Release: Monday, January 27, 2014
Atlanta, GA – Friday, State Representative Calvin Smyre and former Governor Roy Barnes were among the nine accomplished individuals inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. Both leaders of the Democratic Party of Georgia, the pair were commended by current Chairman, DuBose Porter.
“After working shoulder to shoulder with Rep. Calvin Smyre in the House for years, I know firsthand how deserving he is of this honor. Most people dream to accomplish half of what Calvin has done in a lifetime,” said Chairman Porter. “And I commend Governor Roy Barnes. He served us in the legislature and the Governor’s office. And he continues to serve us by fighting for justice in the courtroom.”
Rep. Smyre, hailing from Columbus, was first elected to the State House at the age of 27 and has served for 40 years. In 1987, Rep. Smyre became the first African American floor leader of the House since Reconstruction and in 1998 became the first African American Chair of the Democratic Party’s state legislative caucus. He is now the Dean of the Georgia House. He was both the powerful Rules Chairman in the House and one of a few legislators trusted to shape Georgia’s state budget year after year. More recently he was the President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. Rep. Smyre is the Chairman Emeritus of the Democratic Party of Georgia.
“Calvin has always been a leader, both by action and example. He’s truly a great Georgian and a stalwart fighter for Civil Rights,” said Chairman Porter.
Born in Mableton, Georgia, Barnes represented Cobb County under the Gold Dome for sixteen years in the Senate and six years in the House. He returned to the Gold Dome as Governor in 1998, after which he practiced law, fighting for the injured and for victims of predatory lending—often pro bono.
“Georgia Democrats have had some extraordinary leaders over the years,” said Chairman Porter. “And Rep. Calvin Smyre and Governor Roy Barnes are simply two of the greatest. The Democratic Party of Georgia commends them on this great honor.”
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