Eric Johnson (Texas politician)
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|62nd Mayor of Dallas|
|Assumed office |
June 17, 2019
|Preceded by||Mike Rawlings|
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives|
from the 100th district
April 20, 2010 – June 17, 2019
|Preceded by||Terri Hodge|
|Born||October 10, 1975|
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
University of Pennsylvania (JD)
Princeton University (MPA)
Eric Lynn Johnson (born October 10, 1975) is an American politician and lawyer currently serving as the 62nd Mayor of Dallas, Texas since 2019. He previously served as a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives, where he represented District 100 in the cities of Dallas and Mesquite, Texas. District 100 included 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. He was later elected Mayor of Dallas in 2019.
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 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 intensely 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.
In 2009, Johnson 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.
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.
In April 2016, Johnson was selected by the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) as one of seven delegates from across the United States to travel to China as part of a bipartisan group of state and local elected officials to improve U.S.-China relations at the sub-national level. He was also selected by the German Marshall Fund as one of its 75 Marshall Memorial Fellows and recently traveled to four countries in Europe as part of this fellowship. Johnson was recently elected to serve on the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee’s Board of Directors and most recently named to the Board of Advisors for Let America Vote, an organization founded by former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander that is dedicated to winning the public debate over voter suppression in the United States.
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 also won reelection in 2014, 2016, and 2018.
Johnson founded, and served 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. Upon becoming Mayor of Dallas, Johnson vacated House District 100 seat, and his successor will be determined in a special election.
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
- Homeland Security and Public Safety
- Economic and Small Business Development (Vice Chair)
- Ways and Means
- Investments and Financial Services
- Redistricting (Vice Chair)
- Select Committee on State and Federal Power and Responsibility
Mayor of Dallas
On June 8, 2019, Johnson was elected Mayor of Dallas, defeating his opponent, city councilman Scott Griggs, in a runoff election. It was announced that he would take office on June 17, 2019. With his election, Johnson became the second African American mayor to be elected in Dallas history, after Ron Kirk, and one of the youngest mayors of a major American city. He was sworn in as Mayor on the scheduled date by Federal judge Sam Lindsay.
- "Representative Eric Johnson". Texas House of Representatives. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- "Rep. Eric Johnson kicks off 30th annual Black Rodeo". The Dallas Examiner. June 25, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- Christian Chronicle 10th June 2019
- Olivia Pulsinelli (May 2, 2018). "Law firm with dozens of offices worldwide enters Austin with 9 attorneys". bizjournals.com. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- "Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Class of 2013". aspeninstitute.org. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- "Advisors". Let America Vote. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Roush, Andrew (December 5, 2012). "New Legislative Caucus Represents Young Texans". alcalde.texasexes.org. The Alcalde. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- "REPRESENTATIVE ERIC JOHNSON JOINT-AUTHORS BILL TO ADDRESS STATE'S WATER NEEDS". house.texas.gov. February 19, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- Office of Mayor Eric Johnson
-  State Bar of Texas
-  Eric Johnson for Dallas Mayor
-  Andrews Kurth
|Texas House of Representatives|
| Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 100th district
| Mayor of Dallas