Thelma Harper

Thelma Harper DEMDemocrat

American politician

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Thelma HarperDEMDemocrat American politician
80
Age at Death1940-2021
30
Years of Experience
TNResidence (state)

Thelma Marie Claybrooks Harper (December 2, 1940 – April 22, 2021) was an American politician and the first African-American woman state senator in Tennessee. First elected in 1989, she was the longest-serving female state senator in Tennessee history. She was also the first African-American woman to serve as the chair of the Senate Government Operations Committee; she held that position during the 102nd, 103rd, 104th, and 105th General Assemblies, and she also served as vice chair of the Senate State and Local Government Committee during the 97th and 101st General Assemblies and the first senator to serve as chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus.Harper, was a Democratic member of the Tennessee Senate for the 19th district, which is composed of a large portion of Davidson County including the urban core of Nashville.She began her public service in 1980, when she was elected as executive committeewoman for the 2nd district. She was next elected to the city council in 1983, where she served for 8 years. She simultaneously served as the 2nd District councilwoman and as state senator of the 19th District to complete her term in the city council. She had a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration/accounting from Tennessee State University.

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Education3 - 3 of 1
Tennessee State University
BS Business Administration/Accounting
Past Positions1 - 7 of 7
Senator
Tennessee State Senate
1989 - 2019
Delegate
Democratic National Convention
1980
Delegate
Democratic National Convention
1984
Delegate
Democratic National Convention
1988
Delegate
Democratic National Convention
1992
Member
Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Council
Retail Grocer
Other Experience1 - 16 of 16
Board Member
Nashville Symphony
Member
Women in Government
Advisory Committee
Young Womens' Christian Association Links, Incorporated
Economic Development Advisory Counsel
Third National Bank
Member
National Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated
Member
Schrader Lane Church of Christ
Member
National HOOK-UP of Black Women
Policy Alternative Leader
Former Member
Joint Pensions and Insurance Committee, Tennessee State Senate
Former Member
Government Operations Committee, Tennessee State Senate
Former Member
Finance, Ways and Means Committee, Tennessee State Senate
Former Member
Ethics Committee, Tennessee State Senate
Former Member
Education, Health and General Welfare Joint Subcommittee, Tennessee State Senate
Former Member
Commerce, Labor, Transportation and Agriculture Joint Subcommittee, Tennessee State Senate
Former Member
State and Local Government Committee, Tennessee State Senate
Member
Women's Political Caucus