California Dreamland Visionary
Kevin Johnson – Mayor, Sacramento CA
Making the switch from pro basketball to high-level government might not seem like an ordinary life path. But then again, Kevin Johnson is anything but ordinary, and his home state of California is the kind of place where he can let his ideas and energy soar. Calling the plays on the court for 12 seasons as a celebrated point guard for the Phoenix Suns, Johnson reveled in his leadership role on the team, but also devoted time for community efforts. That kind of drive and spirit eventually led Johnson back to his hometown of Sacramento, where, after retiring from the NBA in 2000, he had a vision of helping create “a city that works for everyone.” As CEO of St. HOPE, a nonprofit he founded to revitalize inner-city communities, Johnson championed education, green business, and other important aspects of the historic city. In 2008, he ran for and mayor of Sacramento, and won.
With enthusiasm and energy that mirrors the true California spirit, Mayor Johnson, Sacramento’s first African-American leader, has aimed to reshape how city government serves its citizens. Mayor Johnson strives to share his dynamic ideas, and has been a contributor on 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.