Kevin Johnson is the 55th mayor of Sacramento. He is the first native Sacramentan and the first African American to be elected to the office. His vision is for Sacramento to become “a city that works for everyone.” Johnson’s dedication to public service began long before he started his tenure as mayor. Upon retiring from the NBA after 12 seasons with the Phoenix Suns in 2000, he returned to his Oak Park neighborhood in Sacramento to serve as the CEO of St. HOPE, a non-profit community development organization he founded in 1989 to revitalize urban communities through public education, economic development, civic leadership and the arts. St. HOPE has dramatically improved the community of Oak Park through its holistic community development approach, and is recognized as a national leader in the “transformation high school” movement.
Since taking office in December 2008, Mayor Johnson has accomplished a number of objectives in his ambitious action plan for Sacramento, including: improving public safety by adding more police officers on the street, securing homeland security grants, and hosting a gang summit; championing excellence in public education by meeting with area superintendents and hosting an education summit; boosting economic development by supporting existing businesses and attracting others to Sacramento; and launching Volunteer Sacramento, an initiative designed to make the city a national leader in volunteerism.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Johnson is a tireless advocate for California’s capital city. He has met with President Obama and his administration about critical regional issues, and he regularly consults with the nation’s leading mayors to identify best practices. Johnson has served as a guest commentator on several networks including CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, and has been featured on The Larry King Live Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline NBC and The Colbert Report.