On Saturday morning the members of the Kaufman County Republican Women (KCRW) were excited to welcome Dallas County Criminal District Attorney, Faith Johnson, as the Keynote Speaker at their February luncheon.
Recently appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to complete the term of former Dallas DA Susan Hawk, Faith Johnson is the first female African-American to serve as Dallas County Criminal District Attorney, and she is a Republican.
Introducing DA Johnson, KCRW President and Kaufman County District Attorney, Erleigh Wiley said “Faith Johnson was a Dallas County Prosecutor and she was the first African-American female to become a Felony Chief in Dallas County. And she ran a unit that is very near and dear to me, the Child Abuse Unit, in the infancy stage when those kinds of units were first getting started. And she left the DA’s office only to serve as Dallas County’s 363rd District Judge, which she did for seventeen years.”
A captivating speaker, Dallas DA Faith Johnson began by proclaiming her strongly held faith in God.
Johnson said “I always say to God, I say “God, I love you. I just love you. I love that I can say that. And what I love about it is that I can say it wherever I go. So I say ‘God, I don’t ever want to deny you. It doesn’t matter where I am. If it means I have to lose a vote because I say to people ‘I love God’. I trust him. I am walking in this season because of him and only him. I am telling you, that it is only because of him that I am here today.”
Gathering at the Especially for You Tea Room located on the square in Kaufman, the group of about forty-five members enjoyed a delicious lunch as they listened to DA Faith Johnson elaborate on her first forty days as the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney.
DA Johnson said “The City of Dallas has come through some turbulent times. My thing is that I want to get us back and that’s my focus as the DA, how can I serve the people. And by the way I’ve been in office for forty days now. And in forty days I’ve had over one-hundred-twenty meetings and events that I’ve had to go to. And what I’ve said to people everywhere I go is that my main focus is what do I fix inside this office, and how can I restore the trust of the people on the outside of the office.”
While discussing her ideas to improve productivity at the DA’s Office, Johnson said “My day is usually just so packed. Because think about it and remember I’m trying to do something inside and outside, and that doesn’t include me taking my staff out to lunch, and sometimes doubling up on taking them out to lunch. I’m spending about an hour and a half with prosecutors every week. And on top of that, I’m checking them out and going to their courts. Checking on how they’re doing. And that was a first, too. And I’m going in and the prosecutors love it. Remember now, I have 267 prosecutors, so they love the idea that I’m taking time out of my day to peep in on them and just see if everything is okay.”
Elaborating Johnson said “I’m taking my staff out to lunch, my prosecutors. Every week for the last six weeks I’ve been taking two different courts out to lunch on my dime. Not county money, not my campaign funds, my own personal money. So we’ve got anywhere from six to twenty prosecutors that we’re taking to lunch until we get all of them.”
She said “Some of the ADA’s, in fact, about 90% say they have never met their DA. They’ve only seen their DA from a distance. They’re never been up to them, for ten years, never been up to shake the DA’s hand. And I’m taking them to lunch so what I’m doing is trying to restore their confidence and build the relationship, so that they can just go out there and just work their head off for me. That’s what I want to do.”
Speaking passionately about her approach to revitalizing the DA’s office, Johnson stated, “So what am I saying to them? I’m letting them know who I am. And I want to know who they are. I want them to know, I care. And by the same token, I’m going to give them 110%, I’m letting them know that. And all I want from them is 100%.”
Describing her ADA lunch meetings, Dallas DA Faith Johnson said “I want you to be here on time. I want you to be ready and prepared. I want you to get in there and do the job. I want you to respect the judges and respect the lawyers. I mean we can be on opposite sides but we can still respect one another. I want you to follow me. I walk in integrity, I walk in honesty and I want you to do the same.”
For more information on the meetings and activities of the Kaufman County Republican Women’s Organization, visit http://kaufmancountyrepublicanwomen.org/
Written by: Denise Bell