Senfronia Calpernia Thompson
Texas native Senfronia Thompson was born in Booth, Texas, and raised in Houston. She represents Northeast Houston and Humble.
Dean of women legislators, Rep. Thompson has served longer in the Legislature than any other woman or African-American in Texas history. A Houston attorney, Ms. Thompson is currently serving her 17th term in the Texas House of Representatives.
Rep. Thompson currently chairs the Texas Legislative Black Caucus and the Women´s Health Caucus. She is also a member of the Democratic National Committee, a state director of Women in Government, and a member of the Energy Council. She serves on the House Committees on Insurance and Juvenile Justice and Family Issues. For 12 years, she chaired one of the Legislature´s busiest committees, the House Judicial Affairs Committees. In 1987, she chaired the first standing committee in the Legislature to have a female majority.
Rep. Thompson has authored and passed more than 200 Texas laws, including Texas´ first alimony law, the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act, laws prohibiting racial profiling, the state minimum wage, the Durable Power of Attorney Act, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, the Sexual Assault Program Fund, the Model School Records Flagging Act, the Uniform Child Custody & Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, contraceptive parity, and scores of other reforms benefiting women, children and the elderly. Rep. Thompson pushed through major reforms in child support enforcement, simplified probate proceedings, and complete overhauls of statutes dealing with statutory county courts and municipal courts. In 2005, she passed legislation requiring free testing for the human papilloma virus (HPV), an early indicator of cervical cancer, for women who have health insurance.
Among many other honors, in 2005, Rep. Thompson was presented with the Matt Garcia Award by the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus; PinkDome.com named her one of the Top 2 House members. In 2001, Rep. Thompson was one of Texas Monthly´s "Top 10 Legislators"; AP named her one of 6 lawmakers "Who Rocked the Legislature." In 2003, she was selected one of the Top 5 House members by Gallery Watch; Nation magazine named her one of 8 legislators in the country "who could teach Congressional Democrats." She was selected as an Eleanor Roosevelt Fellow by the Center for Policy Alternatives and named one of the Top 3 legislators in family law four sessions in a row. She is the only recipient of the Legislative Black Caucus´ Rosa Parks Award.
Rep. Thompson has been in the forefront of every campaign against discrimination for the last four decades. Ms. Thompson has among the highest ranks of any legislator for her voting record on issues of concern to women, minorities, labor, consumers, reform advocates, domestic violence victims, the elderly, teachers and civil libertarians.
A former public school teacher, Ms. Thompson firmly believes in the value of public education; she has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, a Master´s degree in Education, a law degree, and a Masters of Law in international law. For many years, she has served on the advisory board of the United Negro College Fund. Ms. Thompson has two adult children and one grandson.