PoliTex: Barbara Jordan is remembered in D.C.

Posted Saturday, Apr. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Legendary Texas Democratic lawmaker Barbara Jordan, a pioneering African-American lawyer, Texas senator and congresswoman who riveted audiences with her speeches, and died in 1996, lives on.

During the media unveiling April 15 of a campaign by Grammy winner Alicia Keys to combat HIV-AIDS in women, the star power extended to the memory of Jordan at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center in the Kaiser Family Foundation's building in Washington, D.C.

Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, began her speech about empowering women with HIV-AIDS by referring to Jordan: "Does she not embody the word 'empower'?"

And foundation President and CEO Drew Altman recalled a trip he made to South Africa with Jordan in the early 1990s when she met with a pro-apartheid Afrikaner leader. Altman said that when the Afrikaner leader said that he would rather die than accept black equality, Jordan said, "Well, we might just have to take you up on that kind offer."

Jordan served on the board of trustees of the Kaiser Family Foundation from 1985 to 1993 and helped fashion the foundation's mission to focus on health policy. She suffered from multiple sclerosis.

Wishful thinking

Allan Saxe , an assistant political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, thinks there may have been one better location for the George W. Bush Presidential Center than Southern Methodist University in University Park.


"It should have been constructed in Arlington, Texas, instead of SMU-Dallas," he recently said tongue in cheek, tipping his hat to Bush's tenure as co-owner of the Texas Rangers baseball club. "It was the Texas Rangers and the new ballpark that really gave [Bush's] career a boost."

A formal invitation-only dedication ceremony is set for Thursday for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which opens to the public May 1.

Election forums

A full slate of election candidate forums is scheduled in Fort Worth this week:

The Fort Worth Council of PTAs school board candidate forum, 7-9 p.m. Monday, Tarrant County College Downtown, Energy Auditorium, 300 Trinity Campus Circle.

The Coalition of Retired Employees/Retired Firefighters Committee/Retired Police Employees Fort Worth council candidate forum, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oak Room, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

The Oakhurst Neighborhood Association meet-and-greet with school board District 1 and Tarrant Regional Water District board candidates, 7 p.m. Thursday, Calvary Academy cafeteria, 1401 Oakhurst Scenic Drive.

The Fort Worth Chapter of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats council candidate forum, 5 p.m. Saturday, Charles Griffin SubCourthouse, 3500 Miller Ave. www.tcbd.org.

Birthday celebration

A onetime "boy wonder" of Texas politics, former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, turned 75 on Wednesday, and fellow Democrats came out in force to celebrate the power lobbyist's birthday in Washington and Austin.

The party at the Ben Barnes Group's offices in former President Teddy Roosevelt's mansion, featured another presidential connection: Lynda Robb, daughter of former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and her husband, former Sen. Chuck Robb, D-Va.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California was there, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa led a rousing "Happy Birthday" sing-along and other well-wishers included Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego of Alpine and former U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards of Waco.

In Austin, partygoers included LBJ library director Mark Updegrove and state Rep. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston.

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