John Fitzgerald Johnson was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He shares little in the way of his academic history, but he speaks briefly of previous jobs he has held. He is a veteran (of which branch of the armed services is not known), an ordained minister, and an IT Architect. He is also a recording artist, and as founder of the GMJ International Entertainment multimedia company, has produced music for a variety of companies large and small under the stage name “The Real Grandmaster Jay”. He campaigns under the slogan “Only we can fix us”.
Johnson is an ardent civil rights activist who is extremely concerned with racial inequality. He is particularly focused on the issue of police brutality, and is a member of the Black Lives Matter movement. He calls for a mandate that all law enforcement officers be required to wear a body camera capturing footage that cannot be altered or deleted. He also wishes to establish a Federal Special Prosecutor division specifically for the review of all incidents of deadly force used by police, with officers found to have behaved improperly having their cases automatically escalated to federal crimes. Mandatory annual training of law enforcement in deescalation of force, as well as civilian review boards with oversight power over police, are other ideas he champions.
Beyond civil rights, Johnson has permissive views on immigration. While he supports tightening border security to prevent illegal crossings, he emphatically declares that he will not build a wall. He rejects any notion of deporting illegal immigrants currently present in the country (with the exception of criminals wanted in their original nation, whom he says could be welcomed back after being sent home), instead seeking to grant them legal status so that they could work for taxable income. He is an advocate of guest workers' rights, supporting legal representation for such people who may have been abused by their employers, as well as requiring those employers to provide reimbursement for housing, transportation expenses, and workers' compensation.
Johnson supports woman's rights, as well. He wishes to expand funding for Planned Parenthood, provide guaranteed childcare for all Americans, and require employers to provide at least one week of paid leave for mothers whose children fall ill. On the issue of labor generally, he supports twelve weeks of paid family and medical leave for all workers, two weeks of paid vacation, and a minimum wage increase to $18 per hour.
With his decidedly left-of-center political bent, Johnson is likely to find supporters among social liberals, especially those concerned with racial issues. Fiscal liberals would also find little to object to in his platform. Political conservatives are not likely to agree with most of his positions.
Johnson is nothing if not optimistic. On his campaign website, he makes a veiled reference to the accomplishment of President Barack Obama, the first black man to achieve the Oval Office. Johnson displays a picture of himself – also an African-American man – on which he has written the phrase, “Who says lightning doesn't strike twice?”