State Representative Cecil Thomas was elected in November 2022 to serve Ohio’s 25th House District, which includes parts of Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Elmwood Place, Norwood, College Hill, and Corryville.
A product of a working class family, Representative Thomas was born in rural Alabama in 1952. At the age of eight, his family moved to Cincinnati settling into the West End community where he attended St. Anthony Catholic School. After graduating from Withrow High School, he took a job as a public service worker. Desiring to attend college he joined the Cincinnati Police Cadet Program, which offered free college tuition.
Upon graduation from the University of Cincinnati, Representative Thomas joined the Cincinnati Police Department where he spent twenty-seven years working throughout all 52 neighborhoods. In 1976, while on the force, Representative Thomas recognized that there was a lack of minority representation, especially in policy-making decisions. He decided to take action to ensure that both African Americans and women received an equal opportunity to serve and protect their community. As a result of his actions, the Cincinnati Police Department increased the percentage of African Americans and women on the force to 40% under two federal consent decrees.
Representative Thomas retired from the police force after a successful career in 2000 to assume the Executive Directorship of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC). During the civil unrest in 2001, he emerged as a leader utilizing his experience as a police officer and community leader to quell the violence. Under his leadership, the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission soared to new heights as he assisted city leaders with restoring community trust while also building a cohesive community and police relations program. Today the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission is recognized nationally as one of the premier human relations organizations in the country.
Representative Thomas is a lifetime member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Sentinel Police Association, a member of the Masonic Gothic Lodge 121, and serves as the Vice President of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the National Action Network.
Representative Cecil Thomas has been married to Pam Thomas for over thirty years. They have four adult children and four grandchildren. They have resided in the community of North Avondale for the past thirty years.