DFER's mission is to encourage a more productive dialogue within the Democratic Party on the need to fundamentally reform American public education. Each month, we identify one candidate who is standing up for meaningful reform and innovation, and we help demonstrate the broad base of support for his or her efforts. Please give as generously as you can.
December 2009: New York State Senator Craig Johnson (SD-7)
Sen. Johnson made history in 2007 as the first Democrat elected to represent New York's 7th District in over 100 years. In the time since, Senator Johnson has been a great partner for DFER and supporter of increased funding for public education, coupled with significant reform to change the status quo. Right off the bat in the Senate, Johnson was an outspoken supporter of the 2007 legislation to lift the cap on charter schools from 100 to 200. His timely election helped fuel the momentum of the successful legislation, and in the time since, he has been a friend of New York’s charter school and education reform movements.Sen. Johnson’s passion and skilled political maneuvering are a product of a political background and a lifetime as a New York citizen and politician. He was born and raised in Port Washington, Long Island, where he still lives with his family. His mother, Barbara Johnson, was also a local politician. Sen. Johnson replaced her on the Nassau County Legislature in a special election after she passed away in 2000. He served for four terms on the Legislature, where he was given the reigns of a $2.2 billion budget and helped save the county from bankruptcy as the youngest-ever chairman of the Finance Committee.