Al Green

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Al Green

Al Green is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 9th district of Texas.

Early Life & Education

Al Green was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. After attending Florida A&M University in 1971, he went on to attend Tuskegee Institute of Technology. In 1974 he earned his law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, where he later served as an instructor.[1]


After graduating from law school, Green co-founded and co-managed the law firm of Green, Wilson, Dewberry and Fitch. In 1977, he was elected Justice of the Peace, Precinct 7, Position 2, where he served for 26 years before retiring in 2004.[1]


Al Green served as president of the Houston Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for nearly ten years. Under his leadership, the organization increased membership from 500 to 3,500 and the staff from one to twenty.[1]

Black and Brown Coalition

Al Green co-founded the Black and Brown Coalition with Judge Armando Rodriguez. This organization brings together Houston's African American and Hispanic communities to work on issues of common interest.[1]

Fair share

Green also created the Houston Fair Share Program, which encourages corporations to join with minority firms in joint ventures. [2]

Houston "progressives"

Texas Congressmembers Al Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee lead a march of 300 supporters through downtown Houston in March 2007

According to James Thompson of the Communist Party USA paper People's World[3];

Houston also has a strong union movement which is very progressive and is active in electoral politics. The city's three Congress people Al Green, Gene Green and Sheila Jackson-Lee are at the forefront of the progressive struggle in the House of Representatives.

Healthcare rally

In July 2009, a spirited rally was held recently at the Harris County AFL-CIO headquarters in Houston to support health care reform. The effort was called by Organizing for America which is the successor to Obama for America.

Participants were treated to rousing speeches from local elected officials who support health care reform, including U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, Carol Alvarado, Texas State Senator, U.S. Rep. Al Green, and Jolanda Jones, Houston City Councilperson.

Congressman Al Green praised organized labor and pointed out that labor is responsible for many of the benefits that many working people enjoy today, including the 40-hour work week, pension plans, minimum wages, vacation, sick leave, and medical leave. He noted that organized labor has supported all working people and that working people need to support the Employee Free Choice Act.

Congressperson Green reminded the crowd that 47 million Americans are without health care. He stated that the U.S. has the most expensive “sickness care system” in the world. The U.S. spends 50 percent more than any other industrialized nation in the world on health care. [4]

Congressional Black Caucus

In 2011 Al Green was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.[5] The CBC is an organization representing the black members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to blacks.

Meeting ARA

Gene Lantz, back left

When 500 retirees convened in Washington DC, Setember 2011, for the Alliance for Retired Americans legislative conference, nine Texans were among them. Tony Padilla and Emmett Sheppard came from Central Texas; Melva White, Emma Stewart and Eunice Parrish came from Houston; and North Texas contributed Sarah Carothers, Bob Felzke, Mary Felzke, and Communist Party USA member Gene Lantz.

Seven of the Texans were able to participate in an afternoon of visiting Congresspeople on Capitol Hill on September 8th. Tony Padilla's vast experience in these visits was best utilized by letting him go on his own, but six others were led by Emmett Sheppard through several offices. They visited Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Congressman Kenny Marchant, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Congressman Lamar Smith, and Congressman Al Green. Mr Green, a longtime friend of Sheppard, "was especially hospitable".[6]

Supporting janitors strike

In a June 2012 strike SEIU janitors in Houston received much support from the local progressive, as well as from their fellow janitors across the U.S. According to Houston Communist Party USA activist Fabian Sneevliet, at a rally on June 12, Texas Rep. Al Green, D., gave an inspirational speech in support of the striking workers. At this rally, Richard Shaw, head of the Texas AFL-CIO, was there in solidarity with the janitors, as well as the Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston.[7]

Immigration rally arrest

More than 20,000 people - including thousands of unionists -- who marched down the Washington, D.C., Mall on Oct. 8, 2013, to demand the U.S. House immediately pass comprehensive immigration reform. And 200, including 90 union leaders and union members and eight members of the House of Representatives were arrested when, in an act of civil disobedience, they blocked a street in front of the Capitol.

Arrestees included Lisa Bergmann, SEIU 1199 member Delphine Clyburn and activist Joelle Fishman, both also from Connecticut, Communications Workers Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hall and Political Director Yvette Herrera, The Newspaper Guild's president, Bernie Lunzer, and Paul Booth, the top assistant to AFSCME's president. Among the nation's top labor leaders also taken into custody were AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, AFT President Randi Weingarten, Unite Here President D. Taylor and Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Among the lawmakers arrested were Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Joseph Crowley (D - N.Y.), Al Green (D-Texas), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Unions, led by contingents from the Service Employees and their Local 32BJ, the Laborers and Unite Here, contributed a large share of the demonstrators. Other unions represented included AFSCME, the Communications Workers/TNG, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFT and the United Farm Workers. [8]


The following have worked as staff members for Al Green:[9]


Al Green has received the following awards:[1]

  • Texas Black Democrats’ Profiles of Courage Award, 2007
  • AFL-CIO MLK Drum Major Award for Service, 2007
  • Ebony Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Black People, 2006
  • NAACP Fort Bend Branch Mickey Leland Humanitarian Award, 2006

External links