Monday, February 18, 2019, Savannah Alderman Van Johnson announced his intention to run for mayor in the municipal election to be held in November. He filed his declaration of intent to raise campaign funds last Friday. Johnson began his announcement with “My name is Van Johnson and I want to be your Mayor!” He acknowledged, “This is not a decision that I have arrived at easily or without much prayer, thought, advice or consultation. Why not me?”
Johnson is serving his fourth term as Alderman of the first district. He is a graduate of Savannah State and Georgia Southern universities. He currently serves as the chair of the National League of Cities Advisory Board. Johnson works as the employee services and training manager for Chatham County.
Johnson is the 4th Savannahian to be elected to the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities and the 1st Savannahian to be appointed as the Chair of the Advisory Board Johnson said he is going to work to address crime issues, and reinstate an educational program for at-risk youth. Previously it was called Savannah Impact. The program was discontinued after the current mayor and city council took office.
Johnson fought against the de-merger of the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department that has resulted in the new Savannah police department having over 50 vacancies. Johnson fought against the ill-fated Fire Fee and the Parking Plan, “I fought to ensure that Savannah was the 3rd City in the state and the first City outside of Metro Atlanta to give our young people and not so young people a chance if they are caught with a simple possession of marijuana by giving them the opportunity to get a ticket rather than going to jail.” said Johnson.
War on crime, affordable housing, reducing poverty and homelessness and increasing minimum pay rate for city workers, are just a few of the issues of his concern