Life for Former State Representative, Betty L. Thompson, has been full of adversity, tragedy, triumph, and accomplishments. From being born with total alopecia, to several personal family tragedies, Ms. Thompson has faced them all with strength, determination and courage. Ms. Thompson's mantra, "If you can take it, you can make it" has been her battle cry for everything she takes in life. She leads not only by thoughts, but by actions. When her husband, Jack, injured his neck in a horrific car accident, doctors recommended swimming as part of his therapy. Betty L. Thompson went to city council to obtain a permit to build a pool in the backyard of her home, and was met with laughter and resistance. "The council advised me no black person on the north side of University City could afford to build a swimming pool. That incident sparked the desire in me to run for city council so I could change that." After a campaign without any fundraising, she held a ten-block parade in University City. This parade helped her win the 1980 election against a white engineer. "I was the first African American female to sit on University City's city council and I served on that local legislative board for 18 years. I went from my dad and mom's house, to my husband's house, to the councilwoman's house in University City, to the state house in Jefferson City as a state legislator.