Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Houston Johansen Announces Santa Fe City Council Candidacy in District 1
Santa Fe native and lifelong city resident, Houston Johansen today announced his candidacy for Santa Fe City Council in District 1, saying he will be "offering a new perspective on politics and a plan for increased civic participation and responsibility." Johansen is challenging 17-year incumbent Patti Bushee for the seat.
Johansen (age 25) says he is "especially concerned about the lack of opportunity for young people in Santa Fe, and wants to focus on building an economy that restores opportunity for working families and addresses the mis-trust in elected officials."
“I want to be the next City Councilor in District One. Santa Fe is the only home I know. I love Santa Fe, but I think we can do better,” Johansen said. “I hope to raise some important issues in this race – such as: where are the economic opportunities for young people? Why do young people flee the city to find jobs? And how can we do better by working families?”
According to a statement released today, Johansen will spend the coming weeks talking to voters, listening to their concerns, issues, and experiences living in Santa Fe. The campaign will periodically host public forums online and in-person that provide unprecedented venues for Santa Feans to publicly express their concerns during an election cycle. Constituents' issues will form a significant part of the campaign and its platform.
“I’m going to do this the old-fashioned way -– listen to the concern of voters in my district and share my ideas about how to make Santa Fe better. Basically, I’m going to work really hard and talk to every voter I can. A lot of candidates make the rounds and chalk up constituent visits, but the lessons learned and the concerns confided in that process seem to vanish after election day. Again, I think we can do better, ” Johansen said.
With this voter feedback, Houston will release his campaign platform in the coming weeks.
In describing his background, Houston said he was raised in Santa Fe, and attended Rio Grande Elementary and Santa Fe Preparatory schools. At the age of 19 he opened One World Coffee, a fair trade, sustainable, education-oriented coffee house. One World gave young people hands-on experience running a business, helping to inspire a generation to think creatively about their ability to affect change in the world. After stepping down as manager, Houston left Santa Fe to pursue a degree in political science at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. During that time Houston interned for Governor Richardson’s top water policy advisor, Bill Hume. He also worked to raise money for Creighton’s scholarship funds and worked on President Obama’s Omaha campaign.
Johansen is the son of Carl Johansen and Mary Lattimore, long time residents of Santa Fe. His father is a well-known local artist who Johansen said taught him the power of art, and the importance of creativity. Houston's mother raised him in a house that is completely off-the-grid, which he says helped him develop a deep passion for sustainability and innovation. Together they taught him early on that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to find a good job and be a part of something bigger, he added.