Sen. Connie Johnson (retired) served for 33-years in the Oklahoma State Senate, representing Oklahoma City’s predominantly African American “Eastside,” where her focus and willingness to speak out, as a Senate researcher and Senator, on health/mental health/human services issues that disproportionately affect the economic and social well-being of the poor, minorities, women, children, and people with disabilities was game changing.
Johnson made Oklahoma history as the first woman and African American to win a major political party US Senate nomination. Her legislative efforts and reproductive health rights advocacy were featured on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show’s “Bro. Choice,” and led to the defeat of Oklahoma’s “Personhood” Bill in 2012.
Sen. Johnson served on the full Senate Appropriations Committee and the Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. She was the ranking Democratic member of the Health and Human Services Committee. She also served on Energy, Finance, Veterans, Public Safety, and Rules Standing Committees. She effectively worked across the aisle on issues affecting people with disabilities, criminal justice reform and cannabis policy reform.
The 2014 Oklahoma Democratic Party Veteran’s Committee Legislator of the Year, Johnson presently serves as vice chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, and recently chaired the Oklahoma Coalition To Abolish The Death Penalty, where she led the statewide campaign against State Question 776, which put the death penalty in the Oklahoma Constitution.
Johnson is a native of Holdenville, Oklahoma, and has lived in Dustin, Idabel, Oklahoma City, Stella and Forest Park. She is the mother of three adult children and has two granddaughters. Connie graduated with honors from OKC’s Frederick A. Douglass High School, the University of Pennsylvania, and Langston University’s Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling Program. She is a lifelong member of The Church Of The Living God.