For Immediate Release
Contact: Sheila McCant
LA House of Representatives
Office of Public Information
Phone: (225) 342-9795
FAX: (225) 219-4380
August 1, 2000
STATE REP. WILKERSON KILLED IN AUTO ACCIDENT
State Rep. Pinkie C. Wilkerson, D-Grambling, was killed this morning as the result of a multi-car traffic accident. Wilkerson represented House District 11, which encompasses Claiborne Parish and parts of Bienville, Lincoln and Union parishes.
House Speaker Charlie DeWitt said, "You could define the term 'dedicated public servant' with two words - Pinkie Wilkerson. That is what she was. Her constituents came first and she worked tirelessly to see that they were represented. Sometimes you would get to work in the morning and find a message from Pinkie sent late the night before about a problem she was working on for her district. She was always on the job.
Pinkie loved the House of Representatives. She was a loyal, active, extremely hard working member. It is difficult to accept her sudden and untimely death. I can speak for all of my colleagues in saying that she was a positive influence and will not be forgotten. Please keep her family in your prayers."
Wilkerson, a Grambling attorney, was first elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1992. She was a graduate of Grambling State University Lab High School and Grambling State University. She earned a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University in Athens, a juris doctorate from Southern University, and an L.L.M. from Tulane University.
She was Vice Chair of the House of Representatives' Health and Welfare Committee. She also served on the Civil Law and Procedure and Judiciary committees.
Wilkerson was the first and only female chair of the Louisiana Legislative Rural Caucus, elected to that position in 1997 and was still an active member.
Current Rural Caucus Chair, Gil Pinac said Wilkerson was a valuable member of the caucus who was involved in caucus projects and the issues affecting rural areas of the state.
"Pinkie helped to keep us aware of the issues and the problems facing Louisiana, especially in the rural areas and those of the poor. And Pinkie was more than talk. She always followed through, introducing legislation and initiating projects to ensure that problems were exposed and discussed. She served as chair of the Rural Caucus Stroke Awareness and Cancer Awareness programs. We will mourn her passing and fondly remember her as a dedicated and loving member of our caucus and the House."
Wilkerson's legislative focus included education and social issues. She initiated the Youth Academy 2000, a concept in which a series of skill classes provide opportunites for children to learn alongside professionals in such areas as science, computers, mathematics, medical, music, entrepreneurship and other life skills. She also sponsored numerous seminars in her district on a variety of issues, in order to keep her constitutents informed. In the area of health, Wilkerson was active in awareness programs on diabetes, cancer, lupus,and heart disease. She introduced legislation to prohibit "drive-through mastectomies," to study the problem of providing prescription drugs to the indigent, and established an Incentive Award Program awarding parishes for reducing the drop-out and teen pregnancy rates.
She passed legislation in 1993 establishing a 24-hour statewide compulsive gamblers helpline, also having the number placed in gambling establishments and on lottery tickets. That same year she passed legislation authorizing courts to issue restraining and protective orders for abused parents. Along those same lines, in 1995 she passed legislation which includes grandparents and grandchildren within the coverage of the family violence programs related to community-based shelters for victims of family violence.
Prior to serving in the House Wilkerson was an assistant district attorney and an assistant attorney general and also worked in the private sector. She was an Assistant Professor at Southern University Law School from 1981 to 1984. Born in 1948, she is survived by her father, Calvin Wilkerson; son, John Barabin, Jr., one sister and one brother.