Eric Johnson (Texas politician)
|This biographical article relies too much on references to primary sources. (April 2014)|
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 100th district
|Preceded by||Terri Hodge|
October 10, 1975 |
|Spouse(s)||Nakita Johnson (m. 2007)|
|Alma mater||Harvard University (A.B., 1998)
Princeton University (M.P.A., 2003)
University of Pennsylvania (J.D., 2003)
|Religion||Church of Christ|
|Website||State Representative Eric Johnson|
Eric Johnson (born October 10, 1975) is a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, where he represents District 100 in the cities of Dallas and Mesquite, Texas. District 100 includes portions of: South Dallas, Oak Cliff, East Dallas, and West Dallas, including Buckner Terrace, White Rock Village, Westmoreland Heights, Owenwood Park, Claremont, Dolphin Heights, Forest Hills, Hollywood Heights, Lakewood Hills, the Design District, the Medical District, The Cedars, Exline Park, Golden Seeds, and Dixon Circle. District 100 is the most geographically diverse district in Dallas County, and one of the most geographically diverse, urban-based districts in the entire state.
Early life and education
Johnson was born on October 10, 1975 in Dallas, Texas. He attended Sudie Williams Elementary and C.F. Carr Elementary in the Dallas Independent School District until the second grade, when he received a scholarship to attend Greenhill School through the West Dallas Boys & Girls Club. Johnson graduated from Greenhill School in 1994. Johnson went on to attend Harvard University and was a resident of Cabot House. He was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. his sophomore year and headed up the community service efforts of both that organization and the Harvard Black Students Association, which earned him both the John Lord O’Brian and Stride Rite scholarships from Harvard College for his commitment to community service. The summer between his junior and senior year of college, he studied public policy at the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley as part of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship Program. While at Harvard, Johnson was heavily involved with the Phillips Brooks House, Harvard’s premier community service organization, where he served as the director of the Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program (CYEP), a summer program for the children who lived in the public housing projects in the City of Cambridge. Johnson lived in the public housing project that he served for the duration of the summer. After graduating from Harvard cum laude in 1998 with a degree in history, Johnson returned to Dallas to work as an investment banker with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, and then as an aide to State Representative Yvonne Davis. After the 76th Texas Legislature adjourned in May 1999, he moved to New York City for three months to work as a graduate intern for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund doing research to support several of their desegregation lawsuits in the Deep South and also to combat the proposed elimination of remedial education on City University of New York system campuses. Johnson went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was a Public Interest Scholar and a member of the Journal of International Economic Law, and a Master of Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, both in 2003.
Johnson and his wife, Nakita, live in Downtown Dallas. In his free time, he enjoys reading, sports, and spending time with Nakita and their two dogs, Nina and Bailey. The Johnsons are members of Skillman Church of Christ.
Johnson has been an active volunteer with the Dallas Independent School District. He has served as a mentor at both Lincoln High School and North Dallas High School and is a frequent speaker at career days, academic pep rallies, and assemblies throughout the Dallas Independent School District. In 2009, he launched West Dallas C.A.M.P. (Community Ambassador Mentoring Program), a partnership between C.F. Carr Elementary School, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and People Empowerment Project that provides fourth grade students with one-on-one and group mentoring for success both in and out of the classroom.
In addition to his volunteer work in DISD schools, Johnson has served on the boards of several important organizations in the Dallas community. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (the first Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas alumnus ever to serve in that capacity), where he formed an alumni organization for local Boys & Girls Club alumni to mentor and support current Boys & Girls Club members, as well as the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in South Dallas. He has also served on the boards of Educational Opportunities, Inc., an organization that provides scholarships to academically talented but economically disadvantaged DISD students, the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, which is responsible for operating "The Bridge" (the City of Dallas' homeless assistance center), and the West Dallas Chamber of Commerce.
Johnson is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas Arboretum, the West Dallas-based Voice of Hope Ministries, the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, the Southwestern Medical Foundation, and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. He is also a member of The Dallas Assembly, the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association (Class of 2006), and the Dallas Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Johnson was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in November 2003. He is currently of counsel at Andrews Kurth in Dallas, Texas. He joined the firm in September 2013. Johnson focuses his practice on public financing matters. He has experience advising numerous Texas political subdivisions as bond counsel and financial institutions as underwriter's counsel. He has also represented borrowers and lenders in syndicated loan transactions and other commercial lending transactions, including acquisition financings, inventory financings and second lien financings.
After the 82nd Texas Legislature, Johnson was selected to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. Johnson has been awarded the Achievement Award from the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program, the Dallas Regional Chamber's first ever "Courage in Public Service Award" for his work in the field of higher education, and was named one of the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce's "Five Outstanding Young Texans."
In 2012, Johnson was named to the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) and joined an ACYPL delegation that visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories, meeting with current and emerging leaders in the region. In December 2012, Johnson was the only member of the Texas Legislature invited to participate in President Obama's first ever meeting with a delegation of African American state legislators. Johnson currently serves as chairman of the Business, Financial Services, and Insurance committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and is one of the earliest members of the NewDEAL Leaders, a nationwide network of pro-growth progressive leaders. In November 2013, The Aspen Institute selected Johnson for its Rodel Fellowship Program for Public Leadership. He was one of 24 public officials selected across the nation to be recognized for his commitment to effective and principled bipartisan governance. "These are men and women who have forged records of excellence at all levels of American government," said former Congressman Mickey Edwards, the program's director. "All of them have been nominated for the fellowship by their peers and by political observers and community leaders who have singled them out as the best of the best of our emerging political leadership." The Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship Program was established in 2005, and today includes Fellows who have since gone on to serve as governors, members of Congress, high-ranking local and state officials and members of the President's cabinet.
Service in the Texas Legislature
Johnson was sworn in as a member of the Texas House of Representatives on April 20, 2010, filling the vacant seat that he won in a special election. He was reelected, after running uncontested, in the November elections of 2010 and 2012. He is seeking reelection in the November 2014 election.
Johnson founded, and serves as the chairman of, the Young Texans Legislative Caucus (YTLC), which focuses on transportation, education, water, infrastructure, and other issues of interest to younger Texans. YTLC is open to Texas state representatives who are either under the age of 40 or represent a district that has a population under 40 that is greater than the state average of 58%. He is also the vice chairman of both the House Natural Resources Committee and the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee, and was the only member of the 83rd Texas Legislature to serve as vice chairman of two standing house committees. Johnson also serves on the House Elections Committee, the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, and the Joint House and Senate Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency. He has previously served on the House Committees on Appropriations, Higher Education, and the Interim Committee on Manufacturing.
Johnson has authored legislation that ensures that vacancies in the Texas Legislature are filled in a timely manner, requires Texas courts to inform defendants being sentenced to deferred adjudication of their right to an order of nondisclosure, enables the Dallas Independent School District to implement a pilot program that allows some students to graduate in three years, and that adds public and private institutions of higher education to the list of places where reporting a false bomb threat is a state jail felony. In addition, he was a joint author of the landmark water legislation passed during the 83rd Texas Legislature, House Bill 4, that will fund the State Water Plan.
Committee assignments by legislative session:
- Criminal Jurisprudence
- Higher Education
- Interim Committee on Manufacturing
- House and Senate Joint Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency
- General Investigating and Ethics (Vice Chair)
- Natural Resources (Vice Chair)
- Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations
- House and Senate Joint Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency
|Texas State Representative from District 100
- "Representative Eric Johnson". Texas House of Representatives. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2011.