Thursday, December 10, 2015

Karen Johnson Seeks Olympia City Council Appointment

 Above: Dr. Karen Johnson of Olympia has announced her application for appointment to the Olympia City Council. File photo. 

By Janine Gates

In a video released at Dr. Karen Johnson introduces herself to the community and shares why she is seeking appointment to the Olympia City Council. The video is three minutes and twenty-five seconds.

The Olympia City Council is accepting applications for Councilmember Position #4, which will be vacant January 1 due to the election of Cheryl Selby as Mayor. The person who is appointed will serve for approximately 23 months, until the November 2017 General Election results are certified.

Johnson has lived in Washington State since 1997 and in Olympia since 2005. She works for the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services as the agency's Strategic Initiatives Executive.

Johnson is president of the Olympia-Centennial Rotary Club, a co-founder and president of the Black Alliance of Thurston County, a member of the Thurston Thrives Governance Committee.

In the video, she explains that she is an ordained minister, a hospital administrator by training, and has a doctorate in urban management. 

Her focus will be on homelessness, downtown economic development, and fair and impartial policing.

“I see Olympia as a diamond in the rough and the reason why I want to be a city councilmember is so I can help polish this beautiful diamond in the rough. I envision Olympia as a city that is beautiful, productive, and thriving – a place where all its residents want to live and work and play and stay….” says Johnson.

Johnson says her strengths are inspiring trust, working collaboratively, and having good common sense.

In what seems to be an unprecedented approach, Johnson also has a website,, urging supporters for her appointment to contact current city council members.  

The annual stipend for the council position is $16,640. Signed applications and required documents must be received by the city council’s assistant at Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Avenue East, no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14, 2015.

Interviews will be held at 5:30 p.m. on January 4, 2016, (and January 6, 2016, if needed) in the Olympia City Council Chambers, 601 4th Avenue East. The sessions will be open for public viewing and taped for replay on TCTV.

For more information about the vacancy or to apply, go to

To read an October 4, 2015 article about Dr. Karen Johnson and the Black Alliance of Thurston County, go to Little Hollywood, and type key words into the search button.