Skip and DJ And ? interview guest Dr. Jermaine Johnson. Jermaine is SC State House Representative from District 80. Along with being a husband and father, Jermaine is an entrepreneur, professor, former pro athlete and is currently involved with a myriad of organizations and political bodies. Topics covered: running for office, learning a new language, balancing family/professional life, political representation, community involvement, and policy making. Make sure to subscribe to us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Also follow us on Instagram and Facebook @hilltopglove.
JERMAINE JOHNSON INFO.
Dr. Jermaine Johnson House District 80:
Dream Team Consultants:
THG Episode 5 Rough Edit_mixdown
[00:00:00] Good evening, happy Friday and welcome to this episode of the Hilltop club podcast. I'm your host DJ, and what will my co-host and brothers skip. And Mike, this is our fourth episode with our esteem guests. Dr. Jermaine Johnson is an elected official se district 80, a former professional basketball player, a professor, a community organizer.
A business owner and much more good evening again, Dr. Johnson is a pleasure to have you. I'm happy that you took time to sit down with us to discuss some things and talk about life politics and the state of South Carolina as a whole. How are you doing today? Good evening fellows, man. I appreciate y'all having me, man.
You know, it's been a lot of times I'll talk to y'all man. So I'm excited. Y'all got me on here to. You're a little old me, man. I appreciate y'all happy on here, man. From the beginning, I should have put us in my intro, but this, or we do know who Dr. Jermaine Johnson pretty well. Back from my time at at the college of Charleston, we didn't go to school [00:01:00] together.
We watched this as gentlemen, grow up into a successful grown man, a husband, you know what I'm saying? Business, businessman and politician. It's nice to see. Are folk around us as this, as you should know this podcast, it was about growing up, learning about life adulting and moving on and understanding how to do things properly.
And it's nice to see our folks out here doing their thing in the right way. So just have to put that out there, but jumping into it because I know I want to make sure we keep our time together. We know you represent district 80 here in South Carolina. First off, congratulations on your election.
Yeah, that makes our day, and I'm just jumping into a minute. This is, everybody wants to know this stuff. Man, what can you tell us about the campaign and how and why you got into politics, man? So, you know, politics was never, my thing y'all know the athlete and the athlete forever. I've been a basketball player, man, but you know, there was just some things that I was noticing that were [00:02:00] going on in my community that I was speaking out against.
You know, I was talking to other young people. I've always been like the type. They would like to mentor young people. You know what I'm saying? None people and try to give them a little bit of advice on how to navigate certain things through my experiences. And I had a young guy up here at Columbia that was telling me about how he had got stopped three times in three days by three police officers.
They illegally searched them and let them go. Wow. And I spoke about this at a police forum. And as I was leaving this forum a gentleman came and tapped me on my shoulder. And it was a representative Joe Neal. Wow. And for people who don't know a represent, Joe Neil is the individual who was fighting to get the Confederate flag removed from the state house, sir.
And he, and he was saying, man, Jermaine, you know, you're exactly the type of leader we need. You know, you're, you're exactly the type, the, the future. And he's the one who kind of, jump-started my political career. I had no aspirations of being a politics, but I just want to change, you know, change the community or change, you know, help influence individual to.
You're on the right path. And he's the one who [00:03:00] did it. So, you know, from there, what, after meeting him, you know, he sent my whole career in motion and that's how I became a risk, the County recreation commissioner, but I ain't just stopped there. Like he just put me on everything else. Like he, I became a part of the young Democrats of South Carolina and the young Democrats of the central middle East.
I became part of democratic black caucus. You know, I became the third by sheer of the risks of County democratic party. I mean, it just kind of, everything's kind of whistle fast, man. And that's how I, that's how I got into politics, man. It's interesting because I remember growing up with you and just watching you being around, you always knew that you had a.
Nat for talking to folk co communicating, especially about things about growth and development, getting better at what you're doing, always paid attention to that. And I remember you telling me about your story growing up out West, and then coming over here and this, bringing that over here with you, bringing that, that idea with you.
Could you elaborate a little bit on folks about your, your upbringing and [00:04:00] how you got over here to the East coast? Yeah. So, you know, I'm originally was born in Los Angeles, California, but you know, I've lived all over Southern California, man you know, coming from from South central, from fresh. Aw.
And was all over Southern California. At this point I back to lived in South Carolina longer than I've lived anywhere else, longer than me. So yeah, I tell you, I'm from South Carolina,
But, you know, growing up in that and that type of environment, man, you got, I've been homeless, living out there, you know, lifting most of my life was living in motels and hotels. You know, being hungry, going through that type of thing, you know family members lost the drugs and gangs and you know, that whole type of thing.
You know, I lost a couple of friends to that type of stuff. Violence. My, my older brother was murdered. You know, I mean, it's just all those different types of things that I had to endure while, while coming up and trying to navigate that whole thing. So it's, you know, it shouldn't surprise you that, you know that I was kind of [00:05:00] subjected to that lifestyle.
True. And that's just kinda what I was living in. You know people become products of their environment, you know, so I have tattoos all over my body. You know, and it's just, you just begin to look in and be of that environment. And it wasn't until my AAU basketball coach took me and sent me to a private school or a prep school in upstate New York, where I started to see things were different.
And my environment and the things that I were going through, they weren't the norm for everybody, you know? So after I grew up and I started seeing things, you know, I no longer get upset at these guys that are in these neighborhoods because, you know, I had the same type of experience. So, you know, I was asking people, I was asked people, you know how do you know you're thinking is wrong.
If everybody around you thinks the same. Bruise statement. Very true statement. You never know. You never know because nobody, you know, all you see is exactly what you see every single day. And if you don't have the opportunity to get outside that environment, you'll never know that your thinking goes wrong.
So you can't be mad at these people for thinking that what if they think they've never seen it? [00:06:00] That's very true. You can't push that. You can't push that blame onto them. They have no other stimuli there. They're working off of what they're being given. That's understood. That is understood. That is a very good point.
And I'm happy that you gave that background because with that background, it, it pushes even harder to point. So. From that situation coming out of there finishing up in college, you did go play pro basketball for a few years, correct? Yeah, man. Yeah. Yeah. I had a good time. So after getting to South Carolina, you know, I just never lived, I got here in like 2003, 2004, and I just never left I played ball there.
And then I went and I ended up getting drafted to the NBA D league. And then after I left the NBA D league, I ended up going to play basketball in Mexico. And I went from Mexico to Portugal played in Brazil and Canada. Yeah. So I played all over the place, man Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, and Canada. So, you know, I had a good time.
I learned how to speak S [00:07:00] yeah. So that was one thing that tripped me out. When you came back speaking Spanish, I was like, what did they do to Jermaine
crazy, man. It's like, you know, what they teach you in school is completely different than what you get when you submerge yourself in the, in the entire culture and the environment. I ended up helping my other brother to get out there with me to play on a basketball team with me. And he got married, had a few kids and stayed up there.
He passed, he passed away and about six years ago now. But you know, up until he passed away, I mean, he lived in Mexico with his wife and kids, man. So. It was a whole different type of culture, man, and, and learning how to speak Spanish. I mean, that's the best way to learn. I got those English to Spanish dictionaries and I used to just translate everything that I said to Angus.
I would just translate into Spanish, like word for word. I would translate all the words that I used and that went from that. And then people started helping me out with putting them together and phrases. And then that was it. And it just took off from there. Unlocked it. [00:08:00] And like you said, it was all through the experience actually getting outside.
I didn't know. So I knew that I was fluent when I w when I started dreaming in Spanish.
I mean, you see, I mean, your story, your story is pretty remarkable because this is watching, watching it and then change, and then getting that ability to leave the country and having experiences outside of the country in a positive way and, and bringing that stuff back. Man that leads into a very interesting question.
Question two, you know, your district is an area that is 47.9% black and 5.6% Hispanic. Yup. All right. With that being said, how does, how does, how does your ability to did y'all see my commercial did y'all see my, I did a commercial in, in all spins. Yes. That's what I was gonna say.
into your ability to try to connect with [00:09:00] that, that part of your electorate. Lecture. Yeah, of course. You know, I do that all the time. I try to find individual who speaks Spanish and just, and you know, and just communicate with them in their native tongue, you know, it's, it's it's something where people always think that I'm Cuban or, or something
speaking even further on that point and is getting into the political, the politics of the matter. Because of that, like looking at your district and whatnot and the makeup of it, it gets, it's an idea of gerrymandering. Especially in our state and the importance and the power of gerrymandering. And I like how you use that, the ability to create bridges, to make sure that the gerrymander actually works in your favor.
And that's positive because for people who want to make change, it allows you to get in there and also. Make sure that you can get through the, the, how you say the actual political holdups that other people would have. You're able to move through that. Do you think that the [00:10:00] gerrymandering is a, a negative or a positive in this state?
And if so how do you think we could actually create a change for that? If it is negative? I completely hate gerrymandering with a, with a passion. I hate it. I hate it. Now, the, the established politicians, they love it and they don't want it to change for anything, but I hate it. And you explain why, why the established politicians like the gerrymandering so that the listeners can understand a little bit.
Yeah. So the, the established, the, the established Polish politicians loved Jerry Manary because once they get into a seat and once they get there, they no longer have to really serve the entire district of the entire population of people. They only have to serve that one little pocket of individuals who are voting for them who are voting either Dee or voting are.
You know, building that straight ticket, they don't have to do anything else. They just have to make sure that those, those, that pocket of influencers make sure that their needs are [00:11:00] met. And if that's the case, then they can stay in there for that's how YC guys in their 20, 30, 40 years they're consistently feeding to that one population.
And the thing is gerrymandering. Doesn't just help Republicans. It helps Democrats establish the established Democrats because you know, The Republicans, they draw, they draw their district lines to where everybody introduced with is Republican. You know, they, they look at the voting records and say, all right, this, everybody in this district is Republican and they'll say, all right I don't want to take any chance to lose my seat.
So I'm going, gonna give all these Democrats over to this area and you can have those people so that, you know, it helps the establishment individuals, but it makes it makes politicians extremely lazy. And then it's also, when it comes with a straight ticket voting, it's like, once you win in, once you win in the primary, you know, if your district is, you know, mainly red or blue, you don't have to do anything.
You just literally just show up, you know, you don't have to do nothing. You don't have to talk to people, you don't have to do anything. So I hate [00:12:00] that stuff. You know, I've had conversations with a lot of the other legislators, like telling them how much I hate it. You know, the court they're like, nah. And I'm like, man, I hate it.
I hate it. Because the thing is I had a, I had a lot of Republicans that voted for me and my district. I had a lot of people who were independent that voted for me in my district because they saw that, you know, I I'm, I like to say that my strength is I'm relatable because of my life experiences, because I've been homeless.
I've been, I've been a private school. I've been out of the country. I've been in, you know, here, I've seen the best of life and I've seen the worst of life, you know, I've seen, you know, I've been, I've got a story for it. Anything you can think of. That's been my strength. So I've been able to relate to, and find common ground with all Republicans, with with independence, with, you know, with, with anybody.
So I love it, you know, and I love it. So lately I've been just making random phone calls to Republicans and Democrats in my district just saying, Hey, how y'all doing. And they're like, they're like, Mike, you're my representative. Oh my God, you don't this surprise that I'm [00:13:00] calling them because they'd never had this before ever.
And I'm like, I'm like, and I'm the first one to be doing this type of stuff, because I truly do want to see a change. And I don't want you to like me because I'm a Democrat or because gives me, I want you to know who I am and know that I care and know that I'm on your side. That's refreshing to hear you've going to stay on fresh.
I'm the first, I'm the first one that I've met, like this, to be honest. Dang. So where do you see? All right, with that being said, what do you see the politics heading in this state then? If, like you said, you're the first person that you've heard, that's like that dealing with those around you, do you think that there are going to be more candidates that are going to take that road?
Yeah. So, you know, the way I won my my election was being this way and it was, it was, it was so refreshing to a lot of people here that I've gotten calls from other you know high officials that have said, man, Jermaine, you know, the way you ran your campaign is probably going [00:14:00] to become the new standard for a lot of individuals running for office here in South Carolina.
Because I didn't sling any mud. I didn't talk trash about anybody. I didn't use anybody's rings. I didn't do anything. I ran against the establishment and I won know, and people are like, Oh my God, like, how did he do that? You know? Cause I won by, you know, I won by a huge market, like 75% of the voters up against a 22 year incumbent.
And they were like, like, they were like, wow, like how did that's never happened? You know, I got, I got donations and contributions from all 50 States in America got all three States, 50 States. And Puerto Rico. They've never seen that before.
I told the people in my district, I said, man, you are the only district of South Carolina, where anybody in our district, you can go anywhere in the entire United States and find at least one person that knows about your district and knows where you come from. Aaron it's unheard of.
It's just, it's just an amazing [00:15:00] thing to be able to do this. So I think that more people are going to catch on to what to what I'm doing. I've talked to a couple, a couple other young Republicans, like, you know, not the older Republican young Republicans. They're more willing to, to, to work with the other side, they're more on the, on the middle line.
There'll be a new age individuals. And I, you know, I feel good about the younger generations coming up. I tell people that I'm not really fighting for this immediate generation. I'm fighting for my kids and grandkids generation, because that's what, when the change is going to happen, because politicians that are up here right now.
Are the ones that were still in power back in 1960 wisdom, you know, and it's the same exact thing that's going on. You know, you got to think about that. There's people up in this, in the state house that are 70, 80 years old, you know, think about those individuals. These people were around when, when black people couldn't vote.
True. Speaking of which you I thought this was interesting. I was looking on. Legislation that you worked on and there was you actually named, you want it, you, you made legend, you introduced legislation to name a road after the gentlemen [00:16:00] that you replaced. Correct, man, you as humble man. And that's for again, that's another refreshing thing.
See, you don't see that coming out of politics. Normally, usually it's a competitive dog eat dog. Chill tiller till everything winner takes all games. So again, like I said, you're showing a new path. It's just, yeah. I called him, man. You know, and I told him even before we, even before I you know, got up there and started campaigning to give some, I, I let him know that, Hey man, this is nothing personal as with another person that was no hard feelings.
If I win. I still want you to work with me. If I lose, I still want to work with you. You know, it is nothing personal. It's all about the good of our community, all about the next generation and embracing the next generation up to see, you know, have somebody that represents them that looks like them talks like that.
Representation matters. We know that we seen black Panther, you look it up. [00:17:00] matters. And I look like my community I'm of my community. I dress like my community. So, you know, I talk like my community and I want them to know that, Hey, listen, that I'm here, you know, and that you can do, you can do everything that I've done and you can, you can do more than what I've done.
You could be greater than what I'm doing. You know, I'm the spark to start it, but I darn sure won't be the last person. Strong words, strong words. That's what I like to hear. I'm going to move on to this next question, because it relates to you doing that work. But like I said, in the beginning and in your introduction, you're more than that.
You do so much more than that. With that being said, like one of the things you hear from folk who are, who are working in public Sophos service, they sacrifice a lot of time. Especially with your family, even with working at your own business or doing whatever you're doing, because you have to be there at the state house.
You have to craft legislation. You need to sit and hours and talk with people and meet folks. And I know recently, Steve Steve Benjamin, the art, the Columbia, the mayor of Columbia, he cited a desire to spend more time with his daughters along with building [00:18:00] his practice for a reason why he's no longer done to run after this term.
Could you share your experiences on how you're dealing thus far being a neophyte in this arena, in balancing your political and your personal life? I've got, I've got the most amazing wife ever, man. You ain't learning. Oh my God. Y'all know.
I got the most amazing wife ever, man. I fall in love with her more and more every day, but I really do. Yeah, that's, that's my booboo man. She, she has always supported me and she continues to support me in everything that I'm doing politically we've had these conversations and, and about, you know, balancing lifestyle, but I do everything I can, you know, I go to my, my daughter's softball practices and you know, I go to school.
I make videos to speak for this kids in school. I mean, I do all that stuff. To, to, to be dad, I try as best I can to be the most you know, present father that I possibly can be and be the most present husband. Like, you know, after this, we're [00:19:00] going out of town for a couple of days, me and my wife to spend some time together, you know, but it's, these are things that, you know, that I talked to my wife about.
As long as you have an understanding between you and your spouse, you know, things should be fine. And the thing is, you know When you have, when you were doing things that what you're doing. So my wife understand that you gotta think about people like Martin Luther King as well where they're with their families.
They understand that, you know, we've got a calling on us as leaders. We've got a calling on us and it's like, we can't, we can't reject the calling that we have. So we it's like when you belong to the world, you know, you belong to them and your wife is there. Or your, your spouse is there. To really support you, you know, but that's not to say that you need to neglect your family.
That's just, you know, we are just a family you know, at the forefront of trying to solve the problems for everybody else. Well, it's something that I thought was interesting in the book that Obama put out recently talking, discussing how Michelle was taking to, or not taking to him running for that second term [00:20:00] and the affects that it had on their marriage and the stress.
I know there was one part where she says, I don't want these people in my business.
They don't want people in her business. And the thing is when your input, when you're in the political life, those things, like you said, like you said, you are for the people, everything that you're doing is going to be front street is going to be out there. So. Absolutely that, that, that, and that right there, that almost kept me from running for office.
So I was wondering, I wanted to ask you that I saw your name come up. I was like, I need to get this man's number and call them and see why he's doing this because I went to almost run, man. Really? Yeah, because I was so concerned. I was talking to people in my community and I was talking to my wife. I was so concerned about what kids or what other people would do to my children, because in politics it gets extremely dirty.
And you know, it's almost like families are, are, are, are not all, you know, are, are [00:21:00] right on there too. So it was like, they'll say, they'll say anything and do anything to get you off your game. I mean, put out lies and all type of stuff. So I was so concerned about my kids, man. I didn't, I didn't want my kids to have to go to school and defend their father.
I didn't want my wife to have to go to work or go to in the community, how to defend her husband, you know, because of something I was so concerned, man. So that, that almost kept me from not running, but I went back and forth maybe a thousand times on this'll melee. I ain't running, I ain't doing this. And I said, I'm doing it.
I ain't doing that. W what will help you change your mind on it? Talking to Jim Cliburn. Oh yeah. Kinda Jim Clark, Jim, our Congressman Cliburn. I asked them cause you know, the things that I was hearing with, like, I was so concerned about that. And then some of the elders were saying that I was too young to ruin and I needed to, I needed to wait it out a little bit.
And I asked Congressman Cliburn about this, and I talked to him about that. And he said, Jermaine, you don't need permission from us old folk to run for office. Wow. [00:22:00] That's what it is. Exactly. Isn't it? Doesn't it feel good to have support from your, your elders when making moves like that? I mean, it is unbelievable, man.
It's unbelievable. The simple fact that I was actually able to talk to Congressman. Yeah. That's what I'm saying. Yeah.
I mean, some of the people I've had conversations with and broken bread with and, you know, get the call on the phone. I'm just like, Oh my God, like, this is like, this person knows my name. Like people don't understand, like I'm still starstruck at all the people that I get to meet and talk to. People are you're dramatic.
You're, you're important. You're famous. I'm like, no, I'm not famous people all day, man. It's amazing. And I, sorry. So I have to continue on that line of that line of reasoning with the impact of that on your life. Just being thrust into that, into that spotlight, if someone is interested in the political office and just [00:23:00] trying to understand the impact that I'll have on, on the other aspects of life, how has it affected your professional business?
So, you know, the way it has to be, man if you don't own your own business, I would say, I really need to look at what politics will do for your career. I mean, it'll probably put your career in the end, you know because you have to own that. And that's why that's why politics is really for like, It's designed to be for the elite
because so much money to run for office. It takes a lot of money to run for office, and it also takes so much time to run for office. So you gotta think the common man who's working, you know, at a, at a department store, who's working nine to five and makes, you know, $15 an hour. That person can't run for office because, you know, during the day that person has to be at work.
So we can't campaign, you know, that person, if that person has a cell phone, the campaign, you know, it takes about $60,000 to run for office. So if you don't have that money, you know, what are you [00:24:00] going to do? If you can't get the, get the support, what are you going to do? You know, so it's really designed for the elitist.
The thing that I had that was in my corner was all the, all the groundwork that I had been doing and getting the support by, by being a part of Andrew Yang's campaign. Gotcha. You know, running his campaign kind of you know, it kinda made me a national figure in his campaign. And, and I had so many people supporting me that they were like, listen, if you ever run for office, I got your back.
So the same thing, that's why Andrew was here for my swearing in. And he was like, Jermaine, whatever you need I'm with you. So, you know, he did a lot of fundraising stuff on my behalf also. So that, that grant you really did do grassroots stuff. You, you started from the bottom of the solely, builds it up.
I had thousands and thousands of grassroots efforts, man. All right. So yes, this is something that people don't usually get to see. They just see the end product. They didn't realize that you had been working at it for such a long time. I know I do my Facebook Ninja and my online stealth mode is be real creepy on people.
[00:25:00] That's what I do. So I knew that stuff. I was looking at it and I was like, people don't realize this man has been been at the bit, working in this since like 2013 coming up. Slowly, but surely grinding to this spot. So seven years later, you end up in this position, it wasn't by happenstance. Correct.
Exactly. This is a question I had because again, doing my little background stuff, I'm a nerd. And so I like to read, I read legislation. So being in LA, I always like to say this being a legislator, isn't always grandiose. It's not always fun. So some stuff can be mundane and trivial. It's not stuff that people would consider to be sexy or anything like that.
However, there are times because I know you are an activist as well. That is something that is a tagline for you. It's something that you like to do because you get out into the community you like to work with. So, and it's nice to be able to put that list to hand when you're in a position that you were in and make mountains move.
So I read about a bill that you introduced on the 10th [00:26:00] of this month. Eight three eight, seven zero. Could you elaborate on that bill? Explain it to our, our listeners and tell them how it will affect policing here in South Carolina. Yes. Yes, he has. And I'm so excited about this band because I believe it actually has a chance to yeah.
Yeah. Three eight, seven zero is actually a bill relating to body cam footage from police officers. And the way that the law is written right now, if you are to get into an altercation with the police officer and you you know, and you want the footage because you want to pursue charges or you want to, you know, complain or, or, you know, write them up or whatever.
You can't go down to the Sheriff's department and get access to that footage. You have to actually hire an attorney to subpoena that footage before you can do anything. Now, why is this important? The reason why this is important is because if you are a [00:27:00] homeless person or somebody who's living, you know at minimum wage or something like that, and you get into an altercation with a police officer, And you can't get the body camp.
What is what you literally just have to, you have to deal with the consequences of the interaction between you and a police officer at that point. It's your word against his and when it becomes like that, you know, you have a lot of police departments such as the one here with the County. That do internal investigations.
They don't bring anybody from outside. They do. So it's like you investigating yourself. And when are you ever going to find that yourself did any wrongdoing and as a police officer, you're not telling on your brother, you're not telling on your, on your, on your confidant there. So, you know, if I don't have any money to get that body cam footage, the internal investigation is going to find nothing and you get to walk away with a, with a black eye and a busted lip.
And you can't prove that anything happened to you. So what this bill would do, it would alter that it would change. In fact, right now that they are criminalizing poverty, it would allow that [00:28:00] anytime that somebody was the subject of an altercation or the subject of an investigation or the subject of whatever was going on, that's on the body cam footage, it would allow for you to be able to go to the Sheriff's department and say, Hey, I want this footage.
This point is, this is something that happened to me. I want this footage and they, you know, and you would be able to get that footage. They wouldn't be required by law to give you access to that footage so that you can do your own investigation. You could see if you did something, you can see if they do something and you can give that to your lawyer.
If you want to get one, and this will help lawyers as well, because now that you got access to this footage, now, now a lawyer can see the footage before he even decided to, if he wants to take the case or not. You know, it's going to help so many more people who need access to the stuff. And it's going to remove that, that barrier, man, that's gonna, that would be monumental.
I hope it gets passed because I know there's been talk about finding some way to create universal policing laws. And if that is something that exists on the books and they state. Then it can be [00:29:00] a part of that, that, that, that plan. And I think that'd be a great thing, man. That sounds good. You know, I was excited when I read that, I read that I thought SSE, I tried to tell y'all my brothers are going to do things right.
Because I do things right. So that excited me, man, because like you said Poverty is something that is usually criminalized in very, in very unique facets. And it affects people literally to the point where it can ruin their lives and keep them from being able to develop into profitable citizens and people, a society that can actually do good for others.
So man, Bravo, Bravo to that. Do you have a lot of, do you have a lot of backers on that bill with you? So far. Yeah, I've got a few co-sponsors on that bill. I think once I go talk to more of the the members in the house that I'm going to get a lot more port on that I'm going to go talk to the committee that is to the sub committee right now is the judiciary sub committee.
And I know a lot of individuals in there, so I'm going to make sure that I go in there and and. And talk to them about that, but then, you know, the Sheriff's department [00:30:00] actually supports that bill. Wow. Can I get some, once I get some written testimony from them at the Sheriff's department, I mean, it's pretty much going to be a no brainer.
You know, it's like, Hey, if the police support it, then why can't we support it? And also I think that it should be something that we can, that's a great tactic. Continue to push that. Continue to push. I do have one final question for you. I always like to end on something that is a little bit light. But also open-ended just to give you a way, just to get your mind out there and talk a little bit, but man, how have your life experiences and organizations I'm going to stress organizations, because if you go and you look up your, your chart of information on you, man, the organizations that you are a part of, man, I tell people this stuff is important.
I always explain to people I know what's important. Go ahead and join the organization. Like you may not think. How has it, how has it driven your ambition and your aspirations as a professional? And are there any tips you'd like to share with others that are seeking to have a positive impact on their community?
Yeah, [00:31:00] I'm a part of a whole bunch of
I really am, man. Sometimes I'm like, Oh my God, like I'm busy, like every single day.
And there's even groups that I'm involved with that I don't even have listed. On places like races. Yeah. Four brothers only I'm involved with this group. But all these, all these different groups and organizations that I'm involved with are, are to feed me in some sort some, some form or fashion.
And this is because, you know, when you get to a point sometimes you know, You will. You're always expected to be pouring out and pouring into somebody else. Like you all have to pour into somebody else. And sometimes I need other things to feed my soul, to replenish me. So you don't want to be depleted.
And that's when you get on like airplanes, if you ever get on the airplane, you know, they tell you to a, in a case of emergency and that man's come down and you gotta put the mask over your face first. And the reason why they tell you that is because you can't help anybody else until you help yourself.
Sure. And [00:32:00] also I made sure that I'm always replenishing my spirit, my soul with whatever it is with knowledge, you know, I'm a master Mason. We, you know, I'm a Sigma, you know, with anything that can help. I'm part of the NAACP, you know, I want to continue to stay apart of, of the current events and the G the agendas and things like that to kind of help people, because I don't know what all.
But, you know, I can get with people who know something more than what I do. So if I ever, you know, need to help somebody else or help constituent or help somebody, I can only refer them to a particular area. So, you know, getting involved with some of these organizations will help you to expand your thought process.
It would have helped you to expand every, everything, your approach to different things. You will start to learn different things about where you're trying to go. So if anybody wants to get involved with politics, man you know, the first thing I suggest is to know your, why. Mm, no. What is your, what is your motive?
You know, what is your motive behind all this? Because a lot of you can do a lot more good actually on a local level, rather than going into politics. [00:33:00] Because once you get into politics, you have to think how long it takes to get a law or something like that change or an ordinance passed because it's not just me.
That's making this law. Nope. There's literally 124 house members. And when you, when you introduce a bill, It goes into subcommittee and then subcommittees like four or five people. And they have to say, are they scrutinizing? You have people that are testifying against it or for it. And then if it passes subcommittee, then it's got to go to full committee and it goes to that whole thing.
He got people scrutinizing it, offering amendments and all that. And then if it passes us that poor community has got to go to the house. And at the house, they have all 124 people looking at it. And they're like, Oh, okay, well I like it. Or I don't like it. Here's this amendment. And let's say this, by some chance it passed the house.
This has got to go Oh, to the Senate and sit and go do the same process. It was like, got to go through these committees and go through all that. And then he's got to pass the Senate and then it goes through and it got passed the Senate after that, [00:34:00] then it goes to the governor and now the governor has to look at it, you know?
So. Th these processes are so long and it takes so long before you can get anything changed in your community. If you want to do it from a political standpoint, you have something that's going on in your neighborhood and your community and your community activists. And you usually know a lot of people and some little boy on your street just got hit while he was hit by a car while he was riding his bicycle in the street.
Or, you know, the thing that you would want to do is say, Hey, you call your County council member and say, Hey, put a speed bump on my street. So people stopped speeding on my street. You can get that done in 30 days, but I'll understand. So it's things like that that can really change your everyday life and that people aren't looking at it.
Mm that's a, that is a very good point. You just made. And I, and that's the whole, the whole I'm just a bill sitting on Capitol Hill type thing. You summed it up real quick and then you, you followed up well, and I like that you put that out. The impact that you can have as a, as an individual within your community.
And [00:35:00] again, it goes back to the beginning of our conversation. That's how you start it off Jermaine. As an individual in the community. And then you got to that point, man. That's a beautiful thing, man. It is a beautiful thing. And I want to point this out before we, before we wrap up, because I know we're getting up to time right now.
Would you like to point out some, either some organizations or some folks that you would like to point out that folks may want to get in contact with and any content information you have for yourself or websites or things that people may need to go to so that they can follow up on things that you're either interested in pushing for?
Or you think may be important for our listeners? Yeah. Yeah. You can always find out about stuff that I'm doing. I'm trying to keep my website updated, but you can just go to Johnson for se.com. If you want to email me, you can email [email protected] There are a lot of, a lot of good organizations that are out there.
You know you have amplify action. Remember Brady y'all remember Brendan
Yeah, man. [00:36:00] Brandon ups is doing some great, great things in the political world, man. I mean, some amazing things you know, he's out here you know, registering black men to vote, you know, he's going all over the country, registered black men to vote. And he helped a lot in that Georgia race. Oh, wow.
Yeah. Yeah. We have some things going on up here. My, my my buddy Jamal Bradley. Pushing for this Juneteenth festival to be a state holiday. And we have a bill in the house and in the Senate right now to make it a, a state holiday. So that's probably going to pass as well. We, you know, we have all these other people like what's the other organization we have it is Y'all remember bright.
Yeah. Bright. Yeah, she's doing some great things up here. She's doing a great thing to politics right now is, are gonna touch with Jessica Bright. I mean, we've got, we've got a number of different things that are happening. With young millennials, man, like us young millennials, we are really moving Nita right now.
And I'm just proud to be a part of it. Just be a small blip on the screen with these great people. That's doing some things [00:37:00] is excellent to hear, man. I'm just telling you, man, on follow up, you have to make sure to send some contacts out for us and get them back to us. We're going to have to bring them onto the podcast so we can talk about some of these things.
Absolutely man. Absolutely. Yeah. Y'all make sure y'all check out my Twitter page. Dr. Underscore J L Johnson check me out. You know, I, I spent a lot of time on Twitter. I hate. Yeah. But Andrew J asked me to get Twitter when he was running for when he was running for office for president. So I hopped on Twitter and then I can, now I can't get enough of.
It makes sense. Like I said, it's a, it's a great tool. It's a great tool. That's all, it is a great tool. But with that being said, we're going to wrap up on this episode of the Hilltop glove podcast from me DJ and what my co-host skip and my co-host might, man, we'll see you next time. Appreciate it.