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Candidate Interview: Community Activist Samuel Johnson Runs For Mayor

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

There are now five candidates in the running for Springfield mayor. Incumbent Mike Houston, county auditor Paul Palazzolo, alderman Gail Simpson, city treasurer Jim Langfelder, and perhaps the lesser known of the bunch - community activist Samuel Johnson. He joined us recently for this interview:
Johnson, who has been an advocate for ending racial profiling says events like the shooting deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner emphasize a need to change the way police are trained. That's something he says he'll aim to change regardless of whether or not he becomes mayor. "We never change anything in policy and legislation so you continue to leave the doors open for authority to get away with the things they are getting away with," said Johnson.

Johnson also works with children through his community activism, and says more minorities need to be hired in Springfield's district 186. "I think being able to identify with your culture inside of an institution helps you," said Johnson. Johnson also has worked as an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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