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File #: RS2021-928    Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 4/23/2021 In control: Metropolitan Council
On agenda: 5/4/2021 Final action: 5/4/2021
Title: A resolution honoring the life of Senator Thelma Harper.
Sponsors: Sharon Hurt, Joy Styles, Sandra Sepulveda, Brandon Taylor, Zulfat Suara, Tanaka Vercher, Jennifer Gamble, Delishia Porterfield, Kyonzte Toombs, Bob Nash, Burkley Allen, Kathleen Murphy, Emily Benedict, Tonya Hancock, Russ Bradford, Tom Cash, Thom Druffel, Erin Evans, Larry Hagar, Jonathan Hall, Gloria Hausser, Angie Henderson, Courtney Johnston, Antoinette Lee, Bob Mendes, Freddie OConnell, Sean Parker, Russ Pulley, Kevin Rhoten, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Dave Rosenberg, John Rutherford, Colby Sledge, Robert Swope, Jeff Syracuse, Nancy VanReece, Ginny Welsch, Brett Withers, Zach Young
title
A resolution honoring the life of Senator Thelma Harper.

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WHEREAS, Senator Thelma Harper passed away on April 22, 2021, at the age of 80; and
WHEREAS, Thelma Harper was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 1991, making her the first African-American woman to be elected to the State Senate; and
WHEREAS, following her election, Senator Harper served her constituents with passion and distinction, and was repeatedly re-elected to maintain her seat for 28 years -- making her the longest serving female State Senator in Tennessee history; and
WHEREAS, Senator Harper, a Brentwood, Tennessee native, graduated with a bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University in 1978 prior to being elected as the District 2 representative to the Metropolitan Council in 1983, a position she held until 1991; and
WHEREAS, among her major accomplishments while serving as a Council representative was the closing of the Bordeaux Landfill where she led a number of protests and blockades of dump trucks, during which she and fellow community activists were arrested; and
WHEREAS, during her career in the Tennessee General Assembly, Senator Harper was instrumental in passing legislation to aid Tennessee's most vulnerable citizens -- particularly women, children, and the elderly; and
WHEREAS, after nearly 40 years of public service, including 28 years as a beloved State Senator and 8 years as a Metro Council member, Senator Harper retired from politics in 2019; and
WHEREAS, throughout her career, Senator Harper earned the respect and admiration from colleagues on both sides of the political aisle, and was famous for her fabulous collection of hats; and
WHEREAS, Senator Harper was a proud and dedicated member of the Nashville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; and she her husband were owners of several businesses, including Paul's Market, Harper's Restaurant, and a BP gas station; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recogn...

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