As former assistant director and director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Johnson managed the state’s grant-making and managing agency, investing some quarter billion dollars in grants to grow and strengthen communities in all 67 counties each year. In that capacity, Johnson was engaged in economic development, workforce development, community development, alternative energy, public safety, and water resources.
As former Birmingham City Councilman, Johnson worked on the front lines of local government in one of the most diverse districts of our state. He served on the Public Safety committee and was recognized from Republicans and Democrats alike for his leadership abilities and willingness to work across party lines to accomplish goals. In his over ten-year career in elected and appointed offices, Johnson has the breadth and depth of knowledge of the challenges facing our municipalities, counties and state, and has a vision for real solutions to address them.
Johnson’s travels to nearly 50 countries have given him a unique understanding of working with other cultures. Being fluent in Spanish and having completed an intensive German language program will be a tremendous asset in economic development and selling Alabama in what is an ever-increasing international marketplace.
Johnson's extensive international travel also gives him a distinct perspective on what constitutes good and bad government—mostly related around corruption that oppresses the people. Johnson is a committed conservative supporting low taxes and small government as the best course for our continued prosperity.
In addition to working on a local and state level with economic development and promoting Alabama, Johnson is a former small business owner. Through first-hand experience, Johnson understands the challenges facing our businesses and industries and is committed to protecting Alabama’s pro-business environment, expanding economic development, growing existing businesses, and tapping into opportunities to ramp up Alabama’s exports to jump-start economic recovery in the state.
His experiences over the past decade has also given him a vision for everything from education reform and engaging parents early in children’s learning to reducing the high-school drop-out rate and keeping youth engaged in education and career preparation. He also is committed to further identification of fraud and wasteful spending in government and partnering with faith and community-based organizations to better serve our citizens and close funding gaps.
Johnson also brings a proven track record of working across party lines to represent all the people of Alabama and focus on similarities, rather than differences. It is through that ability and working with people from all sides and all walks of life that Johnson has been able to implement various programs and legislation that have resolved some extremely complex issues.
Growing up in low-income families of 8 and 7 respectively, Bill and Kathy learned hard-work and contributing to family and community early in life. The lessons gained during their formative years have led to their passion for community service and a compassion for others. Both feel very fortunate to have risen to leadership positions—not through family rights nor heritage—but through hard-work and perseverance.
Kathy’s formative years gave her a heart of compassion for those she says would otherwise fall through the cracks. Her passions have led her to years of community service and improving lives through directing organizations like the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Children First Foundation and the Alabama Broadband Initiative. She has served on numerous boards and contributed toward efforts such as child abuse and neglect prevention, awareness of mental illness and working to retain a bond between incarcerated women and their children. Her love for youth and persons with disabilities led her to speak to over 80,000 people, seeking to motivate, inspire and bring hope to our vulnerable populations. She also has a heart for aging seniors who are far too often overlooked and lonely.
Bill and Kathy consider themselves a team and are equally committed to working with Alabamians to make our great state an even better place to rear families and grow businesses.
They are the proud parents of 3 children: Kaleigh Flatt (and son-in-law, Jeremy), Kaleb and Hayley.