Kenya Johnson

Kenya Johnson.

Occupation: Fulton County Office of the Solicitor General, Chief Deputy Solicitor

Previous elected offices held: None

Other community service experience: Organized over 10 “Restorative Justice” Expungement Summits with faith leaders and civic partners. Organized over five youth anti-gun violence events in Fulton County high schools reaching over 5,000 students. Produced and co-hosted “Legally Speaking,” a legal talk show with the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys to provide relevant legal information to Fulton County residents on public access television. Currently serving as chair of the Community Service Section of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers Foundation, coordinating service events for the organization at large.

What is motivating you to run for this office?

At the age of 25, I lost my mother and grandmother, both of whom passed without a will. As an only child, I was forced to handle their affairs through grief and confusion and we lost our family home. It then became my mission to educate citizens about the importance of estate planning to create legacies to care for our loved ones. As a criminal prosecutor, I assisted families after traumatic crime events. I’ve risen through the legal ranks to co-manage a county governmental office with a $9 million budget and co-lead over 100 employees.

What is the biggest issue facing the court system and how will you address it?

In the last 30 years, Fulton’s population has grown exponentially and the Probate Court is now positioned for growth in our “new normal” to more efficiently serve the growing number of marriages, estates and firearm applications in our county. Fulton citizens deserve an experienced county administrator that will improve processes to better serve residents without undue delay. I bring a futuristic viewpoint through the use of national best practices and available electronic tools to develop a model court for a new world.

What strengths and weaknesses have the coronavirus pandemic crisis revealed in the court system? 

Under our nation’s pandemic, we struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy in our lives and business.  In these difficult times, improved technology would allow Probate Court to continue most operations and court hearings remotely.  The opportunity and need to conveniently service citizens through technology has now been revealed and my 20 years working in the courts and offices of Fulton County government gives me insight and access to achieve meaningful and immediate improvements to the services of Probate Court.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.