Eddie Bernice Johnson
House, Texas , District #30
3102 Maple Avenue, Suite 600
Dallas, Texas 75201
Home Town: Waco, TX
Committees: Science, Transportation and Infrastructure
In the Nation's Capital she is widely known as the "Gentlewoman from Texas." The appellation is apt. Eddie Bernice Johnson became the first woman and the first African-American to ever represent the Dallas, Texas area in Congress when she was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1992. Congresswoman Johnson served as the past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus during the 107th Congress. In 2001 Ebony Magazine named Congresswoman Johnson as one of the ten most powerful black women.
The Congresswoman has been a leader in the United States Congress on many issues including: science, technology, transportation, election reform, and civil rights issues.Â Â Congresswoman Johnson sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and serves as the Ranking Democratic Member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.Â As the Ranking Texan on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, she has secured millions of dollars for Texas development, and has helped Dallas-Fort Worth become one of the fastest growing business areas in the country.
During the 107th Congress, she also sponsored legislation designed to reauthorize federal welfare programs with stronger anti-discrimination provisions, remedy environmental injustice, make the tax code fairer for workers whose primary tax is the payroll tax, and make the Small Business Association more effective. She also sponsored bills addressing HIV/AIDS, honoring veterans and doubling funding for the National Science Foundation.
Congresswoman Johnson was awarded the 2001 " President's Award" by the National Conference of Black Mayors, the 2001 "Visionary Award" from the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women, the 2001 "Woman of the Year" Award from 100 Black Men of America, Inc., and the 25th Anniversary Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. The Congresswoman is also the recipient of the 2000 Texas NAACP Heroes Award, given "to an individual who illustrates a lifetime commitment of advancing civil rights." It is the highest award bestowed by the Texas State Conference of NAACP Branches.
Over the course of her years of service to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congresswoman Johnson has held every executive position in the organization. As leader of the CBC, Congresswoman Johnson was responsible for helping to shepherd through the political process the legislative and policy priorities of African-American Democratic Members of the U.S. House. Congresswoman Johnson chaired the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (ALC).
Better known as "CBC Week", the ALC is one of the nation's largest annual professional gatherings of African-Americans and raises millions of dollars for scholarships, internships and fellowships. She was the catalyst for enactment of legislation of critical importance to the tens of millions of people who rely on the Caucus to be the "conscience of the Congress."
As she was elected to chair the Congressional Black Caucus for the 107th Congress, Congresswoman Johnson advanced an aggressive agenda. Her tireless efforts focused on comprehensive election reform, making technology accessible to all Americans, expanding minority access to capital, improving early health care, and treating countries in Africa as America treats its most valuable international allies.
Congresswoman Johnson was the first African-American woman to ever win elected public office in Dallas. In 1972, she began her public career when she was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. She chaired the Labor Committee, becoming the first woman in Texas history to lead a major Texas House committee. Her reputation as a hard working negotiator earned her an appointment by President Jimmy Carter to become Regional Director of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1977. In 1986, she was elected Texas State Senator. Again the first Dallas area woman elected to this office and first African-American to hold it since Reconstruction, she spearheaded measures to improve neighborhoods, health and childcare.
Congresswoman Johnson began her career as a nurse. She obtained her nursing preparation from St. Mary's College at the University of Notre Dame, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Texas Christian University. She received a Master's degree in Public Administration from Southern Methodist University, and subsequently served as the chief psychiatric nurse at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Dallas. Today, Congresswoman Johnson is one of two registered nurses in the U.S. House of Representatives. A businesswoman, Congresswoman Johnson has enjoyed a diverse career, including leadership in the private sector as founder of Eddie Bernice Johnson and Associates, a real estate business. She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Sunbelt National Bank.
Her successful career in public service has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including honorary doctorates from Bishop College, Jarvis Christian College, Texas College, Paul Quinn College, and Houston-Tillotson College. Born in Waco, TX, Congresswoman Johnson counts among her greatest accomplishments her son Kirk and three grandsons, Kirk Jr., David, and James.