ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis-based attorney wants to use use her experience in
business and probate law to improve the community she lives in.
told the St. Louis Record that she
was driven to become involved in local politics in the wake of the Nov. 8 election results. This passion drove
her to run against incumbent City Comptroller Darlene Greene in the
March 7 Democratic primary.
"After the last election I was
pretty dismayed by the results," she said. "But even on the
local level I saw this sea of red in our election results. And I
wanted to help change that."
Johnson is a long-time resident of St. Louis and has been practicing law in Missouri since 2013. She has both a law degree and a master's degree in business from St.
Louis University. She has
served in a number of public service positions, including working for
the St. Louis Tax Assistance Program, Legal Advocates for Eastern
Missouri and the St. Louis – San Luis Potosí Friendship
Committee. She also worked as a parent co-chair of the Diversity
Committee and is a member of the Families Committed to Diversity
group in her children’s schools.
practice has focused on probate taxes," Johnson said. "I talked to one of our former
mayors and our local alderman, and they and other many people told me
I would be very qualified. I
feel like there is a very high transferability
of skills from my background in business and tax law to the
comptroller role. I have a good understanding of the different kinds
of interest and bonds for example."
explained that her goal is to improve the city's fiscal situation by
driving growth through smart, sustainable municipal expansion,
including the creation of an effective public transit system for the city.
"Our bus system
is so out of order. It takes people who rely on it two hours to get
anywhere," Johnson said. "And that impedes growth because
it keeps people from being able to get to their jobs and other parts
of the city. We have an effective bus system it just needs to be
expanded in a smart and transparent way."
She also warns against the city embracing what she calls
"big ticket" items, such as a new stadium and expanding the
Metro Link system for fear that poor negations will do more harm to
St. Louis' financial position than good.
"I think there are ways
to create those kinds of programs in smart
ways that benefit the city," she said. "Negotiating
contracts that give job preferences to locals first, for example."
Instead, Johnson said St. Louis should learn from the successes of other
cities such as Kansas City.
"In those places, they have a lot of
the same problems we do, but the leadership has been able to get their
city to get growing and and get their development going," she
said. "The leadership in Kansas City has been able to
effectively capitalize on the city's assets."
Despite losing her primary bid to Greene by nearly 30,000 votes, Johnson said
she is not done with local politics.
"Just because I lost does
not mean it was not a good fight," she said. "I am still
thinking about what to do next."