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Family Members join Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
Family members
Family Members join Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson for Unveiling of Portrait. Photo: C. Smith/TMN

The clock is winding down as U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) prepares to close out another chapter in American History.

It was an emotional day as she awaited the unveiling of her portrait that will hang in the Science Committee Room, along with previous chairmen of the Committee on Science Space and Technology.

Words like “great, courageous, powerful, honest and insightful” were used to describe the Gentlewoman from Texas. She was called a “treasure,” and “hard working”… “results-oriented, while very strategic.”

One speaker said Johnson didn’t have to wave her hands in the air or shout from the rafters to be effective.

It was even joked that her often quiet demeanor was in contrast from what you expected from Texans who could be considered to be somewhat loud and boastful.

Thursday’s tribute was one of many occurring since Waco’s proud “shining star” announced that she would not be seeking another term in the United States Congress.

Her office, which is right down the hall from the Committee Room, had a revolving door as people came from across the country to witness the unveiling and express their thoughts and feelings about the senior states-woman.

Congrasawomen
Congresswoman Johnson joined by Congresswoman Nikema Williams (who succeeded the Hon. John Lewis) and CBC Chair Joyce Beatty with Congresswoman-elect Jasmine Crockett. Photos: C. Smith/TMN

Bearing gifts and memories; dignitaries, family, friends, sorority sisters and colleagues shared their “EBJ”stories.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson; Workforce Dallas Czar Lynn McBee, who is President/CEO of Young Women’s Prep Network; Marketing exec Shawn Williams of Allyn Media; businessman Ross Perot Jr.; Atty. DeMetris Sampson and NAACP State President Gary Bledsoe joined elected officials past and present in the filled-to-capacity Science Committee Room as they also welcomed her successor, Texas State Rep. Jasmine Crockett.

The Congresswoman’s decision to retire stunned many who had become familiar with her over the years. January 2023 marks 30 years since she first took her seat, the first registered nurse to ever serve in Congress. For the 20 years prior she served in the Texas House and Senate, where she also was the first registered nurse to serve.

She’s received numerous calls including one from former president Bill Clinton and during the program letters were read from President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Luci Baines Johnson talked about the relationship her family had with the congresswoman; most notably with her father, President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In a private moment in the Congresswoman’s office, the former “First Daughter,” who was also a nurse, in passing on gifts to the congresswoman, said, “You have always done the right thing by all of us.”

Congresswoman Johnson shares a moment with portrait artist Ying-He Liu.
Congresswoman Johnson shares a moment with portrait artist Ying-He Liu.

Sharing just how close the two Johnson families were, she said her father was fond of Rep. Johnson, who first took office in 1973, making her the first woman in Dallas County elected to public office.

There were several high points during the program, including words from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who earlier in the day announced that she would not be continuing in her role, although she would remain a member of Congress, Calling the congress-woman a great pioneer, who was also dazzling and patriotic; Pelosi lauded her for her works and devotion to the sciences.

Speaking of science when the popular movie, Hidden Figures, aired, the real story of pioneering women in the sciences and working at NASA introduced many to unknown or unshared history of the role of Black women in science and technology.

It was a special treat for the congresswoman to have one of the remaining living subjects of the movie, mathematician and NASA aeronautical engineer, Dr. Christine Darden, in attendance.

There was also her dear friend, Ambassador Swanee Hunt, who although she had a speaking engagement at Howard University, made it in time for the unveiling.

Undoubtedly having her “beloved members” of the Congressional Black Caucus in attendance, was significant, as Congresswoman Johnson once chaired the group of mostly African American members of the U.S. Congress and Senate.

Atty. and UNT Dallas College of Law Professor Cheryl 
Wattley visits with Congresswoman Johnson.
Atty. and UNT Dallas College of Law Professor Cheryl Wattley visits with Congresswoman Johnson.

She beamed with pride as Congressman Hakeem S. Jeffries (D-NY) came to the microphone. Earlier in the day, she talked about how proud she was of him and how she would love to see him assume leadership.

“It will cap my career, if he ascends to leadership, “ she said. “He is definitely ready and he will make us all proud.”

As he spoke, Jeffries called her a “living legend” and told of how she served as a mentor to him.

During her remarks at the unveiling, Cong, Johnson called on everyone there who had a vote to use that vote in support of Jeffries to succeed Speaker Pelosi.

Her next remarks were received with a robust round of applause, as she praised past leadership but proclaimed, “It is time for some color!”

In addition to the portrait, which was the work of artist Ying-He Liu, the program for Stem women has been named in Congresswoman Johnson’s honor.

Arthur Busby
Dallas Police Officer Arthur Busby checks out pictures in Congresswoman Johnson’s DC office.

Clearly leaving her mark in the Capitol, back in Texas and internationally, Johnson could have served another term. Instead, she told Texas Metro News, “I know I am leaving at the right time.”

However, she said, there’s still work to do, especially within the Democratic Party.

So, if anyone thinks she’s returning to Dallas to sit and twiddle her thumbs, perish the thought. No one who truly serves anywhere for 50 years, disappears into oblivion, especially when “democracy” is in jeopardy!

Congresswoman Johnson with her great grandchildren.
Congresswoman Johnson with her great grandchildren.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Releases Statement on the Passing of Ying Lee

congresswoman barbara lee releases statement on the passing of ying lee

NNPA Newswire/BlackPressUSA
By Oakland Post Staff

congresswoman barbara lee releases statement on the passing of ying lee
congresswoman barbara lee releases statement on the passing of ying lee

Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement mourning the loss of her friend and former Legislative Director, Ying Lee.

“My condolences and love go to Sarah, Max, and Ying’s entire family upon learning of her passing. I am heartbroken over the loss of a great warrior woman, a good friend and former colleague, Ying Lee Kelley. I have known Ying since the early 1970’s and have experienced first-hand her brilliance, her honesty, her beauty and her commitment to global peace and security.

“Like many, she taught me many lessons and was a confidant and advisor. One of my most memorable moments with Ying was our visit to Japan to engage with the Japanese people on issues of war and peace following the horrific attacks on Sept. 11. She was greeted as an icon and legend. Her greatness was recognized by everyone.

“I spoke with Ying a couple of weeks ago and she was optimistic. She recognized the many challenges before us, yet — as usual — she provided words of encouragement and wisdom.

“Ying will always hold a special place in my heart, our community and the planet. Her life will be remembered as one of love, passion, compassion, dedication, and brilliance. Her legacy will provide us guidance in rising to the occasion as we continue her fight for peace and justice. I loved Ying and will miss her tremendously. May she rest in peace and in power.”

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest-ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.

The post Congresswoman Barbara Lee Releases Statement on the Passing of Ying Lee first appeared on Post News GroupThis article originally appeared in Post News Group.

Clock Winding Down on Historic Congressional Service

Historic Congressional Service

At several events during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Leadership Conference in the nation’s capital this week, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was feted for her three decades of service.

It was a festive but somewhat emotional afternoon as longtime friends, family, supporters, colleagues and employees, past and present, shared stories as Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) held her last Texas Barbecue on Saturday.

Since she took office, after being elected in 1992, the first nurse to serve in the U.S. Congress has held the event to showcase notable people and programs and welcome her Texas constituents.

Cong. Johnson
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson with Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL), and former Congresswoman and current Secretary of HUD Marcia Fudge.

Closing out her 15th term, Johnson’s service includes serving as chair of the CBC, but also championing causes such as Lupus, veterans, STEM, HBCUs, transportation, homelessness and education.

During previous terms she considered retirement and everyone from former president Barack Obama encouraged her to stay on.

This year, all eyes were on her as numerous photos were taken and attendees received a parting gift that included a bottle of Texas Hot Sauce.

Johnson reminisced about key moments in history since she was first elected and shared stories about her colleagues in Congress and the many challenges they faced as her party, the Democratic Party, has only been in the majority 10 years during her entire 30 years representing congressional district 30.

As the first African American and woman to chair the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee after being elected to the position in January 2019 and the most senior Texan on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, she is the Dean of the Texas Congressional Delegation and also serves as Dean of the Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona Democratic Congressional Delegation.

Saluting several members of Congress, who previously served as chair of the CBC; Johnson laughed as she claimed her term to be the best.  

Cong. Johnson's last CBCF rough

Congresspersons Kweisi Mfume (D-MD), Cedric L. Richmond (D- LA), StevenHorsford (D-NV) Marcia Fudge (D-OH), joined in the laughter with others members in attendance as Congressman John Clyburn (D-SC) took to the microphone to praise his friend and colleague. 

Elected at the same time as Johnson, he recalled how she came in working and never stopped.  It was a strong class, he said and “Eddie Bernice became a mother to all of us.”

He explained, “I have never done anything in Congress without checking with Eddie Bernice. What she has meant to this country has not been properly measured.”

Cong. Johnson's last CBCF rough

The senior legislator, who is credited with “breathing life” into a campaign that led to the election of President Joe Biden, talked extensively about Johnson’s impressive portfolio as he said he prepares for a time when she will no longer be part of the elite group known as the Congressional Black Caucus, which is comprised of mostly Democratic members of the U.S. Congress. 

“It’s going to be a sad day to take the oath and not see you,” he told Johnson.  “Eddie has been just great for us.”

And for Johnson, who’s been very vocal about her love for her CBC family, she shared her feelings once again as she pointed out that the members very important to her and she referenced a column she wrote a year ago expressing the same sentiments:

Cong. Johnson's last CBCF rough

“We can communicate without saying a word to each other. We can read attitudes without speaking. We can communicate effectively with eye contact. 

We are Black in America even when we are of mixed-race parentage or marriage, we find comfort among each other. 

Oftentimes, we share experiences that we do not share with our closest family members. It’s that common experience of sharing the heartbeat of the Nation that no other experience offers. 

Cong. Johnson's last CBCF rough

We work together; Eat together; Travel together; Laugh together; Cry together; Fight ogether; Worship together; Pray together; Workshare together; Plan together; Hurt together; Sit together; Stick together; and support and defend each other – even when we do not wholly agree. We are family!”

On Saturday she was even more candid as she added more expressions to that list, receiving loud applause, because for her and others, times were not always fun or good, but they got work done on so many fronts.

Topping off the CBC weekend, Johnson was slated for her “serve in the United States Congress” on Saturday night at the CBCF’s Phoenix Awards.  Also honored was Fort Worth’s Opal Lee, the “grandmother of Juneteenth.”

REP. JOHNSON ANNOUNCES DISTRICT EXECUTIVE CLOSEOUT TEAM

District Executive Closeout Team Picture
District Executive Closeout Team Picture
District Executive Closeout Team

Dallas, TX — Monday, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) officially announced her District Executive Closeout Team. The team, comprised of members of the Congresswoman’s District Office staff, will be responsible for the planning and execution of final district activities, the completion of remaining federal casework, and any tasks related to the transition of duties to the next Representative of Texas’s 30th Congressional District.

“As I prepare to retire at the conclusion of my term in January of 2023, I am proud to announce a team in place to ensure a smooth and seamless exit from elected office,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “Serving the constituents of Texas’s 30th Congressional District for the past 29 years has been a true honor and privilege for me. And while I still have over nine months left in office, I want to assure you that my team is taking the proper steps, in accordance with federal guidelines, to prepare for my departure.”

COMMENTARY: Afghanistan: After 20 Years, Thousands Dead and Trillions Spent, Rep. Barbara Lee Proven Right

rep barbara lee

By Lauren Victoria Burke
NNPA Newswire 

rep barbara lee
“I urged caution because I knew even then that there was no military solution in Afghanistan,” Rep. Lee, the one lawmaker who got Afghanistan right, told The Nation on August 30.

On September 15, 2001, only three days after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., Congress voted to give the authority for military force to President Bush.

The vote in the U.S. Senate was unanimous: 98-1. In the U.S. House, the vote was 420 to 1. That one dissenting vote was Rep. Barbara Lee of California.

Rep. Lee was opposed to giving President Bush broad and open-ended authority.  She would be the lone member of Congress to vote against that authority and she would face death threats and be called a traitor for her vote.

Two decades and thousands of deaths later, Rep. Barbra Lee would be proved correct about what would become America’s longest war.

“I urged caution because I knew even then that there was no military solution in Afghanistan,” Rep. Lee, the one lawmaker who got Afghanistan right, told The Nation on August 30. Lee felt that the 60-word resolution on Afghanistan that she voted against was a “a blank check for any president to use force anywhere in the world.”

In an August 30 statement on the Afghanistan withdrawal, Congresswoman Lee said: “Twenty years ago, it was clear that rushing into war without a clearly defined mission and exit strategy would risk perpetual war. The Special Inspector General of Afghanistan Reconstruction clearly illustrated in recent reports that ‘U.S. officials rarely had even a mediocre understanding of the Afghan environment, much less how it was responding to U.S. interventions,’ and that this ignorance often came from a ‘willful disregard for information that may have been available.’ In a world where the threat of terrorism cannot be ignored, hopefully we will learn the lessons from the past two decades and not repeat our mistakes.”

On August 31, President Joe Biden announced that the United States was exiting Afghanistan.

“Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The longest war in American history. We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety,” President Biden began.

“Leaving Aug. 31 is not due to an arbitrary deadline. It was designed to save American lives. My predecessor, the former president, signed an agreement with the Taliban to remove U.S. troops by May 1, just months after I was inaugurated,” Biden further explained.

According to an analysis by Forbes, it’s estimated that the U.S. spent over $2 trillion over 20 years on the war in Afghanistan. The math comes to $300 million dollars a day, every single day, for two decades.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist as Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke

Congresswoman Cori Bush Lauds Black Press Ahead of Receiving Prestigious Award

St. Louis

By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire

St. Louis
“From the incredible writers in St. Louis to the journalists pushing for equality abroad, I am deeply honored to be in the company of such dedicated individuals who lead our campaign for a better future for every human being, starting with those who have the least,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO).

As the clock ticked down on the federal eviction moratorium and jeopardized the shelter and well-being of so many Americans, Congresswoman Cori Bush boldly acted.

The Missouri Democrat, who had once experienced homelessness herself, camped out on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

On full display with a bright sleeping bag and nothing else to protect her from the elements, Congresswoman Bush made her point: she closely identified with those experiencing homelessness and those who were about to because of the moratorium expiration.

Her act of self-sacrifice isn’t the only thing that defines the Congresswoman, who sits as the first woman to represent Missouri’s 1st Congressional District and the first activist from the Black Lives Matter Movement elected to the U.S. Congress.

The Congresswoman sits as vice-chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, and the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

Additionally, Congresswoman Bush is a member of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy and the House Oversight Subcommittee on the Environment.

The 2020 “Black Rep’s Frankie Muse Freeman Spirit Award” winner, Congresswoman Bush, will receive the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) 2021 National Leadership Award.

Each year, the NNPA recognizes courageous Americans that have impacted the nation and world in positive ways.

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA, said the Black Press “is saluting excellence and innovative leadership in Black America.”

Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Drs. James E.K. Hildreth and Ebony Hilton, and record-setting Olympic Champion Allyson Felix also will receive awards.

The NNPA celebrates 81 years as the trusted voice of Black America and 194 years of the Black Press of America.

The National Leadership Awards are virtual this year and scheduled for 7 p.m. EST on Thursday, September 16.

Registration is free at http://www.virtualnnpa2021.com.

Before the awards, the NNPA will host a special interview with actress Gabrielle Union.

According to NNPA Board members, while the recipients’ career paths may vary, one cannot underestimate the impact of their shared commitment to creating meaningful and beneficial change in the lives of African Americans.

A St. Louis native, Bush also counts as the recipient of the 2015 “Woman of Courage Award” from the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation.

“I am humbled to receive a National Leadership Award from the NNPA and the Black Press of America,” stated Congresswoman Bush, who earned a nursing degree from the Lutheran School of Nursing in St. Louis.

“As we know, Black journalists have been denied a platform in this country for far too long. The excellence of Black journalism should never be taken for granted,” the Congresswoman added.

“From the incredible writers in St. Louis to the journalists pushing for equality abroad, I am deeply honored to be in the company of such dedicated individuals who lead our campaign for a better future for every human being, starting with those who have the least.”

Click here to register for the NNPA National Leadership Awards Reception.

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