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In Memory Of Victoria “Vikki” Buckley (1947-1999)

Rep. Thomas G. Tancredo

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Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor the memory of Colorado State Secretary, Victoria ``Vikki'' Buckley: a wife and mother of three, a public servant, a self made individual, and a leading citizen of the Denver Metro Area, in Colorado, who passed away last week.

Vikky Buckley was a courageous political leader who worked in the Secretary of State office for the citizens of Colorado for more than a quarter century. Few realize that Vikki, a Denver Native, began working in the secretary of state office 28 years earlier. She had been a welfare mom and actively removed herself from a system that she believed fosters dependency.

Many people have read about individuals who lift themselves through their own dedication and efforts, but it is seldom that they rise so quickly to an elected office. Vikki was educated in the Denver Public Schools attending East High School. She continued her education at Metro State College and then the Seible School of Engineering in Englewood where she received an Associates Degree in drafting. She was an active participant at Heritage Christian Center and in various political organizations including the Aurora Republican Forum and the Araphahoe County Republican Men's Club. She spoke frequently on issues of community and inclusion from the perspective of an American woman who happened to be black and Republican.

Elected Secretary of State in 1994, Vikki was the first American of African descent elected to a statewide constitutional office in Colorado. As a Republican, she was noted as the highest ranking African American female holding statewide office in America. She has been featured in publications from the controversial Limbaugh Letter (June 1999) to the Ladies Home Journal (``Against All Odds'').

She was a rising star that believed in making government work for people. She was loved by friends and admired for her courage of conviction. My heart goes out to her entire family upon their loss. I am honored to have known Vikki.

Governor Bill Owens released the following statement, ``I join all Coloradans in being deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Colorado Secretary of State Vikki Buckley. She overcame many challenges in life and achieved high office in our state through determination and hard work. Vikki's competitive spirit paved the way for her election as Colorado's first African-American Secretary of State. Frances and I and our three three children express our profound sympathy to Vikki's family on behalf of all Coloradans and our appreciation for her many years of service to our state.''

Let the permanent Record of the Congress of the United States show that Vikki Buckley was a tireless advocate for the people of Colorado, and a friend of America.