Eddie Bernice Johnson

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Eddie Bernice Johnson

Eddie Bernice Johnson is is serving her 10th term representing the 30th Congressional District of Texas. The 30th District is entirely within Dallas County and encompasses a large portion of the City of Dallas as well as the entire cities of DeSoto, Lancaster, Wilmer, Hutchins, and Balch Springs. Portions of the cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, Ferris, and Ovilla are also in the district. The Dallas portion of the district is home to the downtown central business district and Arts District, as well as the neighborhoods of Fair Park, Cadillac Heights, the Cedars, Victory Park, Uptown, Oak Lawn, Love Field, Urban Park, Pleasant Grove, Joppa, South Oak Cliff, Deep Ellum, Munger Place, Swiss Avenue, Lower Greenville, Forest Hills, and West Dallas.[1]


Congresswoman Johnson studied nursing at St. Mary's College at the University of Notre Dame. She returned to Texas when she successfully passed the National Board Examination in Nursing. She later became Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the VA Hospital in Dallas and received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Christian University in 1967. She received a master's degree in public administration from Southern Methodist University in 1976. Congresswoman Johnson is the first nurse to be elected to the U.S. Congress.[2]


Congresswoman Johnson was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972 and became the first woman in Texas history to lead a major Texas House committee, the Labor Committee. As an advocate for workers, children, and families, she was recognized and appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as Regional Director of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1977. In 1986, she was elected a Texas state Senator, becoming the first female and African-American from the Dallas area to hold this office since Reconstruction.[3]

Radical aide

For Ernest McMillan, a 1963 honors graduate of Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School, war and racism were the beasts.

After withdrawing from Morehouse College in Atlanta, he registered voters and demonstrated in the South before bringing his passion and training back to North Texas in 1965. After briefly enrolling and protesting at Arlington State College (now the University of Texas at Arlington), he established a Dallas chapter of SNCC as the group's militancy was intensifying.

In 1968, marchers in South Dallas, including Ernest McMillan, supported the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign. Downtown, Ruth Jefferson, Mr. McMillan and other protesters occupied the state welfare office demanding better benefits; others picketed the selective service center.

McMillan was indicted for draft evasion. Authorities said he refused to take the induction oath, an allegation he denies.

Freed after posting bond, he traveled to Connecticut in June 1969 to address a church group. While he was there, his attorney told him that he could be arrested for leaving North Texas. He fled, was captured in Cincinnati in late 1971, and was returned to Dallas and sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to violating terms of his release.

After prison, Ernest McMillan became an aide to then-state, now U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson. He organized a prison-justice project before moving to Houston, where he founded a program to empower young inner-city men.

Back in Dallas, the 64-year-old grandfather remains an adviser to the Houston program. He volunteers at his church, Munger Place United Methodist, the Dallas Peace Center and with Pastors for Peace.[4]

A World of Women for World Peace

"Since coming to Congress, Congresswoman Johnson has earned the reputation of being a stateswoman who is dedicated to improving U.S. foreign relationships and policies. She works tirelessly towards improving human rights around the globe. Congresswoman Johnson’s acclaimed initiative “A World of Women for World Peace” has been nationally and internationally recognized."[5]


Congresswoman Johnson has also served in position of Senior Democratic Deputy Whip; Chair of the House Metro Congestion Coalition; Co-Chair for the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness, and Co-Chair for the TEX-21 Congressional Caucus that is a forum to address Texas transportation needs through the reauthorization of TEA-21. She is Founder and Co-Chair of the Diversity and Innovation Caucus and of the House Historical Black Colleges and Universities Caucus. In addition, Congresswoman Johnson served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 107th Congress.[6]

People's World article


Eddie Bernice Johnson, then chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, contributed an article to the Communist Party USA's People's World, of Dec. 7, 2001, entitled "Drug czar assures repeat of past failures".[7]

While the national drug movement and voter reform efforts move toward humane, effective strategies, John Walters, President Bush’s choice for drug czar is a giant step backwards.
Walters’ nomination for director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy is pending before the Senate after being approved by the Judiciary Committee. I strongly disagree that if confirmed, Walters is the right man for the job. A protege of former drug director William J. Bennett, Walters is considered a hardliner in the drug fight. His writings depict him as viewing drug addiction as a problem to be solved by courts and prisons rather than a public health issue that can be resolved through hospitals and treatment.
Walters’ law-enforcement approach runs afoul of the voter reform measures, such as California’s Proposition 36, which passed by a two-to-one margin. Critics have noted that decades of the law enforcement, lock-’em-up approaches supported by Walters have helped land 500,000 Americans behind bars and consumed tens of billions of tax dollars without reducing the demand whatsoever.
Yet, Walters would continue that failed policy, according to his writings on drug policy. In a recent op-ed piece Walters wrote that research showing that the criminal justice system is imprisoning too many people for drug possession, unjustly punishes Black men and the sentencing is too long and harsh are “the three greatest myths of our time.”
The choice of Walters is an embodiment of policies that have failed. They are mistakes we can’t afford to repeat.


At the 90th Anniversary of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, celebration, at Goucher College Baltimore, April 9, 2005, speakers were President of WILPF Int’l, Regina Birchem, and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.[8]

2005 trip to Cuba

In July 2005, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and her staff member, Murat Gokcigdem spent three days in Havana, Cuba, "to explore first hand the issues facing the people of Cuba. An opportunity to foster a more pragmatic approach towards dealing with the Cuban government and finding constructive solutions to US/Cuba policy concerns". Johnson's trip cost $1,555.29 and was paid for by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.[9]

Pastors for Peace

In August 2005, Pastors for Peace, was in Dallas, "networking with local churches and peace and justice networks, and doing media outreach" . The group held a vigil in front of Dallas City Hall, along with representatives of the Dallas Peace Center, Pax Christi, and the homeless veteran population.

Then we had the honor of receiving a two-hour visit from Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Rep. Johnson has visited Cuba twice, and pledged to increase her advocacy for the release of the computers for Cuba.[10]

When the July 2007 Pastors for Peace caravan went through Dallas, one of the Caravanistas "Ernest" wrote on the IFCO/Pastors For Peace 2007 Caravan to Cuba blog;

I can’t end this note and go back to my personal chores and diversions without thanking the Dallas Peace Center, the Jobs with Justice brothers and sisters, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, the Presbyterian “Peacemakers”, the Pan African Connection Bookstore (and any others I may have unintentionally left out) for their contributions- in word and in deed- to the overall efforts.[11]

Eddie Bernice Johnson sent a congratulatory message to the Pastors for Peace 20th Cuba Friendshipment caravan, as it passed through Dallas, in August 2009.[12]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

As of February 20 2009 Eddie Bernice Johnson was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[13]

Congressional Black Caucus

Eddie Bernice Johnson is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[14]

Honored by Gene Lantz


Judy Bryant of the Education Workers Union (Alliance/AFT) and Gene Lantz honored Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson for her work on health care at the union hall at 334 W Center, Dallas TX on Thursday, August 21, 2008.[15]

Meeting ARA

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 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".[16]

Gratitude from the left

At noon on November 13, 2009, activists from MoveOn, Organizing for America, Jobs with Justice, (including local leader Gene Lantz), and the Progressive Center of Texas poured into the offices of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. They were there to express their gratitude for her vote on the House version of national health care reform.[17]

They were greeted by District Director Rod Givens, who told them that, "it is folks like you who keep the Congresswoman propped up!"The group brought a giant "thank you" card that each of them had signed. They also brought bouquets of yellow roses. What might be more important in the long run was a stack of signed cards pledging future support for the Congresswoman. Many of them carried pledges to work several hours in her next campaign.[18]

Speaking with Gene Lantz

Retirees from all over North Texas cooperated to celebrate Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's lifelong commitment to health care reform at the Alliance/AFT hall in Dallas on August 21, 2011. The bills for the event were shared by members of the Retired Members Committee of the Communication Workers of America, Alliance/American Federation of Teachers, United Auto Workers Local 848, and Jobs with Justice.

The event was chaired by AFT leader Judy Bryant. Aimee Bolender, President of the Local, welcomed the group. Gene Lantz showed the 11 minute introductory video for the Alliance for Retired Americans and conducted a discussion on the importance of organizing for such legislative goals as the Employee Free Choice Act. Congresswoman Johnson gave a thorough analysis of the need for health care reform and how to accomplish it through Congress. [19]

TARA event

, Marc Veasey, Linda Chavez Thompson, Gene Lantz, Eddie Bernice Johnson

Tony Padilla, Secretary for the Texas Alliance of Retired Americans in Dallas, Texas May 3, 2013, greeted guests at a Fiesta Dinner to Honor Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.

"Greetings and Good evening Brothers and Sisters, President Gene Lantz, Officers of Board of the TARA, Vice President Emeritus of the National AFL-CIO Linda Chavez Thompson, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Congressman Marc Veasey, Officers of the National Board of ARA, Members and Distinguished Guests.

Today is a very special night as we honor congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and it is a historical night for seniors.

So, on behalf of the 4 million members of the national Alliance for Retired American with the AFL-CIO as our parent organization, and on behalf of Fort Worth Officer Bob Martinez our General Vice President of the Southern Territory of IAMAW and TCU and Danny Cook, President of the Texas Council of Machinist, it is with great pleasure and honor to pay tribute to you congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a longtime friend and supporter of issues affecting Seniors and working families, but speaking for my own Union you have been a staunch supporter of Amtrak and other Rail Labor and Airline Issues from the time I was Texas State Legislative and Political Director in 1975 and later as Assistant National Legislative and Political Director from 1989 in Washington, DC until I retired in 2009 with 43 years of service.
Congressman Marc Veasey, we also want to say thank you for the support you give to seniors and the Machinist union on issues before congress, and for your contribution to honoring Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson on this very special historical night.[20]

13th annual "A World of Women for World Peace" conference

On May 4, 2013, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson held her 13th annual "A World of Women for World Peace" conference at the Federal Reserve of Dallas.

"I began my initiative, A World of Women for World Peace, to bring a greater visibility to the role of women who are victims of war and aggression," said Congresswoman Johnson. "It is my hope that we continue this dialogue to promote peace around the world."

The conference hosted over 200 local and international peace activists along with representatives from local government.

Panelists included Nazanin Boniadi, Iranian-American actress and official spokesperson of Amnesty International USA; Ronny Edry, Israeli Peace Activist, and Dr. Hind Jarrah, Executive Director of the Texas Muslim Women's Foundation. The panel was moderated by Zara Tariq of the Dallas Peace Center.[21]

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans event

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On March 5, 2014, the Dallas TARA chapter celebrated the 4th Birthday of the Affordable Care Act with cake and coffee. Charletta Compton, Outreach Liaison for Cong. Eddie Bernice Johnson, "shared how the ACA has helped many Texans". Communist Party USA member Gene Lantz was in attendance[22]

EMILY's List

Johnson has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.


The following are past and present staff:[23]

External links


  1. official congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  2. official congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  3. official congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  4. [http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/64545162.html, Dallas men gave voices to those working for peace and justice, by By ROY APPLETON / The Dallas Morning News, Posted on August 15, 2009]
  5. http://ebjohnson.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=2&sectiontree=2 Official Congressional Bio. Accessed 05/24/2012
  6. official congressional bio, accessed August 21, 2011
  7. PW, Drug czar assures repeat of past failures, by: Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, December 7 2001
  9. American Radio Works website: Trips sponsored by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation
  11. IFCO/Pastors For Peace 2007 Caravan to Cuba Monday, July 16, 2007 Beautiful Letter from Dallas
  12. Dallas Peace Times, August 2009, page 3]
  13. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  14. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  15. Re: [gpdems Grand Prairie Democrats Fwd: Health Care Event Aug 21]
  16. TARA, Texas Retirees Attend National Legislative Conference
  17. to Congresswoman Johnson for Health Care Reform Vote, Created on November 13, 2009
  18. Activists Say "Thanks" for Health Care Reform, by Jim Lane
  19. Local 848-Retirees Corner Dallas Retirees Cooperate to Win Health Care Reform
  20. IAM website, Retiree Tony Padilla and others Honors Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Mon. May 06, 2013
  21. EBJ website 05/06/13, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson Hosts Her 13th Annual "A World of Women for World Peace" Conference
  22. TARA Facebook page, Texas Alliance for Retired Americans March 5
  23. http://www.legistorm.com/member/302/Rep_Eddie_Bernice_Johnson.html Accessed 05/21/2012