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Representatives Ross, Blue, Weiss, Coleman (Primary Sponsors);  Martin, T. Harrell, Stam, Dollar, Avila, Adams, Alexander, Barnhart, Blust, Brown, Bryant, Cleveland, Dickson, Faison, Fisher, Folwell, Glazier, Goforth, Grady, Gulley, Haire, Harrison, Howard, Insko, Johnson, Justus, Killian, Lewis, Lucas, Luebke, McLawhorn, Mobley, Moore, Neumann, Pate, Rapp, Setzer, Steen, Underhill, Walend, and Wiley.

Referred to:

Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

January 25, 2007

A JOINT RESOLUTION honoring the life and memory of bernard allen, Sr., former member of the north carolina general assembly.

Whereas, Bernard Allen was born on August 24, 1937, to James Allen, Sr. and Louise Hoover Allen, and spent his early years in Allendale, South Carolina; and

Whereas, Bernard Allen began his college education at Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, and later used his athletic ability to earn a football scholarship to St. Augustine's College in Raleigh; and

Whereas, Bernard Allen obtained a bachelors degree in secondary education from St. Augustine's College in 1962, a masters degree in public administration from North Carolina Central University in 1979, and took additional graduate courses at East Carolina University; and

Whereas, for many years, Bernard Allen served as an educator and a school administrator in the Vance County public schools; and

Whereas, after his retirement from the education field, Bernard Allen became one of the first African-Americans to register as a lobbyist in the State of North Carolina; and

Whereas, Bernard Allen's background in education and his personal experience helped him succeed as a lobbyist for the black teachers association, a position he held until 1971, when the black and white teacher associations merged into the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE); and

Whereas, Bernard Allen served as a lobbyist for NCAE in numerous positions for 25 years, serving as a field consultant and staff investigator, who represented teachers and administrators before State and local school boards, and as the organization's chief legislative lobbyist in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., advocated for better salaries and working conditions for more than 50,000 public educators in North Carolina; and

Whereas, Bernard Allen served as a lobbyist for the Office of the Secretary of State for a number of years, helping the agency advocate its positions and policies before the General Assembly; and

Whereas, Bernard Allen's strong desire to continue his role as a public servant and his commitment to be an effective member of his community influenced his decision to enter the race for a seat in the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2002, which he won by an overwhelming margin; and

Whereas, Representative Allen served with honor and distinction as a member of the House of Representatives for two terms during the 2003 and 2005 sessions of the General Assembly; and

Whereas, during his tenure in the General Assembly, Representative Allen made significant contributions as a member of numerous committees, including: Appropriations, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Education, Education Subcommittee on Pre-School, Elementary and Secondary Education, Finance, State Government, State Personnel, Pensions and Retirement, and the Select Committee on the North Carolina State Employees' Disability Plans; and

Whereas, Representative Allen served in various House leadership positions, including Chair of State Personnel, Vice-Chair of Pensions and Retirement, and Vice-Chair of the Select Committee on the Lottery, and sponsored legislation creating the lottery and protecting the health and safety of those who receive drinking water from private wells; and

Whereas, Representative Allen was a man of integrity, who fought for the poor, the uneducated, and the disenfranchised and was admired for being attentive and respectful to everyone; and

Whereas, Representative Allen was an active participant in civic and community activities, serving as a member of the Committee on Student Teaching in North Carolina, the National Education Association's Task Force on the Dismissal of Black Educators in the South, the Raleigh-Wake Citizen's Association, and the NAACP, and was a founding member of the Saint Augustine's College Falcon Foundation; and

Whereas, Representative Allen served as chair of the advisory committee of WTVD television station, President of the Sir Walter Jaycees, State Director of the NAACP Voter Empowerment Program, and chair of North Carolina Central University's Board of Trustees for two years during his 10-year tenure, and was elected the national representative of the St. Augustine's College Board of Trustees by the national alumni membership; and

Whereas, Representative Allen was a devoted member of the St. Ambrose Episcopal Church in Raleigh; and

Whereas, Representative Allen died on October 14, 2006, at the age of 69 and only a few weeks before his unopposed election to a third term in the House of Representatives; and

Whereas, Representative Allen leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Vivian Sneed Allen, two sons, Bernard Allen II and Andre Allen, and one grandson; Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

SECTION 1.  The General Assembly honors the memory of Bernard Allen, Sr. and expresses the gratitude and appreciation of this State and its citizens for his life and service to his community and to North Carolina.

SECTION 2.  The General Assembly extends its sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Bernard Allen, Sr. for the loss of a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and true friend.

SECTION 3.  The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the family of Bernard Allen, Sr.

SECTION 4.  This resolution is effective upon ratification.