Community News

Attorney Calvin D. Johnson is Running for Dallas City Council in District 7

There are 8 people on the ballot for City Council this year. If there isn’t a Run-off, when we wake up on May 2, 2021, we will know whether the incumbent, Adam Balzadua gets to stay or was replaced by one of the contenders for his seat.

Attorney Calvin D. Johnson is very passionate about his bid for City Councilman in District 7. For the most part, he is funding his own campaign with more than 90% of the campaign funds, coming out of his own pockets. But becoming the City Council person involves much more than just paying the bills, looking the part and being a great storyteller; it’s about owning up to the idea of being able to respond to the needs of the constituents, by taking action when needed.

When it comes to responding to the needs of the constituents, Attorney Calvin D. Johnson believes being a product of the South Dallas Community, District 7, has bred him to be the best equipped for the job. He says, “As a child, I knew I would be doing this one day. Others have other aspirations. My goal has always been to serve the community. I was born and raised here and I want to show the people what we can do in this district, when we take the right path.”

There are a number of life experiences, that have shaped Attorney Calvin D. Johnson into the man he is today, but when you talk to him, you can tell he is definitely appreciative of his rich, extended family structure. He was raised by his parents, maternal grandparents and uncles on the same side of the family. According to Attorney Calvin D. Johnson, everyone worked, but the men worked very labor intensive blue collar jobs which definitely helped him with his work ethic. Watching how dedicated they were to their jobs, inspired him to get a job in the neighborhood at Reese’s record shop at the young age of 9. It was a record shop, but Mr. Reese also sold candy, snowcones and popcorn. On the weekends, the young Calvin worked from 10 am – 8 pm and would pocket a small fortune of $20 dollars as compensation for his time and efforts. He was learning about entrepreneurship and building a good work ethic simultaneously. As of this year, Attorney Calvin D. Johnson has been a successful business owner for over 20 years.

As young man, Calvin was a very bright student. His grades earned him entrance to Law Magnet High School of Dallas, Texas. After graduation, he attended Howard Payne University, where he earned his B.S. in Political Science and History and later, a law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. In his time off, during the summers, he was selected for internships at Legal Services of North Texas and the Law Offices of John Roach, which gave him an opportunity to work with non-profits, people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds. Today, John Roach, Jr. is a Collin County Judge.

One of Attorney Calvin D. Johnson’s proudest accomplishments is when he served as General Counsel for Alliance AFT, where he provided counsel for 10,000 members. Through his efforts, he was able to save 100 teachers’ jobs, when DISD tried to dismiss them, based upon what he believed to be age-based.

This is just a brief summary of why Attorney Calvin D. Johnson may appeal to voters who are voting based upon what they know about the candidates experience, as opposed to suggestions being made by social media influencers.

Below we have a few questions we asked of Attorney Calvin D. Johnson, as it relates to the economic future of District 7 and his responses.

What can we do to improve the landscape of South Dallas? There are buildings which have been vacant for a number of years and housing which doesn’t appear to be in livable condition.

When it comes to land ownership, 75% don’t even live in the community. Absentee land ownership and housing ownership is not the formula for success. These owners are only investing the minimum amount of funds needed to keep the leases going on their rentals. They are not trying to convert members of the community into homeowners.

What do you have to say for the financial institutions which are thriving within the community, but unwilling to lend monies to the people who make deposits to them regularly?

Banks are lending out savings out without giving anything back. You have a large percentage of people within the community depositing their money regularly, but the bank is not giving out loans. Essentially, you are allowed to bank there, but you are not getting anything from them. Their reluctance to lend money to us, has stifled the community. We need to look at all of the lending institutions and evaluate the way they treat us.

Covid-19 has been rough for everyone, but what can we do to address this surge in crime within District 7?

Covid-19 has been rough for everyone. Overtime has been cut for police officers. Cutting overtime was not the thing to do. Crime stats are out of control. We need to keep this from happening. Years of neglect, homelessness, lack of city services are some of the factors, that have contributed to this decline in the quality of living within our neighborhoods. We need to recruit more police officers locally and make sure they have positive interactions with the civilians.

In finishing up my interview with Attorney Calvin D. Johnson, I was reminded, it’s not just him on the ballot. The Community is on the ballot. Attorney Johnson grew up in two of the roughest neighborhoods in South Dallas, during the crack era. However, he got a lot of love from the community and serving as City Councilman, would be his way of giving back in one of the biggest ways he has every done, throughout his career.

Get out and vote! Vote for Change!