A Tribute to First Lady Rosalynn Carter from Commissioner Larry Johnson

Former President Jimmy Carter with his wife, Rosalynn created a program in Atlanta to help area under-served communities. Before he was DeKalb County Commissioner, Larry Johnson had the former First Lady as his advisor in the program. She continues to inspire him today, just listen.


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Larry Johnson: Good government is to me is always been a way for and by the people on how do we connect the grass roots and the grass tops together. To help them solve their problems is not just government by themselves can do it. I tell people all the time is always us working together. There’s going to soar because who knows best your neighborhood and you might go.

My job is I’m not trying to hide anything from you. I want you to be the best. I want you to community to be strong. So you just tell me what’s going on and let me connect you with the right resources, and we’re going to follow it through.

You know, mental health, physical health, all those things are encompassing. On you being successful. All the money in the world can help you if you don’t have your mind right and your health together.

David Martin: Welcome to The Good Government Show. I’m Dave Martin. In a few minutes, you’re going to hear my conversation with DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson. The reason we’re going back to this conversation is Commissioner Johnson got a helping hand as a young man from former first lady Rosalyn Carter. The former first lady recently passed away. We thought it’d be a fitting tribute to hear from someone who knew her.

President Carter created a program called the Atlanta Project. The project work with underserved communities in the area to help solve problems like teen pregnancy, school dropout rates, housing and cleaner streets. Larry Johnson got involved in the project, and his advisor was Rosalyn Carter. She was, as Larry will tell you, a real mentor. He carries what he learned from her to his role in county government.

To this day, I talked with Larry to get his thoughts on the passing of the former first lady and his former mentor.

Commissioner Johnson, welcome back to the Good Government show. We wanted to have you on because we wanted to talk about First Lady Rosalynn Carter. She was your advisor, a mentor to you. You said in some ways. What was she like? What was it like to to work with her and to have her help you.

Larry Johnson: Man? She was pleasant. She was so humble, so humility. Even though we saw the Secret Service agents are always around when she came out to our community and to do projects and to see how she put it in a town hall meeting in our area. She was always approachable. Her. Her love for the community. The exudes. You can feel it.

It wasn’t fake. It wasn’t phony. You knew she wanted to be there. She wasn’t looking at the clock or trying to say, I can’t talk to this person. She made sure everyone in the room was special. And that’s the type of first lady that I had grown to admire and appreciate.

David Martin: And how did she inspire you? Directly?

Larry Johnson: She inspired me directly for community. Just to continue to have community service, to work with residents. To be a listener. To be a person who was there. To try to fill the gaps of the underserved. And just really inspired me because, you know, she could have been doing anything else she wanted, but she wanted to get back to the neighborhood.

David Martin: Is there any of what she taught you, something you still do today?

Larry Johnson: Oh, yeah. He inspired me and it helped me as a county commissioner in DeKalb County, Georgia, to be able to listen, to be able to connect, to find resources for people who may not can navigate sometimes or cumbersome, cumbersome system. But just being a listener as a person. We just need to be perky, drive this person. I had over 300 volunteers from all different generations, and we did it with a thousand turkeys and over £20,000 of food.

Okay. And it was amazing to see humanity and just part of me being the commissioner, you know, that’s not part of your job. But I made it part of mine to be able to connect with people to make sure they have something for the holiday.

David Martin: Season like she did for you.

Larry Johnson: Yes. Yes. Is reciprocity.

David Martin: And you said this was President Carter’s project. What were the two of them like together? And, you know, what was it like to work with the former first couple?

Larry Johnson: Well, like we said, we would go down to the Carter Center sometimes and it would be both of them together. And it was just listening. I was, you know, young guy just wanted to move here three years out. And this was an honor to be in a room with the former president and first lady and then to be working for them in the community.

And so I took it as an opportunity to listen, to learn and to use a lot of those tools today to be a successful county commissioner.

David Martin: What do you think her legacy is and her legacy with President Carter?

Larry Johnson: Her legacy will be helped. She helped people. She was there for people in mental health. She was there for people who didn’t have a house through Habitat for Humanity. She was there for an inspiration to women that you can be and do whatever you want to do and that your legacy don’t stop with. The title continues long after the title.

Larry Johnson: Maybe gone.

David Martin: Wow. That’s well said. Well said. I think she would be. I think if I can say this, Larry, I think she’d be proud of you. So well done. Thank you, sir. And thank you.

Larry Johnson: Appreciate you doing this to highlight a remarkable lady.

David Martin: Absolutely. And what a fitting tribute to do it and to to be able to talk with someone who worked with her. That’s that’s a special treat for us on a good government show. So thank you for that.

Larry Johnson: You’re welcome. Keep up the good work. Stay strong.

David Martin: A very nice and personal tribute to the former first lady. Now, here’s my previous conversation with DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson. And pay special attention to his words about Mrs. Carter. And that’s coming up after the break.

The good government show is sponsored by NACO. That’s the National Association of Counties. County Government is actually the oldest form of government in the United States, and it touches more people directly. Roads, highways, hospitals, schools, recycling law enforcement, water and sewers. In most of the country, those services are maintained by the county that’s county government. Naco is a nationwide organization that represents all 3069 counties across the U.S. Naco helps county government work better together through things like sharing best practices.

Because when county government works well, well, that’s just good government.

Welcome to the Good government show. And thank you, man.

Larry Johnson: I’m excited my first time on.

David Martin: And today we’re having a conversation with Larry Johnson.

Larry Johnson: Yes, sir.

David Martin: So, Larry, if you could introduce yourself, tell us where you from, what your title is and what you do.

Larry Johnson: I’m the Cobb County commissioner. I’m in Decatur, Georgia. I’ve been a commissioner for 20 years, and I represent the Southwest DeKalb side and the part of Atlanta in my district, about 150,000 residents, great residents in our community. And a larger focus as mine has been around infrastructure and wellness. And so we’ve been trying to make it happen for the residents of the care.

David Martin: So 20 years?

Larry Johnson: Yes, sir.

David Martin: What made you start doing.

Larry Johnson: This, man? It’s a long story.

David Martin: It’s a podcast. We have all the time. It was there is no set time for the show.

Larry Johnson: I first work for President Carter at the Atlanta Project. His wife.

David Martin: Was relatively young.

Larry Johnson: Man. Yeah, I don’t know about that, but Rosalynn Carter was my advisor and advisor. Oh, God. You couldn’t land a better a better person. And then I started looking at the infrastructure needs in my area. We didn’t have sidewalks, and so we were walking on the grass and dirt. And so I started off just really trying to make a difference.

And I didn’t want to serve. Now, just trying to find a way to help the folks in our community.

David Martin: How old were you at that point?

Larry Johnson: I was, oh, God, I just got out of college and were like 27, 28. Okay. All right. And so and I started doing pedestrian safety work. And we got the first law passed in 1995, giving pedestrians the right of way and crosswalks. That little sign you see in the middle become the George SEAL sign in the middle of the crosswalk.

David Martin: And have that.

Larry Johnson: Yeah. No, no. We finally got it done in 1995 and that was part of me building the coalition of residents in South to up on trying to make things better and not knowing. Then I will go work for President Carter. And Bill, what would you call the Atlanta project? And I focus on early learning, education, immunization. And then Michael Jackson came to town.

It was when he was beat.

David Martin: And so it was always big.

Larry Johnson: Yeah, it was always. But yes, always bigger, you know. But he just hit that big one out, you know, the moonwalk and all of that.

David Martin: Right.

Larry Johnson: And so it was all about connecting the community to the resources and trying to leverage what we have, because the power was always in the community and never into it, never into the elected folks. But how do we get the we, the people to make a difference in our community?

David Martin: Now, I have to I have to ask, okay, you worked with former President Jimmy Carter. Yes. What’s he like? What’s what was he saying versus excited? Well, to work with and deal with, I remember.

Larry Johnson: He sponsored the program is a program on empowerment. And so we periodically we got a chance to see him. But what you saw on the phone outside, you saw on the inside, the was just everyday people. And his wife was the same way and really down to earth. And they made a difference in my life and a great impression because he just showed you you don’t have to have the title to serve.

Yeah you can still make a difference without.

David Martin: The next president. He’s probably set an example that.

Larry Johnson: Yes.

David Martin: Many can’t live up.

Larry Johnson: To. No, it’s been great. And that’s what inspired me. And in getting at such a young age to have somebody like that.

David Martin: Like a president.

Larry Johnson: Yeah, it big. And it’s like.

David Martin: Watching.

Larry Johnson: Over his late you know, Rosalynn Carter was my advisor and, you know, her focus was mental health. And look what we talk about now. Mental health is now everybody’s focusing on and she was doing that 20, 30 years ago right. When it wasn’t popular. And so it’s just amazing to see the work that we do and the changes we have to make.

And our community is still relevant today. It was all about the people for them.

David Martin: And what President and Mrs. Carter say. You might want to think about this differently. That’s right. That’s right. You pretty much do.

Larry Johnson: You have to do it? You have to do it. But they always did it under the lens of how do you keep the community involved, engaged. It wasn’t about top down. It was involving the grass roots and the grass tops to make things happen.

David Martin: I’m sorry. My Georgia geography is not near as good as yours. I know he’s from playing Lanes.

Larry Johnson: I’m in Decatur, right?

David Martin: Ah, they are in same area.

Larry Johnson: Oh, no, no. This is downstairs about three or 4 hours away from from Decatur. And so what is what you call South Georgia? Okay, well, if that’s.

David Martin: So, what’s going on in Decatur nowadays?

Larry Johnson: What’s going on? The cater we’re focusing on coming out of this pandemic? You know, we’re still in it, but we just completed giving about 5000 boxes of food away last week for Black History Month. Okay. And I did some similar like that a week ago, two weeks before that. We do on COVID shots where we give out $100 gift cards as well as food baskets.

And DeKalb has been doing that for a while. And we did over 90 tons of food to date and served a lot of our families in the community. And now post-COVID, we telling people it’s going to be worse than being in Kobe because we’re dealing with mental health, more poverty. You’re dealing with food insecurity and you’re dealing with housing issues.

And that’s a.

David Martin: Lot to.

Larry Johnson: Tackle. Oh, yeah. But see, counties have been doing it for years. Remember Corbett unmuted us. We were, you know how you be on Zoom and you need you be talking and nobody can hear you right And then you on mute hey I’m back right. So now COVID has shown that the counties are where rubber meets the road and what we do around food insecurity, mental health, public safety, all those things we’ve been shouting about that we need to have funding to hit the road because we were where the rubber Meester Road.

So I got to go to a gas station, I go to the grocery store, I go to Dollar General, I go to Macy’s. I’m seeing everyday people, all these.

David Martin: People come up to you and stop you.

Larry Johnson: And then you have a town hall meeting.

David Martin: It’s me. But yeah, we have a problem.

Larry Johnson: Yeah. You just can’t get your ice cream when you first get there because it be Beelzebub time bully. So you have walk in town. Oh, yeah. You have walking town hall meetings.

David Martin: Yeah.

Larry Johnson: In the grocery store I started in my community to around wellness and walking to our home instead of being in a building again with the residents, we walk around the commune and get exercise at the same time.

David Martin: How much do you walk?

Larry Johnson: 25 miles a week.

David Martin: You walk 25 miles a week?

Larry Johnson: Yes, sir.

David Martin: All around your.

Larry Johnson: Area? Yes, in my area. Just look in, observe. And just to clear your mind, you get mental health is not just for the people you serve. It’s about yourself, too, if you.

David Martin: Know how to ask you, because you look, you’re you’re a snappy dresser. If I say so, sir. I know you got a suit on and a bow tie. I just look good. Now, is that what you walk around in or.

Larry Johnson: No, How? I get my jogging clothes on. I get my shoes, all them big soles. Right? And then I had my phone out. I had taken pictures, some litter or a pothole and send it in. It’s all about just connecting with the folks and also getting your exercise exercising.

David Martin: Now, you mentioned this earlier. I wanted to ask you about this before we started recording. I understand you’re building a new walking trail.

Larry Johnson: Well, we built it already is eight years old and I’m finally getting it extended to be is going to be 3.4 get I got $3.5 million from Senator Warnock in Congress from hanging jazz in about four weeks ago to basically connect the final connection for my trail. I’ve got a trail that goes from Moreland Avenue. When you come to decade, I’ll show you this all the way to Stonecrest 22 miles where you can bike it right and walk it.

And then it’s going to go past the President Obama school first school to be named after the President Obama’s.

David Martin: Trail.

Larry Johnson: Is called Michelle Obama Trail. Okay. And they got to go do pass to the President Obama school and pass the Martin Luther King High School, the first high school in Georgia to be named at the Martin Luther King. And it goes right up the stone crest 22 miles.

David Martin: And can you do it? Have you done it all in?

Larry Johnson: One can do it all one day now. Okay. Go and go up to about eight, four, five and but I can’t get nobody to go to the long way with. But when is completed is completed, I’m going for it.

David Martin: I’m going to give you a free idea here. What do you say whether you started to Carter Marathon. Oh, yeah.

Larry Johnson: Well, that’s a good idea.

David Martin: See, we try to help.

Larry Johnson: Raise money for wellness.

David Martin: We try to help out with good days. All right, All right.

Larry Johnson: Day by time.

David Martin: So it’s a thank you. So it’s it’s almost a marathon was a marathon 24 and a half miles.

Larry Johnson: You know, I just walk. I don’t care.

David Martin: All you can do whatever you want.

Larry Johnson: Thank you. Yes, sir.

David Martin: So what is the big issue that you’re tackling?

Larry Johnson: The big issue with tackling is I’m dealing with our young people who who need to have a space for them to express themselves. I’m dealing with it now. The moratorium is off around foreclosures. So I got a lot of folks who may be looking for a place to live in the my when I say young people I’m also dealing with mentally had a setback for two years I’ve been in COVID.

Sure. Trying to get them back up to speed educationally on where they need to go. And also, we’re dealing with our seniors. We’ve got an Asian population who want to stay where they live, but may not want their big house, but may want to have a house in their community. And so it’s a generational approach I’m trying to take right now.

David Martin: One of the other reasons why we certainly wanted to talk to you is because you are the immediate past president for NACO Association of Counties. You spent a year sort of looking at the national picture.

Larry Johnson: Yes.

David Martin: What what about that job? Were you able to sort of bring home to Decatur?

Larry Johnson: Well, my theme was Thrive technology, health, resiliency, vulnerable communities, economic development. That was my theme for the year was about thrive. In. What I was able to do is that you go around the country and look at best practice practices and promising approaches and you see what you can do back home. You like to have a bridge out.

And then when I went to Utah or North Dakota and when they talked about bridges and roads and what I can do to make it happen in the cab and who I can connect with to make those things happen. When I talked about sidewalks, when I talked about setting up urban farms in our community and going to talk to folks in Minnesota who have been on family farms for four generations on how important farming it is and having it.

David Martin: How does a guy from from Decatur, Georgia, talk to a farmer in Utah? How does that how does that work?

Larry Johnson: You go to a farm college. I went to the Johnson Farm. Can you believe that? It was a Johnson Farm, 10,000 acres. Yeah. And so, I mean, they were farming, I think. Hey, and I forgot the other crops he had. But I talked to a farmer and we sat down, we had lunch together. I rode a horse.

David Martin: Okay. And so first I bought a.

Larry Johnson: Horse a second.

David Martin: Time. So I said.

Larry Johnson: You know, I’m a city boy. I just love country stuff. And oh, come on now. But it was it was mainly on how do we connect as human beings and how do we share so many similar, similar things. And we got together, but we talk about all the time when you see one county, you see one county, okay, But the people are the same.

You know, they want security. They want to have a great place to live. They want a great quality of life. And my job as the NACO president was to connect those dots to show how we can connect, to thrive was my my presidential theme around broadband and inclusion and equity focus on vulnerable communities and economic development plus health.

The H was for health because health, as you well know.

David Martin: After your year did you.

Larry Johnson: We I’m still in and now.

David Martin: You’re I have.

Larry Johnson: This my year now.

David Martin: No I mean I’m as immediate past president after your year as president right. Were you more hopeful or more concerned?

Larry Johnson: I had to be hopeful because I’m coming. I was the president coming out of the pandemic. Right. So I was bringing people back into the space of where we can talk to each other one on one again, at the two years of being absent. And so the enthusiasm I got around the country was tremendous, because everybody know that one of the best ways to connect is like what we’re doing.

David Martin: Just face.

Larry Johnson: To face talking and connecting. And we found out that part of being in power is that we missed each other. And so my job was then to see how we can reconnect you back to Naco about the resources that we all from. Because my job was to let counties know that you’re not by yourself, you’re not alone. If you need help on farming issues, you need help on urban issues, need help on rural issues.

NACO was your go to organization. You can’t get in the better resource, the Naco, because we have some of the best staff in the world who just and a fingertip phone call can get you what you need from grants to meeting with national leaders. You know, federal leaders, right? Those resources are invaluable, especially now, because coming out of this pandemic, you would use dealing with so much.

David Martin: All right. So we have a little questionnaire we put together, which is sort of our our our test. They gave test that day. I would say that, okay, it’s say it’s the good government test. So we’re going to we’re going to we’re going to get to the bottom of your views on government. Oh, here we go. So what is good government to you from your position as a county commissioner from where you said, hey, it’s good to define good government?

Larry Johnson: Good government is to me is always been we for and by the people on how do we connect the grass roots and the grass tops together to help them solve their problems Is not just government by themselves Can do what I tell people all the time is always us working together. There’s going to SA because who knows best your neighborhood and you, you know who knows best about what the neighbor next door may be suffering in the person who lives in their community.

But us working together, we’re much more powerful. So good government is all of us working together. The government, the faith community, nonprofits, agencies, you’ve organizations. I mean, I even bring the football team. I got the basketball team head to table. The girl Scouts. The Boy Scouts. I don’t need nobody else. Okay? Because nobody has all exclusive answers to themselves.

David Martin: So how do you know if you’re being effective in delivering good government? How do you hold yourself.

Larry Johnson: And you’re elected six times like I’ve done? Yeah, because I continue to listen to the people and never straight away from knocking on doors. I mean, I had town hall meetings last year. I think I did over 2000 meetings where I can go out to them and connect with them on so many levels. I told you earlier, I do walk in town hall meetings.

That means we don’t sit in the building. We go to where the problems are. Ours is a code issue. There’s a pothole. There are some issues in the community. What can we do by walking together to I bring out the county department. He has to go with me so they can get from behind the desk. And so you can’t legislate.

David Martin: How do they like that?

Larry Johnson: Oh, they have to get out. They love it because everybody’s bringing you know, I bring code enforcement, I bring the police, I bring the fire department, I bring our homeless task force folks, and we just walk to community. So you get to see what I see every day.

David Martin: So you get immediate feedback.

Larry Johnson: Yes. And I bring residents with me.

David Martin: How do people know an indicator in your county? How do they know if they’re getting good government? What should they look for to see if they are.

Larry Johnson: They should look for results. Well, my slogan is results. You can see. Yep, there’s that pothole.

David Martin: You have a lot of slogans, though.

Larry Johnson: Yeah, you got to do it, man. You can’t be. You can’t stay stagnant. You got to move with your people. That’s why I go to second grade classroom and I don’t stay or day. I know that that’s my toughest audience. Second graders.

David Martin: Why are they the toughest?

Larry Johnson: Because if you can get them to stand up and clap and understand what you’re doing, I’m doing something. Okay? You know, And so but it’s all about how do we meet the needs of our community, Like sidewalks. We had places they didn’t have sidewalks. Now putting them sidewalks in, we got a we have a program now that we’re paving roads because we couldn’t pay roads in the cab because we didn’t have we didn’t had the funding to do it.

Now we’re paving over 300 roads. Four streets has been some of the worst ones for 20 years. So things like that that people can see until I don’t want to put no pain in the building and government building, no carpet on the floor, we got to make sure people can see the results of their dollars on the ground.

David Martin: If people aren’t seeing the results, if people don’t think they’re seeing results, if people don’t like what’s going on, what should they do?

Larry Johnson: They should call us and they keep and make. Then they make their their complaints known. And they should come to our meetings and let me know my town hall meetings and let me know what’s not getting done. Then we can find the right people to place. They might go. My job is I’m not trying to hide anything from you.

I want you to be the best, okay? I want you, the community, to be strong. So you just tell me what’s going on and let me connect you with the right resources and we’re going to follow it through is.

David Martin: What would you like people to know? Government is not easy.

Larry Johnson: No, No. What would you complicated?

David Martin: It’s complicated. What would you like people to know about how government works? Those people that you know, Oh, this is wrong. That’s wrong. What would you like people to know about government?

Larry Johnson: I would like them to really know that what you see on the Internet, you need to still do more research just because you see a problem that somebody posed. Don’t assume that the problem is not being worked on so you can find out and talk to your elected officials to get the really get the real skinny on what’s really going down.

And then we just move from there and build a relationship, get on our email lists, go to the meetings and find out what’s going on. You don’t wait for them to come to you. You make sure you find a way to bridge the gap by getting involved. The best way I did it, man, I started getting involved. I started with my daughter’s PTA out of one of the most busiest parents in the world.

I started working on my daughter’s PTA and helping with that. The school program. That wasn’t the best experience I had because I had a chance to get back in ways that I that I would ever never know. But I gave back to the young people I helped the parents at the school. I said the best way ways to get involved in government, start at the PTA level.

David Martin: Okay. All right. You can’t say Jimmy Carter because you already said that.

Larry Johnson: Okay, I can say that.

David Martin: All right. New question. Who who’s your who’s your political hero?

Larry Johnson: Oh, I love my great grandmother.

David Martin: Tell me about it.

Larry Johnson: Because she was the first precinct captain for the first African-American, an alderman in Chicago.

David Martin: Okay.

Larry Johnson: Ralph Metcalf, which was an Olympic gold medal winner. All right. At the Jesse Owens. And she started working for the Papa Daily. But she got us involved in politics. Before I knew it, I didn’t know it. My blood to my relatives told me she was doing all of this type of work long before I was thought of like that.

And so I still get some momentums. They finally gave to me on some of the things that she was able to do.

David Martin: All right. You’re from Georgia. Yes. What’s your favorite thing to eat, Georgia?

Larry Johnson: Oh, that’s a you can’t ask me.

David Martin: That cause it’s right here. It’s all the paper I got.

Larry Johnson: I can I see a couple of them.

David Martin: You can say couple bread pudding. All right.

Larry Johnson: Shrimp and grits, fried chicken. And then I make a mean Brussels sprouts. And then I got a ninja foodi now, because I got it more healthy.

David Martin: No boiled peanuts.

Larry Johnson: No, I. I eat the peanuts sometimes. Yes. Okay.

David Martin: But she wanted boiled peanuts on the cereal.

Larry Johnson: Yeah, yeah. But the the crop, the, the best crop that Georgia’s known for. I know we’re the state, but we do the most blueberries in the world. Really? Yeah. We’re blueberry state. South Carolina does it.

David Martin: Mostly pieces of.

Larry Johnson: Georgia. And South Carolina is the most we do. We do the most peaches and chickens.

David Martin: Okay.

Larry Johnson: We’re shakin Capitol and blueberry capitol. The world. We don’t give us credit. Florida. All right.

David Martin: Let’s.

Larry Johnson: Go, dog.

David Martin: Go, dogs. Careful.

Larry Johnson: Okay. Okay.

David Martin: So I did I go to Georgia. Georgia State University. Oh, sorry.

Larry Johnson: Oh, no, I’m in trouble.

David Martin: I know you love growing up. Did you did you aspire to be a politician? Did you want to be president? Well, you’re president now.

Larry Johnson: Yes, I was president. My high school class. Yeah. I grew up two teenage parents on the South Side of Chicago. I came to the crack epidemic. I graduated in. I went to high school, graduate from high school on my side of town, South Side. We had about 700 homicides. It was a universal. And no, I first want to go to college in my family and then I got active in my black student union as president of that didn’t have a senior vice president resident association.

David Martin: So this is sort of it in your blood for.

Larry Johnson: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I started like in eighth grade, my first campaign in high school and then the rest is history.

David Martin: So let’s bring it back to Decatur. Okay?

Larry Johnson: We’re ready to give.

David Martin: You a gift. You know where it’s greater. Give me an example of a of a project of a good government project that you’ve been able to put together.

Larry Johnson: I would say my intergenerational center is a 30,000 square foot walking track inside out. The inside computer lab is a place where now we bring all generations together, pool table. We have a place for differently able folks who want to come. We have a class three days a week. Over 400 seniors come every every three days, and they do aerobics, chair aerobics.

And so it’s a place where you can now come and learn from each other. And so it’s one of my I would call legacy projects in the community didn’t have a wellness center.

David Martin: Are you do you have an athletic background? Do you have a.

Larry Johnson: No no public health.

David Martin: Background? Okay.

Larry Johnson: Yeah, I got my master’s in public health.

David Martin: Oh, you did? Yes. Okay. So that’s. Yes, that’s why it’s so close to.

Larry Johnson: Yes, right. That’s right. That’s right. And help as you well do. You don’t have no health.

David Martin: You can’t do that.

Larry Johnson: Oh, yeah. Well, you can’t do anything without your health. Right. You know, mental health, physical health, all those things are encompassed in on you being successful. All the money in the world can’t help you if you don’t have your mind right and your health together.

David Martin: So if I come to Decatur, I have to I have to walk the trail. That’s where.

Larry Johnson: I walk to.

David Martin: Train. I have to get some blueberry pie.

Larry Johnson: That’s right. That’s right. And bread pudding I Bread pudding and fried chicken. All right, So shrimp and grits.

David Martin: For all that I was ready to walk to.

Larry Johnson: This was why I do it.

David Martin: This has been a great conversation.

Larry Johnson: And Dave, appreciate you. Thank you very.

David Martin: Much. Thank you for telling you.

Larry Johnson: Thank you for hosting.

David Martin: And we appreciate it. Thank you very much.

Larry Johnson: Stay strong.

David Martin: You too.

Larry Johnson: Bye bye.

David Martin: Kutztown University is a smart choice for Pennsylvania students or students from anywhere looking for an outstanding college experience close to home. And in the heart of Pennsylvania, with over 130 majors, CU has endless academic opportunities. Kutztown also offers plenty of on campus housing, 24 seven dining options, comprehensive support services to ensure our students success and so much more.

Kutztown has 22 NCAA Division, two sports teams and a nationally recognized men’s rugby team. How about that? Plus, you get it all with the affordable tuition of a state university. So a visit Kutztown dot edu on the web. Kutztown dot edu. And see why it’s good to be golden thrive. That was Larry’s watchword in his presidency. A good word for sure.

So if you see him out of the county walking his 25 miles a week and he’s got an ice cream cone and let him finish his cone. Thanks for listening. I’m Dave Martin. That was a conversation with Larry Johnson of DeKalb County, Georgia. Join us next time for another conversation with another leader in government right here on the good Government show.

The good government show and a conversation with is produced by Valley Park Productions. Jim Ludlow, David Martin and David Snyder are the executive producers. Our editor and producer is Jason Stershic. This is a good government show. Thanks for listening.

**This transcription was created using digital tools and has not been edited by a live person. We apologize for any discrepancies or errors.