Legislation to name building after the late Barbara Jordan heads to Texas governor’s desk

Texas Politics
Barbara Jordan

FILE – In this July 12, 1976, file photo, Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas waves as she speaks to the Democratic National Convention in New York City. Clint Eastwood gave the Republicans some offbeat remarks to remember in 2012. Will the Democrats come up with any memorable lines? Some past Democratic convention speeches that live on include Jordan becoming the first black and first woman to deliver the party’s keynote address: “My presence here is one additional bit of evidence that the American Dream need not be forever deferred,” she said. (AP Photo/File)

Update, May 24: The Texas Senate approved the House’s proposal to name the new state building after the late Barbara Jordan, sending the legislation to the governor’s desk for a signature.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Legislature is honoring a lawyer, congresswoman and civil rights advocate who paved the way for Black women in state and congressional office.

The Texas House passed a resolution Friday directing the Texas Facilities Commission to name a building after former State Senator and Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

The building is currently under construction on the east side of North Congress Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets.

Jordan became the first Black woman elected to the Texas Senate in 1966, according to the National Women’s History Museum, and ultimately became president of the state Senate in March 1972. She worked to implement a minimum wage law, antidiscrimination statements in business contracts and a Fair Employment Practices Commission.

The same year she became president of the Texas Senate, she became the first Black woman elected to Congress from the South since 1898, the museum said. In her role on the House Judiciary Committee, she delivered the opening remarks to Richard Nixon’s 1974 impeachment hearings.

She helped expand the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the museum said, and she was the first African American and first woman to be a keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

She was a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and passed away in January 1996.

  • Barbara Jordan, Andrew Jefferson
  • Barbara Jordan
  • Barbara Jordan (D-Tex. Rep.), right, with Jimmy Carter shown at the Democratic National Convention in New York's Madison Square Garden where she gave a speech, July 12, 1976.  (AP Photo)
  • Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Tex., offers her view on impeachment of President Richard Nixon during a night session of the House Judiciary Committee in Washington Thursday, July 25, 1974. Rep. Jordan is one of five Democratic first-termers on the panel. (AP Photo)
  • Barbara Jordan
  • Barbara Jordan

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