Behind the scenes – What can Congressman Sam Johnson’s staff assist you with in Texas and Washington D.C.?

Gabriella Pate directs the Friends of Sam Johnson.
Gabriella Pate, director, Friends of Congressman Sam Johnson.

By Brian Bearden

ALLEN, TEXAS – A full house gathered around the lunch table in Mimi’s Cafe on Wednesday to hear about what their local representative was doing in Washington, D.C.

While many in Congress race to get in front of TV cameras, Congressman Sam Johnson has his staff focus on what’s important to the people back home around the Plano office. Gabriella Pate of the Friends of Sam Johnson told the Collin County Lincoln Society what services were available from the Congressman’s office.

Pate made several suggestions if you want to get your message to your Congressional representative:

* Before your appointment with the Congressman, reach a consensus on your targeted issue

* Carefully research your issue

* Keep your group small (3-4) and designate a spokesperson

* Present your position in writing to the Congressman’s staff as a reminder of your stand on your issue so that the representative knows your key points

* Follow-up by setting a legislative liaison with your group and the staff member handling your issue. This will help you work directly with the Congressman’s office

Congressman Sam Johnson
Congressman Sam Johnson

Sam Johnson serves the Third District of Texas, which covers much of Collin County including all or part of the cities of Allen, Anna, Blue Ridge, Dallas (Collin County), Fairview, Frisco, Lavon, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, McKinney, Melissa, Murphy, New Hope, Parker, Plano, Princeton, Prosper, Richardson, St. Paul, Wylie, and portions of unincorporated land in Collin County. The Plano office is situated in Suite 170 at 1255 West 15th Street.

Pate, a Texas Tech grad with roots in Albuquerque, N.M., she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English and Political Science. While in college, Pate interned in the Washington, D.C. office of Congresswoman Heather Wilson who represented New Mexico’s 1st District from 1998-2009. Pate also worked in the office of the Lubbock, Texas, mayor while at Texas Tech.

After pursuing graduate studies at SMU, Pate began her career working in the District Office of Sam Johnson as a staff assistant. She became Constituent Services Coordinator for the office, where she assisted in managing Federal casework and community outreach for the office before being promoted again to her current leadership position with the Friends of Sam Johnson.

Pate said Congressman Johnson and staff can help with:

Veterans Affairs (VA)
Social Security
Home Foreclosure
Overseas adoptions

Going to Washington D.C., and want a tour? Ask the Congressman’s office for tickets.

Tour tickets from the Congressman are all free and are distributed while available on a first come, first served basis. For White House tours, the number of tickets requested can not be increased once the request for tickets is made due to White House tour policy. All requests for White House tours must be submitted no less than four weeks out from the desired tour date. Tours are also available to Mount Vernon, the Library of Congress and the Capitol.

Johnson’s office in Washington D.C., is at 2304 Rayburn HOB. 202-225-4201. The Legislative office or “shop” as the staff calls it handles correspondence with voters back in Collin County, plus “flag requests.”

Pate said Congressman Johnson has much of his time focused on tax reform.

Did you know? “Top Gun” Sam Johnson was elected to represent District 66 in the Texas State House of Representatives in 1984.

Quick links for Constituent Services

Help With A Federal Agency
Congressional Youth Advisory Council
Congressional Art Contest
Service Academy Nominations
Info for Students
Passport Assistance Center
If you need help with a passport, please visit my passport assistance section.
Legislation Sponsored by Congressman Johnson
Click here to see all of the bills that Congressman Johnson has sponsored in the 112th Congress.
Tour Requests and Visitor’s Guide
Flag Requests
Request a flag flown over the Capitol
Federal Job Postings
Help with Federal Grants
Obtaining a Federal Document
Greeting Request Form
Request a greeting from Sam on a major birthday, anniversary, or accomplishment.
Presidential Greetings
Federal Government Links

March schedule change: The Collin County Lincoln Society meets next on the third Wednesday of March after Spring Break at Mimi’s Cafe on McDermott in Allen, Texas. … Regular meetings will return to the Second Wednesday of the month in April 2015.

Notable: Congressman Allen West will be in Richardson at the Canyon Creek Baptist at 7 p.m. Thursday at 2800 Custer Parkway. …

The Lincoln Day Dinner will be Feb. 21 at Plano Centre.
The Lincoln Day Dinner will be Feb. 21 at Plano Centre.

The Lincoln Day Dinner and Silent Auction will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Plano Centre, 1800 Spring Creek Parkway. Dinner: 7:15 p.m. Speakers for the Lincoln Day Dinner will be Congressman Will Hurd, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Vice Chair Amy Clark.


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Fargo Forum: Frisco expected to be more prepared for Bison migration

DAVID SANSOM/ Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota:

By Jeff Kolpack, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, N.D.

FARGO, North Dakota — The story that is now becoming legendary – North Dakota State fans ate and drank the adjacent suburbs of Frisco and Plano, Texas, out of house and home – is also serving as a word of warning. Be prepared.

NDSU’s Division I Football Championship Subdivision semifinal victory over Georgia Southern on Friday night qualified Bison fans to return to the scene of a Texas-sized party. NDSU plays for the national title Jan. 5 in Frisco at FC Dallas Stadium, located about 20 miles north of Dallas. Last year, NDSU had the fan advantage – both in and out of the stadium.
“Now we have a bit of a track record. They’ve seen us in action,” said Sherri Schmidt, NDSU’s associate executive director for the Alumni Association. “That’s my number one challenge.”
Schmidt flew to the area last week and met with various people in case the Bison did make it again. This year, she said the local convention and visitors bureau is involved.
NDSU will hold its Friday pep fest at the Plano Centre. It’s the biggest space available in the entire Dallas area, Schmidt said, and she’s wondering if that’s even big enough.
The pep fest last year was held at a Marriott hotel in Plano, which ran out of alcohol with an overflow crowd.
“We have to convince all the establishments to be prepared with food and beverage,” Schmidt said.
She said the Plano Centre also has outdoor space if needed. The NDSU event is competing with the Cotton Bowl, professional games and concerts for meeting space. The Plano Centre website says it can handle up to 5,000.
“We’ll work with it,” Schmidt said. “We were considering a big outdoor space, but the weather is too iffy.”
NDSU has come a long way in its fan base traveling to championship football games. Schmidt was with the school when it played in the Division II title game in Florence, Ala., where she figured the Bison attendance was somewhere around 1,000.
“This has absolutely blown me away,” she said. “It’s exciting and it’s so energizing to watch our fans everywhere.”
Schmidt said some major schools in bowl games limit the number of people allowed at a night-before event because of the sheer numbers. She said NDSU isn’t at that point yet.
“I still want to make it everyone welcome, please come,” she said. “We’ll tell them a guess with the numbers and hope we’re right.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at

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