The Angel of Literacy. A Tribute to Tamoria Jones.

The unsung heroes of the Texas Legislature are the hundreds of staff who work long, hard, and stressful hours monitoring the floor, watching committee hearings, and writing legislation to make Texas better.

Among these staff, there are those who achieve first name status. The Beyoncés and Madonnas of Texas public politics and policy.

Enter Tamoria R. Jones. Tamoria, or “T,” to most of us.

Tamoria was one of the strongest, bravest, and most dedicated people that I have ever met. Her passion for improving the lives of Texans, particularly its youngest residents, was infectious.

One of the things I admired most about Tamoria was her bravery. She called things like she saw them, and she never ran away from a fight. She let her deep belief in the promise of Texas’ children drive her forward into difficult conversations session after session.

One of her most recent, big projects for Chairman Harold Dutton was House Bill 2162, an important bill that tried to improve Texas’ reading scores through big and bold steps. Tamoria believed that all kids in Texas, no matter their skin color or neighborhood, could achieve at high levels. She had an almost unstoppable ability to pursue laws and policies that brought this belief closer to reality.

The Angel of Literacy

She believed so strongly in this vision that it earned a nickname this session — The Angel of Literacy.

Tamoria knew — and the data makes very clear — that few things are more important than a child’s ability to read. Literacy is the bright light that illuminates every child’s academic journey. Only through reading are children able to discover knowledge in other subjects and in other grades.

When I think about Tamoria, I hold this light close to my heart. The belief in the power of literacy to illuminate children’s futures. The incredible importance of this dream for all children. And the bravery it will take to get the light of literacy to more students in our state.

T, my sister in arms, I am so thankful for your life, your faith, and your dedication to our state.
We carry your light and your belief that all children can succeed into all that we do.
I will miss you dearly and deeply, my friend.
There is still much work to do and I do not know how we will do it without you.