In memoriam: Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson


“Tyrone was not just my mentor, colleague, and friend; he was my brother. When I moved to the State of Nevada nearly 20 years ago, Tyrone was one of the first people I met. His passion and love for his community were infectious. His smile would brighten every room he entered and his energetic work for the least of these made everyone around him step up and do better.” Nevada Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, District 1

 

LAS VEGAS (Tuesday, May 6, 2019) – In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 4, 2019, Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson (DEM-Assembly District 17), 51, died while receiving emergency care at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. As of this writing, no cause of death has been issued by the coroner’s office.

 

Thompson was appointed by the Clark County Commissioners to serve in the State of Nevada Assembly, Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Colleagues alluded to the fact that he completed the balance of that legislative session by inserting himself into every discussion imaginable. He was recognized as a staunch advocate of eradicating homelessness, eliminating barriers to gainful employment for ex-felons re-entering society, educating our youth (most especially underserved minorities), youth advocacy, and expanding access to HIV screening.

 

On Saturday, April 20, 2019, just two weeks prior to his passing, Assemblyman Thompson was photographed at three events while spending the weekend at home from the legislature. He was present and participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Clark Law Group, PLLC., at the NAACP Branch #1111 – Las Vegas Education Town Hall at Doolittle Community Center, and the 10th Annual Youth and Justice Forum at Canyon Springs High School hosted by Assemblywoman Dina Neal.

 

C. Jared Clark, Esq. of Clark Law Group, PLLC: “On the morning of our ribbon cutting ceremony Assemblyman Thompson spread his contagious smile, radiated soul, and shared principles of justice and community as he addressed those in attendance. Tyrone was a true community leader and youth advocate; he constantly reminded the world of the importance of education. All of the social media tributes, from those near and far, are indicative of his legacy.”

 

Roxann McCoy, President of the NAACP Branch #1111 – Las Vegas: “Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson was a selfless advocate for education, promoting the principles of equality and accessibility for all students, most especially for the disenfranchised. He strongly supported public education and searched to achieve better outcomes for those students who need greater resources and support.”

 

Engaging the community at the same Town Hall was Dr. Jesus F. Jara, Superintendent of the Clark County School District, who posted a statement to Twitter, which read in part: “When I first became Superintendent, he called me and offered to take me through his district to meet his constituents. I saw his passion to improve education throughout CCSD, especially for underserved students.”

 

China Hudson, Co-Founder of West Las Vegas’ Rites of Passage, remembers Assembly Tyrone Thompson fondly: “We could always depend on his attendance at numerous events, greeting everyone with a warm smile, and words of encouragement.”

 

Fellow elected officials, community leaders, and business owners praised Assemblyman Thompson. Quincy Branch, President/CEO of Branch Benefits Consultants in North Las Vegas, offered: “Tyrone’s genuineness and his passion made him a great legislator, but more so a great person. His willingness to be an advocate for people and not policy made him special. He will surely be missed in our community and in Carson City, Nevada.”

 

While Trina Jiles, Owner of Gritz Café, related a more personal glimpse: “Whenever I was in his presence, he made me feel like family, and we were! The occasional text of, ‘How you doing, sis?’, I will truly miss forever. I knew he wanted nothing but the best for the community, and it showed. Tyrone had a way of gently guiding a person to reach his full potential. On more than one occasion, he pressed me about opening a Gritz Café in North Las Vegas, even going so far as to introducing me to people who could assist me in that effort. If a person came to him with a problem, he would listen without prejudice and or judgment, a trait we should all cultivate.”

 

Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson wrote, “I learned a lot from him, as he worked hard on community issues, homelessness issues, mentoring programs and education policy. A few years later he would be appointed to the Nevada State Assembly, and the tables would turn, as I became his mentor and roommate in Carson City. Our bond was extremely strong, we took trips together, shared friendships, and we even retired from the County at the same time. We were sitting in his office in late 2016 and we both were frustrated with our roles in the County, we looked at one another and said, ‘It's time to go do our own thing.’ We both would retire from the County 2 months later. Many didn't know it, but Tyrone is the one that came up with the name of my business, ‘The Urban Lounge.’ I can't really put into words what his friendship meant to me; I can tell you that there will forever be a void in my life without him here.”

 

On Monday, May 6, 2019, United States Congressman Steven Horsford (DEM – NV 04) addressed the State of Nevada Legislature regarding the passing of Assemblyman Thompson: “We all can share a story about Ty’s commitment to his community. For me, it was more than 20 years ago when I got to know Ty through a mutual friend, Shannon West, who went on to be memorialized at her passing for setting a course to eradicate homelessness in southern Nevada. The two were quite a pair, and you couldn’t say no when they called and needed your help on a community initiative. From NCCJ Camp, to the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and the annual homeless count and resource fair, Tyrone was consistently present, leading the way to make our community, and the people in it, stronger. And so, our charge now is to ensure this work is carried on, and the vision for a strong community Ty cared about are realized.”

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To view an electronic version of the JUNE 2019 EDITION of The Urban Voice, Las Vegas featuring Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, visit:

 

https://www.flipsnack.com/unrelenting/june-2019-edition-of-the-urban-voice-las-vegas/full-view.html

 

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31 May 2019


By Joseph C. Abraham
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