Influential former Texas US Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson dies at 88

DALLAS, Texas (AP) - Trailblazing Longtime U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, A Texas nurse who helped bring millions of federal dollars to the Dallas area as the area's most powerful Democrat has died. She was 88 years old.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and several other leaders released statements about his death Sunday after his son posted on Facebook. dallas morning news An unnamed source close to the family also confirmed his death. No cause of death was given.

"She was the most effective legislator Dallas has ever seen," the mayor said in a statement. “Nobody brought more federal infrastructure money to our city. No one fought harder for the interests and safety of our communities and our residents. And no one knew how to navigate Washington better for the people of Dallas.

AD Bernice Johnson served in the House for three decades after becoming the first registered nurse elected to Congress and the first black chief psychiatric nurse at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Dallas. She became the first Black woman to chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and also led the Congressional Black Caucus. He left office in January after repeatedly delaying his retirement. Before Congress, he served in the Texas legislature.

Johnson used his committee leadership position to fight against Republican efforts to block action on climate change.

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Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Steven Horsford said Johnson was a "strong supporter of expanding STEM opportunities for Black and minority students" who also played a key role in helping the Biden administration pass a major measure. stimulus package For computer chip manufacturers.

Johnson was born in Waco and raised in the segregated South. Dallas' once segregated Union Station was renamed in his honor in 2019.

His own experience with racism inspired him to become involved in politics. She remembered that VA hospital officials were surprised that she was black because they had hired her without seeing her, so they rescinded her offer to live in a dormitory on campus. He told The Dallas Morning News in 2020 that officers would walk past him into patients' rooms "to say I'm qualified."

"It was really the most blatant, overt racism I have ever experienced in my life," he told the newspaper.

Johnson almost quit but decided to stick with it.

“It was very challenging,” she said. “But any job where you're entering for the first time as an African American woman is going to be a challenge. They hadn't hired anyone before I got there. Yes, it was a challenge, but it was a successful venture.

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