• Lone Star Parity Project

Meet the First-Year Legislators: 87th Legislature

We asked women serving their first term in the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate a few questions for our lighting round of "meet the first-year legislators." These are the responses we received.

Ann Johnson

https://www.annjohnson.com/


What was your favorite moment as a freshman legislator?


Ann: "One day at the Capitol, I ran into a family with a special needs son, Sam. They were in Austin advocating for legislation that would help their family significantly with the medical issues and bills they face every day. I had the opportunity to take them onto the floor of the House, give them a tour and speak with them about their Texas Capitol. It was a reminder to me of why I worked so hard to be in Austin and continue to work so hard to represent the most vulnerable Texans."


What was the biggest challenge you faced?


Ann: "The 87th Legislative Session was challenging. We saw Texas Republicans ban abortion, criminalize protesting, criminalize homelessness, and pass permitless carry. We had to fight tooth and nail up until the very end against anti-trans legislation and the worst voter suppression bill we have ever seen."


What bill were you most passionate about?


Ann: "I have spent over a decade representing victims of human trafficking and many years prosecuting human traffickers in our criminal justice system. That is why I was so proud to pass House Bill 2633 which would create a funding stream to provide immediate care and treatment to child victims of human trafficking as well as long-term housing and support. This program will address solutions that lift these victims up rather than pushing them further toward the margins."


What piece of advice do you have for the next generation of women+?


Ann: "Get engaged however you can. Find a seat at the table. It is important to have representation of all communities at every level of government. Your voice matters and your ability to speak on issues that directly impact you matters."


Penny Morales Shaw

www.house.texas.gov


What was your favorite moment as a freshman legislator?


Penny: "When we realized that we had successfully protected voter rights in Texas, led first by 6 women."


What was the biggest challenge you faced?


Penny: "The politics of getting good people-centric, common-sense laws passed."


What bill were you most passionate about?


Penny: "Protecting voter rights, because everything else in the political process stems from the ballot box. Our right to vote, access to voting and fair elections were hard-fought battles that we cannot go backwards on."


What piece of advice do you have for the next generation of women+?


Penny: "We follow in the footsteps of great women who went before us and now we must be those women for the next generation."

We did not receive a response from these freshman legislators: Liz Campos, Jasmine Crockett, Sarah Eckhardt, Lacey Hull,Claudia Ordaz Perez, and Shelby Slawson

26 views0 comments