The Honorable Craig Washington
Craig A. Washington was born on October 12, 1941, in Longview, Texas. He attended Brock Elementary School in Houston, Fidelity Junior High School, then Fidelity Manor Senior High School in Galena Park, from which he graduated in 1958. Some of his high school activities included membership on the Student Council, and the High School Band, and participation on the track, football, basketball, and tennis teams.
He worked his way through Prairie View A&M University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 1966. Some of his University activities included membership in the Student Council, Les Beaux Arts, Barons of Innovation social Club and Team Tennis. Mr. Washington attended Texas Southern University Law School from 1966 to 1969, graduating number one in his class, with honors. While in law school, he was Captain of the Moot Court Team ((1967-1969). President of the Student Bar Association (1968-1969), and Research Assistant to the Dean of the Law School (1968-1969). During law school, Mr. Washington received several awards. He held a Charles T. McCormack Scholarship (three years), achieved the Dean's List (six semesters and three summers), Honor Roll (three Semesters), was the Delegate at the American Bar Association Convention, was Team Captain for the Texas Junior Bar Moot Court Team, and National Moot Court Team, received the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence for the highest class grade in Constitutional Law, Legal Ethics, Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Insurance Law, Civil Procedure, Agency, Moot Court, and Conflict of Laws. He received the Vemon/West Award in 1968 for the second year student with the highest average, and the U.S. Law Week Award for the graduating senior with the most satisfactory academic progress in the final year. He received the Corpus Juris Secundum Award in 1969 for the Senior with the best academic record, and was listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Washington served Texas Southern University Law School as Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Law, teaching a course in Legislation. During the 1973-1974 school years, he taught a Political Science course in the Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Houston. Mr. Washington returned to his Alma Mater as Distinguished Visiting Professor, to teach Evidence and Criminal Law during the 2000-2001 school year.
In 1970, he left the university to enter private law practice. He was the founding partner of Washington & Randle (later Washington, Lampley, Evans & Braquet), in Houston. Mr. Washington is licensed to practice law before the Supreme Court of Texas, the United States District Courts of the Southern, Western, Eastern, and Northern Districts of Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. He has had eight cases before the Supreme Court.
He has memberships in many professional organizations such as the National Bar Association, Texas Bar Association, the Houston Lawyers Association (Past President), Houston Bar Association, Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and the Galveston County Criminal Lawyers Association. Additionally, he is a former member of the Houston Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Houston Committee of the Humanities and Public Policy, the Houston Bill of Rights Foundation, Citizens United For the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), the National Conference of Crime and Delinquincy, and the National Association For The Advancement of Colored People. He is also a former member of Hope Center For Youth, and Advisory Board Member of Focus Magazine, former Chairman of the Houston Lawyers Association Legislation Committee, and former member of the Houston Bar Association Planning Committee. He was a member of the Constitutional Revision Committee of the State Junior Bar, a board member of the Citizens For Good Schools, a member of the Criminal Justice and Consumer Affairs Task Force of the National Conference of State Legislatures. He has been a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and a member of the Southern Regional Council, Inc. Atlanta, Georgia.
He was a member of the Vestry and former Senior Warden of the St. James Episcopal Church of Houston, Texas.
Mr Washington was an Institute Fellow in 1974 with the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and was a participant In 1975 at the State Legislative Conference at the Center for State Legislative Research and Service, Eagleton Institute of Politics. Rutgers University.
In 1985, the State Bar of Texas honored Mr. Washington as Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year.
He was elected to the 63rd Legislature in 1972 to represent the 86th District of Harris County. Texas Monthly selected him one of the Ten Best Legislators, three times: in 1973, 1979, and 1981. The August 1979 issue of Texas Business cited him as "being proficient in passing or defeating legislation."
The May 1980 issue of Texas Business referred to him as "smart, well-liked, and respected." Houston City called him "Houston's best Legislator" in its July 1981 issue and praised him in a feature story in the December 1981 issue.
As a freshman lawmaker, he was appointed Chairman of the Local Government Committee of the 1974 Constitutional Convention and Chairman of the Committee to Study Prairie View A&M University of the 63rd session. He was selected Chairman of the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee for the 64th session.
During the 65th session, he was Chairman of the Social Services Committee,
Vice-Chairman for Appropriative Matters of the Committee on Jurisprudence,
Chairman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, and Chairman of the Harris
For the 66th session, he was Chairman
of the Human Services Committee, a member of the Security and Sanctions
Committee, and Chairman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. During
the interim, he was appointed by the Speaker to the Joint Committee
on Urban Needs.
During the 67th session, Representative Washington was again Chairman of the
Human Services Committee, a member of the Regions, Compacts, and Districts
Committee, a member of the General Investigating Committee, and for the
third time, Chairman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, and Subcommittee
Chairman of the Select Committee on Public Education.
In August of 1980. Representative Washington was appointed Speaker Pro Tern- pore of the Texas House of Representatives. In December, he was appointed Chairman of the House Select Committee on Privileges and Elections.
In November 1982, Representative Washington was elected to State Senate District 13 for the 68th Legislature. He was the second Black to have served in the Texas State Senate since Reconstruction. His Senate District included parts of the Fifth Ward, the Heights, Montrose, Fourth Ward, Third Ward, the Herman Park area, Meyerland, Sunnyside, South Park, Westbury, the far south side of Harris County, and the northern edge of Fort Bend County.
During the 69th Legislature, he served on the Health and Human Services Committee, the Criminal Justice Committee, and the State Affairs Committee.
His committee assignments remained the same for the 70th legislature, with the addition of membership In the Senate Rules Committee. He was appointed in 1985 to serve on the Texas Sesquicentennial Committee, and served from 1984 to 1987 as a member of the State Job Training Partnership Coordinating Council. He was unopposed in 1986 for re-election to his second four-year term in the Texas Senate.
Mr. Washington was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the 18th Congressional District, following the tragic death of his friend, Congressman George Thomas Mickey Leland. He was first sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives when the 101st Congress reconvened on January 12, 1980. He was re-elected in November 1990, and in November 1992.
During the 102nd Congress, Representative Washington served on three committees: the Committee on the Judiciary, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. He served on the Judiciary Subcommittees on Civil and Constitutional Rights, Crime and Criminal Justice, and the Education and Labor Subcommittees on Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education, Post-Secondary Education, and Labor/Management Relations, Additionally, he served as the Whip for the Congressional Black Caucus, Whip-At-Large of the Democratic Whip Organization, and as a Regional Representative to the Democratic Study Group Executive Committee.
As a member of the House of the 103rd
Congress, Representative Washington served on three committees: the
Committee on the Judiciary, the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the
Government Operations Committee. He served on the Energy and Commerce
Subcommittees on Health and the Environment, Energy and Power, and on
the Judiciary Subcommittees on Civil and Constitutional Rights, and
Crime and Criminal Justice. On the Government Operations Committee,
he served on the Subcommittee on Human Resources and Intergovernmental.
Representative Washington also served as a Whip-At-Large of the Democratic
Whip Organization of the House of Representatives, and as a Vice-Chairman
for the Democratic Study Group Executive Committee.
Representative Washington was well known for his consistent support of civil rights and civil liberties and for his efforts to increase the participation of women and minorities in the political process. Highlights of his legislative career include passage of bills creating the Texas Department of Aging, increasing monthly payments to recipients of Aid To Families With Dependent Children (AFDC), limiting state investments in businesses involved with South Africa, addressing the needs of people with disabilities, and coordinating Texas fight against AIDS.
After his arrival in Washington, D.C., Representative Washington was a major contributor and fighter for justice, education, and equality for all. During the debate on the Civil Rights Act, he chaired full committee and field hearings, led floor debate on quotas, fought for the ability of women and religious minorities to sue for damages, and was a member of the Conference Committee in both the Education and Labor and Judiciary Committees. He was a member of many conference committees on issues such as child care, higher education, elementary education, and energy.
He is the father of five wonderful children: Craig Anthony Washington II Chival Antoinette Washington; Alexander Haller Washington;
Cydney Alexandra Washington; and Christopher Alfred Washington. He is also the proud grandfather of four adorable grandchildren:
Craig Anthony Washington Ill; Cameron Lloyd Washington; Kristen Earnestine Washington; and Kern Marie Washington. Mr. Washington maintains law offices in Houston and Bastrop. He is of counsel to law offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Lufkin, McAllen, and Odessa, Texas.
1972 Houston Lawyers Association
1973 State Bar of Texas for Distinguished Service in Legislature
1973 State Bar of Texas for Extraordinary Efforts
1974 Law Student Division of the American Bar Association
1975 Houston Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
1980 Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Outstanding
Achievements in Legal Profession
1980 Houston Area NAACP, Landmark case Award
1981 Houston Police Patrolman’s Union
1982 A. Phillip Randolph Institute, William F. Pollard Award
1982 Texas Southern University
1984 Mainland Branch, NAACP Award
1985 State Bar of Texas, Criminal Law Section, Lawyer of The Year Award(of 26,000 members)
1987 Thurgood Marshall School of Law
1989 Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Human Rights