On March 23, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris will present Morris L. Thomas, a longtime advocate of Lancaster, with a Key to the City for his work in a year that was tough for not only the nation, but also for Lancaster.

When the fight against COVID-19 reached critical levels, the pandemic put a strain on Lancaster’s existing resources. As healthcare workers fell ill, the healthcare system was pushed to the limits.

Thomas, in December 2020, played a pivotal role in assisting Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) in receiving additional medical staff—including nurses, emergency medical technicians, and respiratory doctors from the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (CAEMSA).

Days after Parris sent urgent requests for help to the offices of Reps. Mike Garcia (CA-25) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) and former Rep. Buck McKeon, Thomas was key to garnering the much needed support from FEMA.

As a Congressional representative, Thomas has played an important role in establishing and maintaining vital government and business relationships in an area that included major centers of aerospace and defense contracting.

Thomas was also responsible for directing and coordinating communications between McKeon’s Congressional office and over 714,000 constituents. For the past year, he maintained his connection with the 25th Congressional District of California as the chief of staff for Garcia.

“During our most trying and difficult times, Morris was there. I am grateful for the rapid response and persistence of our congressional representatives,” Parris said. “The City Council and I are deeply appreciative of all the work and support during this time. I am honored to present the Key to the City to Morris at our next Council meeting.”

The Key to the City is bestowed upon distinguished citizens and residents as well as honored guests.