Commissioner Larry "LJ" Johnson was elected as the DeKalb 3rd District Commissioner in November 2002. With the overwhelming support of the community he won with 92 percent of the vote, making him one the youngest commissioners to ever be elected to serve on the Board of Commissioners. During his first year in office, he accomplished a number of things, including voting for 32 million dollars in infrastructure and highway improvements, such as sidewalks and improvements to relieve traffic congestion; the Millage Rate was decreased for homeowners; and the adoption of the Property Maintenance Ordinance. Commissioner Johnson has served as Chairman of the Economic Development/Planning Committee for the Board of Commissioners; is past the Chair of the Board of Education/Board of Commissioners Intergovernmental Committee; former chair of the Budget Review Committee; former chair of the Economic Development/Planning Committee and the Economic Development Committee. He currently serves as the Chair of the MARTA Partnership Committee.


Commissioner Johnson's community involvement has included serving as a youth diversion counselor for the DeKalb Juvenile Court system and co-founding a Senior Citizens forum at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church. Commissioner Johnson is past President of The Board of Directors for the DeKalb Prevention Alliance and past Vice-Chair for the statewide Covering Kids Health Initiative. Commissioner Johnson worked as a Health Education Coordinator for the DeKalb County Board of Health where he collaborated with the South DeKalb Pedestrian Safety Coalition. In collaboration with State Representatives June Hegstrom and Barbara Mobley they rallied successfully to get House Resolution 790 passed. This legislation recognized a statewide Pedestrian Safety Week to educate our children on safety while crossing the street. In addition, Commissioner Johnson worked diligently to assist in getting House Bill 1240 passed. House Bill 1240 gives pedestrians the right-of- way in crosswalks.


Commissioner Johnson works to find solutions and opportunities for improving our children's educational outlook. His dedication to young people is motivated by the simple fact that when he was young, someone cared about him, reached out to him and motivated him to succeed. As a young man who has overcome many adversities, Commissioner Johnson is committed to serving as a role model for our youth. His commitment to helping children succeed is evidenced by his selection to serve as Chair of the Early Learning/School Readiness Commission and to be nominated to serve on the Early Education Commission. The Early Learning/School Readiness Commission is a partnership among public schools, government agencies, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, businesses, and the early learning community that is designed to ensure a strong early educational foundation and successful transition into kindergarten for all of the children in DeKalb. The Early Education Commission is a community leadership collaborative supporting the United Ways goal of ensuring that children are ready for school.


Commissioner Johnson was also appointed to serve on the Joint Fulton/DeKalb MARTA Committee and the Joint Fulton/DeKalb County Grady Committee (the only Commissioner to have been appointed to serve on both committees). The purpose of these Joint Committees was to discuss methods by which the two governments could better coordinate their efforts to ensure the long-term vitality of Grady Hospital and MARTA; this would include efforts to secure regional funding for both agencies.


In 1998, Commissioner Johnson received an Outstanding Young Man of America award, an honor shared with President Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Christopher Reeves, Arthur Ashe and Edward Kennedy. In 2000, the DeKalb NAACP awarded him the Thurgood Marshall Social Justice Award. In 2001 the South DeKalb Mall Community Pride Day committee named Commissioner Johnson an "Unsung Hero.


 In 2004 Commissioner Johnson received the South DeKalb Neighborhood Coalitions Pioneers Platinum Award and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation Partnership Award; also in 2004, Commissioner Johnson was recognized by the American City Business Journal as a 2004 Up & Comers Under 40 and Rising one of Atlantas rising stars; in 2005 he received the DeKalb NAACP Pat C. Jones Award and the Partnership for Community Action The Help Award; in 2006 he was awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Glenwood Pedestrian Safety Initiative. In 2007 he received the Chairmans Special Recognition Award from the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, the Citizenship Recognition Award for Political Awareness and Involvement from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the 2007 Power to End Stroke Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Additionally, Commissioner Johnson is a 2003 Graduate of Leadership DeKalb, United way Community Building Fellow Class of 2005 and a 2006 Graduate of the Regional Leadership Institute.  As a County Commissioner, Commissioner Johnson works diligently to perform the duties and responsibilities of this office as well as takes the opportunity to make a difference in the quality of life for the residents of DeKalb. Initiatives such as the Tree of Love, an annual event Commissioner Johnson holds each year to provide Christmas gifts to children who may not, due to circumstances beyond their control, have parents in a position to provide for them is an example of his community involvement and commitment. Other initiatives include the DeKalb WalksFor the Health of It, an initiative designed to get DeKalb residents to focus on improving their health through walking. Commissioner Johnson, under this initiative, designated walking as the official exercise of DeKalb --- the only locality in Georgia or the U.S. to do so. His goal is to get DeKalb residents healthy and improve their overall healthful lifestyles. Another initiative that Commissioner Johnson has focused upon and instituted is the Prescription Discount Drug Card. Through the National Association of Counties (NACo), Commissioner Johnson implemented the program in DeKalb County where participants in the program will save up to 20% off of their prescription drug costs not covered by any other insurance. These are just a few of the many grass-roots initiatives Commissioner Johnson involves himself in order to help improve the quality of life of the residents of his District and DeKalb County.


In 2006, Commissioner Larry Johnson was re-elected to a second term after running unopposed. He received over 28,000 votes from his constituency. Commissioner Larry Johnson has been elected five times by the Board of Commissioners to the position of Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer chairs all Commission meetings, makes appointments to the standing committees for the Board and sets the agenda for the Board of Commission meetings.


Commissioner Johnson graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelors in Community Health and later earned a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of Northern Colorado. He recently received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his visionary leadership and active community involvement.

Because of his background and efforts in the field of public health, Commissioner Larry Johnson was appointed by NACo President, Angelo Kyle in 2005 to chair the Health Disparities Subcommittee of the Health Steering Committee. Commissioner Johnson served as chair of the Health Disparities Subcommittee from 2005-2008. In 2013, he was appointed as Chair of the NACo Health Steering Committee. The Health Steering Committee has jurisdiction, on a national policy level, over all matters pertaining to health care delivery and financing including: indigent care health, care for the uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, long-term care, local public health programs, mental health, substance abuse and development disabilities.  In 2015, Commissioner Johnson was appointed to chair the NACo International Economic Development Committee.  The International Economic Development Committee facilitates the exchange of information, ideas and resources, and guides NACo programming, concerning county-level engagement in international economic development activities.  During his tenure as Chair, Commissioner Johnson introduced speed business networking to engage countries and counties on Economic Development and Cultural Tourism.   In 2017, Commissioner Johnson was named chairman of the NACo Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) during the organization’s 82nd annual conference in Franklin, Ohio.  LUCC focuses on urban challenges and solutions, engages in peer-to-peer information exchanges and national policy discussions.  America’s urban counties play a prominent role in 150 million residents’ lives every day, fostering conditions for economic strength, building and maintaining transportation systems and critical infrastructure, promoting community health and well-being, championing justice and public safety and implementing a broad portfolio of federal, state and local programs.

Commissioner Larry "LJ" Johnson continues to produce "Results You Can See" and was re-elected on May 22nd for a 5th 4-year term with 81% of the vote!  He has been married to his lovely wife 28 years and is the proud father of one daughter.

To support our campaign or for more information please call 404.941-0462 or email LarryJ2VP@gmail.com.

© 2019  Larry "LJ" Johnson for NACo 2nd Vice President