Flowers announces bid for State House seat 17

Vivian Flowers, former executive director of the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus, has announced her candidacy for the District 17 seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Flowers, a Democrat, worked as committee staff for the Bureau of Legislative Research then as executive director for the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus for seven years before pursuing graduate studies in the inaugural class at the Clinton School of Public Service. Flowers has since worked as the director of recruitment for diversity at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“My educational and professional background have really helped prepare me to work in the legislative arena, understand complex policy issues and work with people from backgrounds and perspectives,” Flowers said in a press release. “But more importantly, my public service experience has helped prepare me to represent District 17 with compassion, with courage and with commitment.”

Flowers’ public service record includes volunteer service as well as board and commission appointments: Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science (2008-present), Arkansas Mentoring and Networking Association (2007-present), Arkansas Service Commission (2012-present), Committee Against Spouse Abuse Women’s Shelter Board of Directors (2012-present), the Pine Bluff Historic District Commission (2009-2013), Arkansas Minority Health Commission (2000-2011), Women’s Foundation of Arkansas (2006-2010) and Common Cause/Arkansas.

For nearly two decades, she has actively worked on issues important to Pine Bluff and Arkansas such as good government, voting rights, education reform, racial profiling, minority health, black male academic achievement, historic preservation and advocacy for victims of violent crime.

If elected, Flowers said she will continue to address these and other issues, but will focus on health and education.

“There is not quality of life without health and not jobs or economic development without an educated and well trained workforce,” she said.

Flowers will formally announce her candidacy at a candidate meet-and-greet at noon Friday, July 12, at Flowers Pediatric Clinic, 316 W. 5th Ave.

A graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Flowers earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and rhetoric and writing. She also earned a Master of Public Service degree at the Clinton School of Public Service. Flowers is the daughter of Dr. John and Mary Flowers and is a member of St. James United Methodist Church.

Democrat Henry “Hank” Wilkins V has also announced his intent to run for the District 17 seat, which was previously held by his father Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV, who is prohibited from running for the seat again because of term limits.