Texas House Member

Rep. Thompson, Senfronia

District 141

Email

Capitol Address:

Room 3S.6

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0720

(512) 463-6306 Fax

District Address:

10527 Homestead Road

Houston, TX 77016

(713) 633-3390

(713) 633-7830 Fax

Counties Represented:

Harris (part)

District:

Biography

BACKGROUND
Rep. Senfronia Thompson's legacy is one built from strong principles of faith, an unwavering defense of freedom, and a staunch belief in fairness. She exemplifies the American ideal that one person can make a difference.

Texas native Senfronia Thompson was born in Booth, Texas and raised in Houston. She represents District 141, which includes Northeast Houston and Humble. As the dean of women legislators, Rep. Thompson has the distinct honor of being the longest-serving woman and African-American in Texas history. A Houston attorney, Rep. Thompson is currently serving her 23rd term in the Texas House of Representatives.

Rep. Thompson received her high school diploma from Booker T. Washington High School in Houston. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas Southern University; a Master of Education from Prairie View A&M University; a JD degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law and a Master of Law in International Law from the University of Houston.

Rep. Thompson is a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

After the sudden loss of her daughter, Sarah, Rep. Thompson continued to provide a loving and stable home for her grandson. Her family also includes two sons, one granddaughter and one great-granddaughter.


COMMITTEES AND MEMBERSHIPS
Rep. Thompson currently chairs the powerful Texas House Local and Consent Calendars Committee. She is a member of the House Committee on Licensing & Administrative Procedures, the House Committee on Transportation, the House Select Committee on State & Federal Power & Responsibility, the House Select Committee on Economic Competitiveness and the Sunset Advisory Commission. Rep. Thompson also served on the House Select Committee on Mental Health.

She is the last founding member of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus still serving in the Texas Legislature. She is a member of the Texas House Democratic Caucus, the Democratic National Committee, Women in Government, the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative/Women (NOBEL/Women), and the House Farm to Table Caucus.



CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Her toughness and compassion in speaking out and standing up for the vulnerable population has earned her the respect and admiration of many people from Texas and beyond. Rep. Thompson has achieved an impressive legislative resume. During the recently completed 85th Legislative Session, Rep. Thompson passed several much needed criminal justice reform bills to give first time non-violent offenders a "second chance" at life by allowing them to not have to disclose their misdemeanor offenses when applying for housing or a job; allowing offenders to get their records expunged for certain misdemeanors at a much lower cost; teaching high school students on how to best interact with police officers during traffic stops and also requiring law enforcement officials to be trained on how to best interact with drives during traffic stops and other face-to-face encounters; requiring law enforcement officers to take de-escalation training; and laws preventing persons from ending up in a cycle of debt and in jail simply because they cannot afford to pay their traffic tickets or other misdemeanor fines.
Additionally Rep. Thompson, a breast cancer survivor, passed legislation that makes insurance companies in Texas pay for the cost of 3D mammograms, the most effective technology for early detection of breast cancer.
Rep. Thompson is the author of the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act, the Sexual Assault Program Fund, the Model School Records Flagging Act, the Contraceptive Parity law, the state's current minimum wage law, laws combatting human trafficking, laws creating drug courts, laws banning so-called "puppy mills", laws providing insurance coverage for anti-cancer oral medication, Texas' first-ever alimony law and scores of other reforms benefitting women, children and the elderly.

In 1975 and a sophomore member of the Texas House, she stood up in the fight against lung cancer and passed the first-ever statewide smoking ban bill, prohibiting smoking in elevators, theaters, libraries, museums, hospitals and intrastate buses.
In 1981, she passed a constitutional amendment to help an elderly African-American couple retain their farm after greedy coal companies, with help from the General Land Office, attempted to take it away from them all because the state negligently failed to properly record the title. Jessie and Malissie Johnson saved their tax receipts for over 50 years and their fight to keep their farm resulted in an overwhelmingly voter- approved amendment known as the "Jessie Johnson Amendment."
She sponsored laws banning racial profiling, the National Domestic Violence Hot Line and the Michael Morton Act, creating a fairer criminal justice system in Texas. She also authored the Chief Justice Jack Pope Act which increases funding for legal services to help low-income Texans with their civil cases.
She has passed legislation aimed at protecting women and children against domestic violence, extending protective orders to last longer and enforceable within the entire state of Texas, increasing the penalty of sex offenders, giving rape victims a voice in the processing of their rape kits and fought to end sexual discrimination in the work place.
In 2005, she passed legislation requiring free testing for the human papillomavirus (HPV), an early indicator of cervical cancer.
Rep. Thompson pushed through major reforms in child support enforcement including the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and the Uniform Child Custody & Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. She increased the amount of money nursing home patients are allowed to keep for their own personal needs.

She worked passionately for the passage of Texas' Equal Pay Act in both the house and senate. Although the bill was vetoed, Rep. Thompson remains committed to ensuring Texans receive equal pay for equal work.

A former public school teacher at Jack Yates High School, Crispus Attucks Jr. High, Marshall Jr. High and a strong believer in education, Rep. Thompson submitted an amicus curiae brief on behalf of North Forest I.S.D. that was favorably cited by the Texas Supreme Court when they declared Texas' public school finance system unconstitutional.

Early in her career Rep. Thompson traveled to Washington, D.C. at her own expense, to convince the U. S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Department of Education to investigate the discriminatory funding practice against Texas' traditionally Black universities. As a result of Rep. Thompson's tenacity, Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern University received, and continue to receive, their fair share of federal and state monies to close the financial gaps in educational funding and to make amends for the years of discrimination they endured.

AWARDS AND HONORS
An award-winning legislator and acknowledged civil rights leader, Rep. Thompson, affectionately known by her colleagues as "Mrs. T", was inducted into the prestigious Texas Women's Hall of Fame on May 6, 2014.

She was named one of Texas Monthly magazine's "Top 10 Best Legislators" in 2017. In their June 2017 issue, the magazine described Rep. Thompson as "a force of nature and a living argument against term limits."

Rep. Thompson has received the "National Sojourner Truth" Meritorious Service Award from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc.; the "Patient Care Champion" Award from the Harris County Medical Society; the
" Legislator of the Year" Award from the Texas Family Law Foundation; the "Prevailing Champion for Justice" Award from the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition; the "Voice for Children" Award from Children at Risk; the "Legislative Hero" Award from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation; a "Friend of County Government" Award from the Texas Association of Counties; and the "Outstanding Service" Award from the County Judges & Commissioners Association of Texas.

She also received the Matt Garcia Award from the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus and was selected as an Eleanor Roosevelt Fellow by the Center for Public Policy Alternatives.

The Nation magazine named her one of 8 state legislators in the country " who provide examples of leadership that Democrats in Congress ought to emulate."

Rep. Thompson is the only recipient of the Rosa Parks Award from the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, inscribed with these fittingly gracious words and a true compliment to a dedicated public servant: "Your hard-won statewide reforms are made only more remarkable by the obstacles you have overcome. Your peers laud your achievements and future generations will not forget your contributions."

Antecedentes
El legado de la representante Thompson es uno forjado a partir de fuertes principios de fe, de una firme defensa de la libertad y de una sólida creencia en la justicia. Ella ejemplifica el ideal americano que una cualquier persona puede marcar la diferencia. Nativa de Texas, Senfronia Thompson nació en Booth y creció en Houston. Representa al noreste de Houston y Humble. Decana de las mujeres legisladoras, la representante Thompson ha servido en la Legislatura más tiempo que cualquier otra mujer o afroamericano en la historia de Texas. Abogada de Houston, la señora Thompson actualmente cumple su vigésimo período en la Cámara de Representantes de Texas.

La representante Thompson obtuvo una Licenciatura en Ciencias Biológicas y una Maestría en Educación de la Universidad del Sur de Texas; un grado en Derecho de la Facultad de Derecho Thurgood Marshall y una Maestría en Derecho Internacional de la Universidad de Houston. La representante Thompson tiene dos hijos adultos, un nieto, una nieta y una bisnieta.

Comités y membresías
La representante Thompson preside, actualmente, el Comité de Calendarios Locales y de Consentimiento y el Bloque de Salud de la Mujer. Es co-presidenta del Comité Interino Conjunto para el Estudio del Tráfico Humano. Es miembro del Comité de Licencias y Procedimientos Administrativos de la Cámara, del Comité de Prácticas Judiciales y Civiles de la Cámara y del Comité Selecto de Soberanía del Estado.

Asimismo, es miembro del Bloque Legislativo Afroamericano de Texas, del Consejo Legislativo de Texas, del Comité Nacional Demócrata, de Mujeres en el Gobierno, de la Organización Nacional de Afroamericanos Legislativos Elegidos/Mujeres (NOBEL/Women) y de la Sororidad Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Aspectos sobresalientes de su carrera
La representante Thompson es autora de la primera ley de pensión alimenticia de Texas, de la Ley de Crímenes de Odio, James Byrd, Jr., de las leyes que prohíben la discriminación racial, de la ley de salario mínimo vigente en el estado, de las leyes de creación de los tribunales de drogas, de la ley de paridad de anticonceptivos, del Fondo del Programa de Acoso Sexual, de la Ley de Registros de las Marcas de Escuelas Modelo y de decenas de otras reformas en beneficio de las mujeres, los niños y los ancianos. También patrocinó la Línea Nacional de Emergencia para la Violencia Doméstica, aprobó una legislación destinada a proteger a las mujeres y a los niños de la violencia doméstica, extendió las órdenes de protección para que duraran más tiempo y para que se hicieran cumplir en todo el estado de Texas, y luchó para poner fin a la discriminación sexual en el lugar de trabajo.

La representante Thompson luchó para implementar reformas que garantizaran el cumplimento de la manutención de menores, incluyendo la Ley de Apoyo Familiar Interestatal Uniforme y la Ley de Aplicación de la Jurisdicción y Custodia Uniforme de los Niños, apoyó el juicio sucesorio simplificado con la aprobación la Ley del Poder Legal Duradero, y condujo revisiones completas de los estatutos sobre tribunales y juzgados municipales. En el 2005, se aprobó una ley que demanda el examen gratuito para el virus del papiloma humano (VPH), un indicador temprano de cáncer de cuello uterino.

Con una Cámara controlada por republicanos, la representante Thompson aprobó legislación importante para combatir el tráfico humano, aumentar las penas para los delincuentes sexuales, obtener cobertura de seguro para medicamentos contra el cáncer y prohibir las llamadas “fábricas de cachorros”.

Ex maestra de escuela pública y una sólida creyente en la educación, el documento ‘amicus brief court’ de la representante Thompson que presentó en nombre del Distrito Escolar Independiente de North Forest, fue citado por la Suprema Corte de Texas cuando el antiguo sistema de financiamiento a la educación pública se declaró inconstitucional.

En 1977, la representante Thompson utilizó sus fondos personales para convencer al Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos a demandar con éxito a Texas por la discriminación en el financiamiento, la contratación y las admisiones en las universidades tradicionalmente afroamericanas de Texas, forjando el camino para la creación de un fondo para mejorar las instalaciones, las bibliotecas y el cuerpo docente de A&M Prairie View y de la Universidad del Sur de Texas.

Premios y distinciones
En el 2011, la representante Thompson recibió el Premio Patient Care Champion Care Award de la Sociedad Médica del Condado de Harris, el Premio del Legislador del Año de Texas Family Law Foundation, el Premio Amigo del Gobierno del Condado de parte de la Asociación de Condados de Texas y fue nombrada una de las legisladoras más destacadas del Equipo de la Década en los años 2000 por Capitol Inside y una de los Diez Mejores Legisladores por Capitol Inside y Texas Tribune, dos populares suscripciones políticas en línea.

Entre muchos otros honores, la representante Thompson es la única ganadora del Premio Rosa Parks del Bloque Legislativo Afroamericano de Texas y también recibió el Premio Matt García del Bloque Legislativo Mexicoamericano. Fue seleccionada como Eleanor Roosevelt Fellow por el Centro de Alternativas Políticas Públicas. Ha sido nombrada una los Diez Mejores Legisladores de Texas Monthly, y Associated Press (AP) la nombró una de los seis legisladores "Que han sacudido a la Legislatura". Fue seleccionada como uno de los Cinco Mejores Miembros de la Cámara por Watch Gallery, y la revista Nación la nombró una de ocho legisladores en el país "que podría darle cátedra a los demócratas del Congreso".

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