Clay Johnston Hustler Of the week
1) Clay Johnston , please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
So, how did I get here? I’m a very passionate person and was taught to be that way, about whatever I did. I wanted to have a part in what was happening in my community, because it mattered to me. It was also important all the lessons I was always reminded, it was my duty to give back and I didn’t need to be asked to do it. So, I got here listing and paying attention to my pops, brother and mentors I was surrounded by.
2) LA City Council District13, if elected What would be the first thing you would change?
The first thing I would change?The first thing I would do is, get to work on all the agendas and platforms we are about. It’s not about me but the people I will serve. They want to see someone who is really out there, putting in the effort they said they would. Keeping the community as a whole, up to date on whatever may be going on period! However, how we get them that information, has to be figured out but has to be done!
3) What made you say LA needs new leadership?
Leadership?I think it’s time for real people that aren’t Politian’s, have better touch with the community. That’s my opinion. They understand the needs of the people, and have a better feel overall for the community. They tend to car more especially when it’s a community they have grown up in, or have had some kind of contact with. The culture shock seems to be much less, because they already know that city.
4) In district 13 you have enormous potential to grow, how would help the homeless get better care and mental health services?
The homeless? We would target their specific needs, whatever it may be? Mental health, drug abuse, shelter. We would work with organizations that work with the homeless directly, and skip all rap around services, that could take up to a year. Have social workers penpoint all and any problems they may have, legally as well. Show them we really care because we do, and work hard daily to get them off the street.
5) What’s your plan for district 13 in 2021?
The Plan?That’s simple. Give the 13th district back to the community! Give them their voice and ideas back, no matter the level of income or education they may have. Make the entire district assessable for everyone who lives in it. Help all of the small businesses with whatever their needs may be and work on the rent being affordable, for the lower income residents that also call 13th district home.
Push for equal rights for all our people and push for safer streets and better trained officers. Keep our kids feed and the environment around them clean and safe to use, if they need to. Find services and make sure our seniors have access to everything and services when they get to where they are going.
6) How has Covid-19 changed the way you do your work?
Covid? This is my first time running for office, but not being able to go door to door, I’m sure is different.? I’m not big on social media and that’s where campaigning has gone to. So, in a way, it’s affected me a little bit, being I’m not a person that’s on social media much. So, I had to make that change and get more use to it. I know I would have anyway.
We really need our youth to understand what’s going on, around them. Social media is a way, to connect with the youth, so they understand how important it is, to get involved with you community and vote. It’s been hard seeing people struggle, lose jobs, kids not learning and all the lives lost. So, I think it’s changed everything, for us all.
7) What else should our readers know about you?
What to know? Well I’m not in this for any other reason then, the people and the community. I’m real and have been a product of a lot of my platforms and agendas. I know what it’s like to be hate for the color of your skin, to being homeless. What it’s like to be treated because your different.
I know the feeling of, not feeling like you’re getting the same access to things or assistance, because you are a lower income. So, I hear and understand those voices in the community, that seem to always be overlooked. I had a good up bringing and both my parents had good jobs. My pops, was a well-known jazz drummer and my mom worked for the housing authority.
I grew up in Echo Park, which is mostly Latino and had a strong gang culture at the time. Most of my friends I grew up with got into gangs, and so I did to. Lucky for me, I found my way out and all the mentoring my pops always gave me started to make since. I also had, older brothers that had a stong influence on me growing to. Once the information was starting to process, I started working with at risk and disabled youth.
Then went on the be the youth director at (El Cento Del Pueblo) In Echo Park. From there I just kept growing and staying hungry, and began coaching high school football. First at (Miguel Contreras LC) as an assistant coach, then after a few years. My next stop was, head football coach at (John Marshall HS) In Los Angeles. I was the school’s first black, head football coach in its 82yr history. Then I went on to coach the boy’s to a, 2017 Los Angeles City CIF Division III Championship! The second Championship in school history, and the last one was, 34 years before that. I now a turning all of my attention to change, and making our communities an equal place for us all to live.
8) Who has played a meaningful role in your life?
Meaningful role? For sure my pops! He had such a calm and positive energy about him. Everyone seem to like him and just as he was, happy to see him. Always had a smile on his face, but at the same time meant business. Always on time and prepared and dialed in.
The man would practice and after he got home from gigs sometimes. I learned a lot from him about life. How to be a professional and how people should be treated. Always teaching, whether it was a stranger, or one of his music students, to him every moment was a teachable moment. I am more than sure that’s where i get my leadership from.
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