Elizabeth Sands Johnson, 74, an economist who worked with the Labor Department for 22 years and was president of the D.C. League of Women Voters in 1964, died Thursday of a cerebral hemorrhage at George Washington University Hospital.
Miss Johnson's activities with the League of Women Voters were wide ranging. At the national convention of the League of Women Voters in 1968, she proposed that the league support "self-government and representation in Congress for District of Columbia citizens."
She was a well known advocate of public transportation and in 1968 gave a fervid speech before the D.C. City Council in opposition to a freeway through the city.
As chairperson of the League of Women Voters in 1970, she wrote to The Washington Post urging a "public policy to reduce air pollution through the promotion of mass transportation systems and through discouragement of automobile commuting."
She also headed the league's energy committee.
Last April, as a representative of All Soul's Unitarian Church, Miss Johnson fought for a proposal to require Pepco to submit financial reports on nuclear power plants to its stockholders before beginning development or construction of nuclear power plants.
Miss Johnson also lobbied government leaders and businessmen to have the District's minimum wage raised during the 1960s.
She headed a group called Citizens Committee for Minimum Wages for the District of Columbia, formed in 1965. The group, which presented testimony before the House District Committee in 1965, supported a $1.25 minimum wage bill for D.C. in 1965.
Miss Johnson came to Washington in 1935 as an economist for the U.S. Labor Department. She did research in child labor that led to recommendations for legislation setting an hourly wage.
Her career as a labor economist began in the Women's and Children's Bureau of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor. After serving 22 years with the U.S. Labor Department, she returned to the Pennsylvania Labor Department as chief of the bureau for Women and children.
She returned to Washington in 1962 to work with the Area Redevelopment Administration, which sought solutions to unemployment in Appalachia.
She retired in 1963 and became active in the League of Women Voters and All Souls Unitarian Church.
Miss Johnson, a resident of the District, is survived by two sisters, Harrie F. Lewis of North Tarrytown, N.Y., and Helen S. Johnson of White Plains, N.Y., and a brother, Eliot R. Johnson of Coraopolis, Pa.