Ward 1 Pine Bluff Alderwoman Thelma Walker has announced that she will run for re-election in the 2018 Democratic primary. Walker will be seeking her fourth term on the City Council. Having been elected to the Pine Bluff City Council in 2005, she is currently the only female member of the body.
According to a news release, Walker “is a member of the elite club of women who have served on the Pine Bluff City Council. The other women to serve include Carolyn Robinson, First Ward, Irene Holcomb, First Ward and Janice Roberts Fourth Ward.”
Walker is chair of the Public Safety Committee and a member of the Administrative Committee. She formerly served on the Community Development, Public Safety and Public Works committees. Walker “is proudly associated with 1st Ward Community Outreach Food Take Home give a way, located at Southeast High School. This program — under the supervision of Debra Strickland Allen — provides wholesome and nutritious food at certain times and the Sheila Moore Foundation providing clothing for adults and children,” the news release said.
Walker is also a member of Allen Temple A.M.E.
“Her desire is to be more involved with her church’s program for persons with Alzheimer’s, Title Memory Café that meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m.,” according to the news release. “She is the former owner and operator of Pine Bluff Adult Day Care. She served the need of senior citizens and the elderly for over 10 years. She has since retired from the business but still loves and cares for the elderly.”
In a written statement to the Commercial, Walker pledged to continue working on an aggressive agenda to include breaking ground to build the long-awaited multi-purpose center/aquatic center, which the citizens voted on to be built with the 2011 five-eighths cent sales tax initiative. Walker said in the statement that she believes that municipal services are a high priority and should be made available to all citizens, regardless of their color or economic condition.
Walker said she pledges to continue working on funding for city park and recreation areas to increase recreation equipment and resources.
She “envisions a swimming pool for our children on Cherry Street where the old Davis Hospital formerly stood,” according to the statement.
Walker “wants to initiate a city-wide house bank program whereby abandoned and unwanted property can be acquired by family members or interested parties to turn these abandoned properties into a source of pride,” the statement said. Walker said she is concerned about minorities receiving their fair share of contracts with the millions of dollars in professional contract let out by the city of Pine Bluff.
“Minorities must share in the wealth of the growth of our community,” she said. “This is a priority agenda item which must be addressed by this council.”
Walker said in the statement that one of her “most notable accomplishments was the successful sponsoring of legislation to order the return of medals to certain Pine Bluff police officers in the shooting of Monroe Isadore, a 107 year old black man. Walker is proud that she, a female, led this charge that came to a happy ending.”
She said it is her love for the City of Pine Bluff that keeps her going strong. Since her retirement from the Adult Day Care, she has continued to involve herself in community activity. She is a member of the Jefferson County Democratic party, the NAACP and the Arkansas Municipal League Association.
In 2016, Walker received the NAACP Dove Award for her political and community achievements. She has received numerous local, state and national accolades for her service to the community.
“There is so much more to be done,” she said in the statement.
“Experience and commitment is important and needed in times such as these. Walker wants to help complete the work which has already stared. Walker wants to say thanks for your past and continued support of her as your councilwoman and as your Democratic candidate.”