The Texas Legislature’s Sole Black Freshman had Big Plans for Her First Session. She Ended Up Mostly Playing Defense.

State Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Dallas, approaches the Texas House like she does a courtroom: She wants everything on the record.

The sole Black freshman in the Legislature, Crockett stood out during this year’s session for both the number of bills she filed and her passionate delivery on the House floor.

State Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Dallas, at her desk on the House floor on May 30, 2021. Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

But her experience as a first-time legislator also shows the consequences of such an outspoken approach. New members are often encouraged and expected to keep a low profile. Crockett took the opposite tack, debating her fellow members enthusiastically on the House floor and drafting ambitious legislation that sought to reform policing, expand voting options and loosen drug laws in the state.

In her first session, she filed more House

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