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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Tribute to Nicarsia Mayes on Her Retirement

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2013-12-12

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    JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, along with our good friend, Congressman Mel Watt, I am delighted to rise today to say farewell to a very able and important American, Nicarsia ``Nikki'' Mayes, who has served this House of Representatives for 36 years.



    She began her career in the House of Representatives and for the people of the United States on September 7, 1977, when she was hired on the recommendation of Congressman Augustus Hawkins of California as an elevator operator and entrusted to operate the last ``Members Only'' manual elevator.

    In 1980, Nicarsia Mayes, or Nikki as we affectionately know her to be, was hired as a staff member of then the Office of the Doorkeeper. She was the first African American woman ever hired by that office. Because of her dutifulness and her leadership, other doors were opened. In 1994, Nikki joined the staff of the Office of the Sergeant at Arms, serving as a member of the Chamber Security Division until her retirement this month, December 2013.

    [[Page H8088]] It is important to note that her excellent performance, distinguished service, and good cheer paved the way for more African Americans to secure appointments in the Office of the Sergeant at Arms and other important House institutions earning her the respect and friendship of her colleagues and, of course, Members of Congress.

    She has a wonderful family, including her son John Mayes, III, who works for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and David, who works for the Department of Homeland Security; and her daughter, Tira, who is a forensic specialist. You know she has done well at home and well here in the House of Representatives. Her children have learned from her. Her grandchildren will benefit from her. I am delighted to indicate that we have introduced a resolution, H. Res. 444, into the House Record to honor Nikki Mayes.

    I am delighted to say that we honor you and appreciate you for 36 years of service and being a pioneering woman of service and an African American woman who led for others. Thank you so very much.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay to tribute to the remarkable accomplishments of Nicarsia Mayes, a Capitol Hill trailblazer and the first African-American woman to serve as a Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives.

    Nicarsia Mayes began her career of service to the House of Representatives and the people of the United States on September 7, 1977, when she was hired on the recommendation of Congressman Augustus Hawkins of California as an elevator operator and entrusted to operate the last ``Members Only'' manual elevator.

    In 1980, Nicarsia Mayes, or ``Nikki,'' as she was affectionately known, was hired as a staff member of the then Office of the Doorkeeper, the first African-American woman ever hired by that office.

    In 1994, Nikki joined the staff of the Office of the Sergeant at Arms, serving as a member of the Chamber Security Division until her retirement in 2013.

    Mr. Speaker, Nikki's excellent performance, distinguished service, professionalism, and good cheer paved the way for more African- Americans to secure appointments in the Office of the Sergeant at Arms and other important House institutions, earned her the respect and friendship of her colleagues, and endeared her to Members of Congress.

    This month, December 2013, Nikki Mayes retires after 36 years of faithful, honorable, and distinguished service to the United States House of Representatives and the people of the United States.

    I know my colleagues join me in extending our thanks and appreciation to Nikki for her service to our nation and our very best wishes for a happy and productive retirement.

    I know how much she is looking forward to spending more time with her family, including her sons John Mayes III, who works for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and David, who works for the Department of Homeland Security; and her daughter, Tira, who is a forensic specialist with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department.

    Inspired by her example, each of Nikki's children learned the value of helping others and chose a public service career. That is perhaps the greatest testament to the character of this great public servant.

    Mr. Speaker, Nicarsia ``Nikki'' Mayes is a wonderful human being, a great friend, and one of the finest public servants I have the honor to know. She will be greatly missed but not ever forgotten.

    ____________________

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