Lauren Johnson takes another spin in the legislative process and learns these dangerous moves can knock you down – but you have to keep getting up and try again! It often feels like one step forward, two steps back, lather, rinse, repeat. This past year I’ve been working behind the scenes, and it’s been more than a little frustrating. The day after I went to the Capitol to testify about bills that were filed – that would’ve changed the struggle for those who come behind me on this journey – I woke up to an Internet headline that read, “Texas House passes bill on drug testing for welfare benefits”. That took the wind out of my sails. I was exhilarated the night before. I thought we’d been making progress, changing the perspective of the system and people! I was crestfallen. I used to think, people have to pass drug tests every day to get … Continue reading


First time legislative experiences, from Lauren Johnson


Lauren Johnson has remained ardent in her pursuit to make real changes for those with prior convictions. Most recently, she’s been keeping tabs on a rumbling rumor that could change the way employers view new-hire candidates. Rooting for their cause and taking notes in their conferences, she’s hoping this group will succeed in making it easier to get a job after release. Think you want to get involved too – but not sure where to start? Neither did Lauren! Here, she shares her entrance into the wild world that is our Texas legislature: I’ve been waiting a year and a half for this year’s legislative session. I decided I wanted to be a part of the solution, but I really had no idea how the Texas legislature works – or any clue where to begin. But I asked questions and was pointed in the right direction. That’s how I got plugged in … Continue reading