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Homeland Security Chairman Keynotes Kennedy Johnson Luncheon

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Bennie G. Thompson (D) Mississippi will address the Alabama Democratic Conference at the Kennedy-Johnson Luncheon on Saturday, May 15th at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery during the 50th Anniversary Convention. Thompson is now serving his ninth term as the Democratic Congressman from Mississippi’s Second District ………..(

Bennie G. Thompson is now serving his ninth term as the Democratic Congressman from Mississippi’s Second District and third term on the Homeland Security Committee. The Second District stretches from Tunica in the north to Jefferson County in the south and all points in-between, creating a rare blend of agricultural economies and the hustle and bustle of city life.

Congressman Thompson has spent his entire adult life giving a voice to the voiceless. With 39 years of continuous public service, he is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. His reputation as a no-nonsense problem solver has earned him the trust of his constituents and the respect of his colleagues in Washington. In 2000, Congressman Thompson’s legislation creating the National Center for Minority Health and Health Care Disparities became law. Long considered a leading voice on civil rights, equal education and healthcare reform, Congressman Thompson has helped to make a real difference in the lives of his constituents. In 1975, he filed a lawsuit to increase funding at Mississippi’s historically black universities. With Congressman Thompson as lead plaintiff, the case was settled in 2004 for an unprecedented $503 million.

Congressman Thompson served on the Agriculture, Budget and Small Business Committees before assuming the top Democratic position on Homeland Security in 2005.

During his tenure as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Thompson secured millions of dollars in post-Katrina contracts for small and minority businesses in Mississippi to assist in the rebuilding efforts of the ravaged Gulf Coast. In addition, after experiencing first hand FEMA’s failure in handling the response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Congressman Thompson became the driving force behind the restructuring of the broken agency. In conjunction with the Senate, Congressman Thompson successfully created a new and improved FEMA, one with the ability to respond quickly and effectively to any terrorist attack or natural disaster.

Drawing on his 26 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter in Hinds County, Congressman Thompson understands that our nation’s law enforcement and first responders are our first line of defense in times of emergency. With that in mind, he has constantly fought to ensure they are fully equipped with the resources and tools they need to effectively respond to any and all emergencies.

After successfully serving as Ranking Member for the past two years, his colleagues promoted Congressman Thompson to serve as the first ever Democratic Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. This is his second term as Chairman.

Born in Bolton, he attended Hinds County public schools before earning degrees from Tougaloo College and Jackson State University. After serving as alderman and mayor in his hometown for 12 years, Congressman Thompson served as Hinds County Supervisor for 13 years before being elected to Congress in 1993.

With six district offices –- Bolton, Greenville, Greenwood, Jackson, Marks and Mound Bayou -- Congressman Thompson is committed to empowering those who gave him an opportunity to represent the Second Congressional District of Mississippi.

Congressman Thompson is a lifelong member of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Bolton Mississippi. He has been married to his college sweetheart, London Johnson of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, for 39 years. The couple has one daughter BendaLonne, one granddaughter, Jeanna and one grandson, Thomas Gordon.

The Congressman enjoys hunting, gardening, reading and music.

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