Carole Johnson ~ In Her Own Words

On November 6th we will have a chance to use the full weight of the electoral process to determine who will be the next Governor of California and our representative in the US Senate.  There will be numerous state propositions, school board races, a critical race for the 15thAssembly District as well as the State Superintendent of Education.

 As important as these are, here in Richmond there is also a critical race being contested for three seats on the Richmond City Council as well as for the Mayor of Richmond.

Radio Free Richmond has extended an offer to all thirteen candidates for the Council and the two candidates for the Mayor’s position to post their own words to let you, the voters, know their positions on what they believe to be the important issues.

The candidates have also been invited to post guest editorials on the issues of importance.

RFR will post a new candidate statement every couple of days.

Carole_Johnson_RFR.jpgI am happily married, with three beautiful daughters and a handsome son. Although I'm originally from San Francisco, I've lived in Richmond since 1996. Richmond does have a reputation for violence and other crimes.  But, SF is much more dangerous.  I love living here and I wouldn’t choose to live anywhere else.  I love the diversity.  I also love the fact that so many Richmond natives know each other and their families grew up together throughout 3 or 4 generations.  My kids grew up in Richmond and went to school here as well.  There is definitely a strong sense of family here, whether you are blood-related or not.

I earned my Bachelor's Degree In Criminal Justice (2008) and my Paralegal Certificate (2010), both from SF State University.  But, in 2004 and again in 2006, my family and I suffered through the gun-related deaths of 2 of my cousins (Donte Boone & Travante James). Keith Stephens, a good friend from Contra Costa College, as well as Shawn Melson & Shanice Kiel, two young people that my kids grew up with, were also fatally shot.  After all those tragedies, I felt I had to get involved, to do whatever I could to help stop gun violence.  I joined a group of mothers (and others) in Richmond, who had lost loved ones to homicides.  I also served, for 3 years, with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, as the West Contra Costa County chapter president. 

In 2009, I joined a similar organization in San Francisco, conducting outreach to inmates in the SF County jails and in San Quentin State Prison, in order to empower inmates to make better choices and turn their lives around.  I know these restorative justice programs work because several of the men have been released recently and have made positive changes ever since.  That is why I will continue advocating for criminal justice reform and better resources for formerly incarcerated people.

Since 2011, I have been active with Richmond Ceasefire (reducing gun violence in Richmond), the Safe Return Project (advocating for formerly incarcerated people), working with ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment) to advocate for raising the minimum wage & increase affordable housing. I served, tirelessly, on Richmond's Human Rights/Human Relations Commission from 2013-2015.  I also protested against the jail expansion, with the Contra Costa Racial Justice Coalition, and I am currently collaborating with others on realistic solutions to reduce homelessness on Richmond's Homeless Task Force.  In addition, I have been a member of the Garden of Peace Ministries since 2013, serving faithfully, as the Leader of my church’s Homeless Outreach ministry, feeding our unsheltered neighbors on a monthly basis, and, as the Leader of our Jail ministry, offering guidance & support to women incarcerated at the West County Detention Facility.  Being elected to the City Council will allow me to take my passion and advocacy to the next level.  Hopefully, you will vote for me and allow me to broaden my knowledge and experiences, as a powerful voice for marginalized people.

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