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The Honorable Kevin Johnson

The Honorable Kevin Johnson

City of Sacramento

Session Details

Closing Plenary Session
May 21, 12:00am-2:00pm


Kevin Johnson was elected as the 55th mayor of the City of Sacramento in November 2008 and re-elected to a second term in June 2012. He is the first African American to be elected to the office. His vision is for Sacramento to become “a city that works for everyone.”

Since taking office, Mayor Johnson has embarked on an ambitious plan to reshape how city government serves the citizens of Sacramento. His top priorities include improving public safety, creating jobs and economic development, launching green and sustainability initiatives, reforming public education, promoting good government and enhancing the quality of life for all Sacramentans.

Beyond his policy goals for Sacramento, Mayor Johnson is committed to elevating Sacramento's profile as the capitol city of California - the 8th largest economy in the world. To that end, the Mayor has taken on a range of national leadership positions, including his current roles as President of the US Conference of Mayors, President of the National Conference of Black Mayors, Chair of US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's Mayors Advisory Council, and Chair of the National Resilient Communities for America Campaign.

Before taking public office, Mayor Johnson led a diverse career as a professional athlete, entrepreneur and nonprofit executive.  Johnson served as Chief Executive Officer of St. HOPE (Helping Others Pursue Excellence), a nonprofit organization he founded in 1989 and led until January 2008. Originally focused around providing afterschool programs to at-risk youth in the Mayor’s native Oak Park neighborhood, St. HOPE expanded to pursue a broader program of urban revitalization through public education, civic leadership, economic development, and the arts. Today St. HOPE consists of three divisions: St. HOPE Academy, St. HOPE Development Company, and St. HOPE Public Schools.

In his prior career, Johnson played professional basketball in the National Basketball Association. After earning a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley, he was drafted as the 7th pick in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He went on to play twelve seasons with the Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, earning honors as a three-time All-Star, and five-time selection to All-NBA teams. The Mayor was inducted into the Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor in 2001, and is a member of the UC Berkeley Athletic Hall of Fame, Pac-10 Hall of Honor, Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame, Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame, National High School Hall of Fame, and World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

Mayor Johnson has served on the Board of Directors for LISC National, the California Charter School Association, the UC Berkeley Foundation, Teach for America, the Institute of Governmental Studies National Advisory Council and the Harvard Divinity School SLI Advisory Board. His concern and compassion for children and education prompted President George H. W. Bush to honor Johnson with the 411th Point of Light. In addition, Johnson was selected as one of the “15 Greatest Men on Earth” by McCall’s Magazine and has received the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, the Good Morning America Award from Sports Illustrated, NCAA Silver Anniversary award, and the “Most Caring American” award by the Caring Institute.

Mayor Johnson has appeared on several national television programs including CNN Newsroom, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline NBC, Larry King Live, The Colbert Report, Fox Business Network, and Tom Brokaw’s “American Character.”