Al Green (politician)

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Al Green
Al Green Official.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 9th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2005
Preceded by Nick Lampson
Personal details
Born Alexander N. Green
(1947-09-01) September 1, 1947 (age 67)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Residence Alief, Houston, Texas
Alma mater Florida A&M University
Tuskegee University
Texas Southern University
Occupation attorney
Religion Southern Baptist[1]

Alexander N. "Al" Green (born September 1, 1947) is the U.S. Representative from Texas' 9th congressional district, serving since 2005. The district includes most of southwestern Houston, including most of that city's share of Fort Bend County. It also includes most of Missouri City.

Early life and career[edit]

Green was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He attended FAMU and transferred to Tuskegee University, from which he earned a bachelor's degree. He later went on to receive his Juris Doctor in 1974 from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. After receiving his law degree and being admitted to the Texas Bar, he remained in Houston and currently lives in the Alief community.

In 1978, Green was elected Justice of the Peace in Harris County, Texas in the Precinct 7, Place Two position. He held this position for 26 years.

A former trial lawyer, Green co-founded the firm of Green, Wilson, Dewberry, and Fitch. He also served as president of the Houston NAACP and, during his term as the organization's leader, membership increased sevenfold. While serving as NAACP leader, he focused on increasing minority hiring in Texas and forming alliances with Hispanic groups.

Green is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[2]

Political career[edit]

While still serving as a Justice of the Peace, Green ran for mayor of Houston in 1981, finishing a distant fifth in the primary.

In 2004, Green entered the Democratic primary for the 9th District. The district had previously been the 25th, represented by freshman Democrat Chris Bell. However, Bell was placed in significant jeopardy as a result of the 2003 Texas redistricting. Although the district was heavily Democratic, it had a significantly larger number of blacks and Latinos than its predecessor. The old 25th had been 65 percent white, while the new 9th was 17 percent white, 37 percent black and 33 percent Latino. This left Bell vulnerable to a primary challenge from a black or Latino Democrat, and prompted him to file an ethics challenge against Tom DeLay.

In the March 9 primary, Green crushed Bell with 66 percent of the vote to Bell's 31 percent. He beat the Republican nominee Annette Molina in November. He was reelected unopposed in 2006 and faced only a Libertarian in 2008. This is not surprising given this district's partisan tilt; with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+22, it is the second-most Democratic district in Houston.

While in Congress, Green has focused on issues similar to those that he worked for while with the NAACP. Fair housing and hiring practices for the poor and minorities are some of his greatest concerns.

Political positions[edit]

Green, a Democrat, shows strong liberal tendencies on social issues.

He is pro-choice, and consistently votes accordingly. On October 13th, 2011, he voted against an amendment to the Affordable Care Act, which prevented insurance gained through the Act to cover abortions.[3] The bill passed convincingly in the House. Green has voted against eight other bills proposed in the House that would prevent any government spending to cover abortion. Due to this, he has received 100% ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, while receiving a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee.[4]

Green also supports gun control. He spoke out after the Trayvon Martin shooting, asking members of the African-American community to show faith in the justice system and let the courts do their job and convict George Zimmerman.[5] The National Rifle Association gave him a rating of 0%, and Gun Owners of America rated him 25%, but the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave him a Lifetime Score of 83%.[4]

On budget issues, Congressman Green strongly follows his party’s views. He has supported every budget bill proposed during President Obama’s term. However, during President Bush’s term, he voted against all bills to cut government spending and taxes.[3] Green also voted for President Obama's bailout of the Auto Industry in 2009.[3] On December 10th, 2008, he wrote a statement supporting the bailout, saying, “The auto bailout is really about bailing out people, and the people of this country... I think that [how tax dollars are spent] is a legitimate concern for the American people, but I do think, with the proper strings attached, we can bail out the people...who may lose their jobs.”[6]

Congressman Green is a member of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus. He is a strong supporter of holding on to Pakistan as an ally in South Asia. After the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27th, 2007, which initially destabilized the country as riots erupted, Green issued a statement condemning the assassination as a “dastardly effort to circumvent the democratic process.” He announced the US’s continued alliance with Pakistan, and urged Pakistanis to continue pushing towards democracy, “knowing that freedom, justice, and democracy are difficult to achieve.”[7]

After the 2012 election, in which he was once again reelected in Texas' 9th district,[8] Green spoke at a press conference in Houston. He emphasized the need for the lame duck Congress to work together to reform the budget. He announced his plan to propose infrastructure development across the country, in order to create jobs and unify America.[9]

Green is a supporter of the Federal Reserve's program of quantitative easing and claims that it has led to economic recovery since the financial crisis of 2008.[10]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucuses[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nick Lampson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 9th congressional district

2005–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Louie Gohmert
R-Texas
United States Representatives by seniority
180th
Succeeded by
Brian Higgins
D-New York