by Hunter Dawkins

How many people have devoted the last three decades to protecting, securing, and building the beauty of the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the citizens?  There are certainly not many, but I do succinctly know one very well and would love to discuss the legacy and say thank you for the service provided.

My mother, State Senator Deborah Dawkins moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast more than 30 years ago.  Every day since then, she has worked and fought for the beauty of this magnificent gem.

Whether it came down to her public service in healthcare at the hospital, speaking out for public education as a local PTA member, fighting for the environment as president of the Mississippi Sierra Club, or defending the seafood industry and restaurants on the Gulf Coast in the legislature, the Senator has provided a loud voice when no one else cared to.

The Senator spent 8 years serving as the State Library Subcommittee Chair in the Legislature fighting and scrapping for every dollar out of the budget while others simply wanted to shut these facilities down.

The Senator was endorsed by every single public education group in the last 20 years because the hard votes she took displayed building a great society and workforce, which bolsters the Mississippi economy.

The Senator fought hard for the BP Money towards the Coast and clashed for the language of the state lottery of the school to be changed because Mississippi will now be one of the only states that a lottery does not directly fund education.

The most significant detail the Senator fought for was the heritage and beauty of our land in West Harrison County.  Whether it be Turkey Creek in North Gulfport, the Industrial Park in Long Beach or the state tidelands given to Pass Christian, her service will be gratefully missed.

From all of the citizens of West Harrison County, I say thank you, State Senator Deborah Dawkins for your service and respect for the Mississippi Gulf Coast, may future representatives for these lands show as much care as you have and the legacy you have established.