Louise Lucas at the 2008 Democratic National Convention
|Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 18th district
January 8, 1992
|Preceded by||Howard P. Anderson|
January 22, 1944 |
Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.
|Committees||Local Government (chair); Courts of Justice; Education and Health; Finance; Rules|
|Religion||African Methodist Episcopal|
Early and family life
She received her Bachelor of Science Degree (cum laude) in Vocational-Industrial Education from Norfolk State University in 1976 and her Master of Arts Degree (magna cum laude) in Urban Affairs with a concentration in Human Resources Planning and Administration also from the same institution in 1982.
Senator Lucas began her federal career in 1967 as an Apprentice Shipfitter at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY), becoming the first Woman Shipfitter in July 1971. She also served as Engineering Draftsman and Naval Architect Technician. Lucas later became the Command Federal Women’s Program Manager at the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT) and Equal Employment Manager at the Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair (SUPSHIP).
In 1985 she left federal service and became Interim Executive Director of the Southeastern Tidewater Opportunity Project (STOP) and the following year was appointed Executive Director, continuing in that position until 1992. From 1992 – 1994 Lucas served as Congressional Liaison for Sponsored Program at Old Dominion University. From 1994 – 1998. Lucas was Assistant Professor, Department of Academic Affairs and Special Assistant to the Vice President for University Advancement at Norfolk State University.
She is President/CEO of Lucas Lodge, Lucas Transportation, Portsmouth Day Support Program and Southside Direct Care Provider organizations operating in The Lucas Professional Center located in Portsmouth. Economic development is Senator Lucas’ passion and she remains unwavering in her determination to build a hotel.
A longtime civic activist, in June 1984 Lucas began her formal political career by becoming the first African American woman to serve as Councilwoman on the Portsmouth City Council. She won more votes than any other candidate in that election.
Louise Lucas was elected to the Virginia General Assembly in November 1991 and continues to serve the citizens of the 18th Senatorial District. She has a seat on the following Senate Committees: Education & Health, Courts of Justice, Finance, Local Government and Rules. She is member of the Finance Sub-committee on Claims, member, Finance Sub-committee on Economic Development/Natural Resources, member, Finance Sub-Committee on Public Safety, member, Education Sub-committee on Health Licensing. Senator Lucas was Chairwoman of the Senate Local Government and a former member of Committees on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources; Rehabilitation and Social Services; Transportation; former Chairwoman, Education and Health Special Sub-committee on Public Smoking Legislation; Sub-committee on Mental Health Legislation; Special Sub-committee on Immigration. She serves as the Chairwoman of Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Committee in Virginia.
In 2008 two companies which Lucas controls applied for Empowerment Zone bonds to build a conference center in Portsmouth, VA. The Portsmouth city council refused to issue the bonds, on a 3-2 vote with two council members who had a financial interest in the project abstaining. The companies, still controlled by Lucas, later filed a $97.7 million suit against the City of Portsmouth and the council members voting against the bonds and the City Attorney, claiming racial discrimination against because they were led and funded mostly by African-Americans. However, after the proposal was later reconsidered and again denied, the lawsuit was dropped.
Senator Lucas serves on the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring, Governor’s Commission on State Funding for Public School Construction and the Governor’s Commission on Information Technology and was appointed in 2010 to the Commission on Electric Utility Regulation and in 2012 appointed to the Federal Action Contingency Trust Fund and in 2013 to the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission. She is also an active member of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and elected Vice-Chair of Outreach with the Democratic Party of Virginia.
Senator Lucas has served on various community boards, commissions, civic and service organizations such as: Golden Heritage Member and Past President NAACP; Charter Member, Martin Luther King Leadership Steering Committee; Member Norfolk State University Alumni Association. Senator Lucas is also a member of the following organizations: Golden Life Member, Delta Sigma Theta sorority; Member, Portsmouth Chapter Links, Inc; Member, Brighton Light Chapter 118 Order of Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation of Virginia. Senator Lucas has received countless awards and honors at the local, state and national level.
Senator Lucas is the mother of two daughters, Lisa L. Lucas-Burke and Theresa Lynn Lucas-Lamb who partner with her in various business entities and one son, the late Jeffery Lee Lucas, Sr. She has five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
- Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, December 19, 2008