator Turner-Ford attended Mississippi State and Howard Universities before completing her collegiate matriculation at Hampton University with a bachelor's degree in biology, in addition to earning a certificate in medical technology from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law, where she earned her juris doctorate in 2000; and
WHEREAS, upon the completion of her law degree and successful admission to The Mississippi Bar, Senator Turner-Ford joined the Turner Law Firm as her father's protégé, and became the torch bearer of his legacy as the successor of his law practice and political voice for the electorate of Senate District 16 after his passing in 2012, emanating a keen intellect and quiet disposition, reminiscent of her father; and
WHEREAS, Senator Turner-Ford initially heeded the call to public service when appointed as City Prosecutor for the City of West Point in 2006, and subsequently, as County Prosecutor for Clay County, serving simultaneously in both capacities for the city and county until being administered the oath of her elected office in the Mississippi Senate in 2013. Becoming the first African American to be appointed by the Clay County Board of Supervisors to the position of Board Attorney, Senator Turner-Ford has not taken that position lightly and has tirelessly rendered sound legal advice to the board while traversing the highways and byways of Mississippi when the Legislature is in session to ensure that she is present for offering advice to her board and then returning to the State Legislature to advocate for her constituents; and
WHEREAS, Senator Turner-Ford, after being tapped by the Senate leadership to serve as the body's Public Property Committee Chairperson, was elected by 52 of her peers to serve as Chairperson of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus; and
WHEREAS, Senator Turner-Ford has piloted the helm of the MLBC with utmost deference to facilitate an inclusive forum to hear and consider the concerns and recommendations of each caucus member to better formulate a singular unified approach to address the issues impacting the constituencies they were elected to represent; and
WHEREAS, a firm believer in the power of effective communication, Senator Turner-Ford has implemented a consistent and efficient system listserv correspondence to ensure the simultaneous conveyance of information to every member, providing timely notice of strategic plans and agenda items, even in those critical instances when time is of the essence and an urgent call to action is incumbent upon the caucus to take an official position; and
WHEREAS, Senator Turner-Ford's approach to effectively chairing the MLBC has been premised in clearly defined and consistently applied positions to effectively wield the most influence to accomplish the organization's five-fold policy agenda platform, which seeks to effectuate substantive change to improve the areas of: health care; education; housing and community investment; criminal justice reform; and unsuppressed voter access through election reform; and
WHEREAS, Senator Turner-Ford, in assuming the responsibilities as Chairperson of the MLBC, has endeavored to cultivate a progressive mentality of service and accountability within the MLBC by advancing initiatives that compel the membership to remain proactively engaged in grassroots efforts which galvanize the public's interest to make meaningful investments of time, talent and resources in furtherance of fulfilling the caucus' mission; and
WHEREAS, even in the face of a myriad of uncertainties presented by a global pandemic unleashed by COVID-19, which continues to stifle the quality of life through its residual health and socioeconomic implications, Senator Turner-Ford remained undeterred in her efforts to ensure that the MLBC remained at the discussion table, lending its perspective on the plights of all minority communities of color throughout the state who were and remain disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and its various mutations, and advocating for the necessary financial and tangible resources to mitigate the loss of lives and livelihoods within those communities; and
WHEREAS, affording full disclosure in the vein of complete transparency, Senator Turner-Ford made certain that every correspondence submitted to the Speaker of the House, Lieutenant Governor and Governor regarding its strategic initiatives to revitalize the public, private and faith-based sectors of the community, requests for CARES Act and ARPA funding, and suggestions of collaborative party efforts to afford the state the ability to emerge from the pandemic mentally, physically and fiscally sound, was also provided to the members of the public through press releases, news conferences, televised and radio media outlets, as well as social media platforms; and
WHEREAS, a pillar of excellence within her community and among her elected peers, Senator Turner-Ford's legislative commitment as a dutifully engaged and well-versed member of the Senate Committees on Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency, Appropriations, Judiciary A, Judiciary B, Legislative Reapportionment, Medicaid, Municipalities, Technology and Veterans and Military Affairs, does not overshadow, but works in tandem with, her social, civic and professional affiliations as a member of the Mississippi Bar Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church; and
WHEREAS, the service of Senator Turner-Ford has been supported by the encouragement and love of her family, to whom much credit is due for sacrificing countless hours without her in order to allow her to fulfill her legislative obligations, including her mother, Edna Turner; sisters, Carolyn Kareem and Lisa Turner; and children, Kennedy, Joshua and Jelen; and
WHEREAS, it is the intent of this Legislature to honor the indelible legacy of remarkable service exhibited by our colleague and friend, Senator Angela Turner-Ford:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and recognize the leadership, advocacy and commitment that the Honorable Senator Angela Turner-Ford provided during her term as Chairperson of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC), and express fondest respect and best wishes for continued success in all of her future endeavors.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be presented to Senator Angela Turner-Ford, the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.