BOWIE – The list of candidates for Bowie City Council just got longer. Nathan C. Johnson’s lifelong love for politics has moved him enough to apply for the District 1 seat in the city’s council. “I want to give back to my community and thought this was a good way to do it,” said Johnson. […]
BOWIE – The list of candidates for Bowie City Council just got longer.
Nathan C. Johnson’s lifelong love for politics has moved him enough to apply for the District 1 seat in the city’s council.
“I want to give back to my community and thought this was a good way to do it,” said Johnson. “I’m always active in public welfare, such as trash, water and sewer. Grassroots stuff.”
Johnson describes his platform as “common sense grassroots government.” He said he is not about change and wants to maintain the status quo.
“As a council member, I want to keep the systems that we have running and to be able to change a bit without being overly burdensome to the taxpayer,” he said.
Johnson is concerned about traffic flow on Route 197 and Whitehall Road. If elected, he hopes to address the issues of people running red lights. Still, he’s not waiting to be elected to be active. Johnson voted for increased police presence.
“I think the increased patrols might alleviate some of those problems,” Johnson said. “If I become a council member, I want to see traffic lights installed at 197, which is also Laurel-Bowie Road and Rockledge. It’s right next to Rockledge Elementary. I’m aware there are speed cameras there that slow things down, but then everyone just speeds up and exceeds the speed limits excessively.”
Littering is another issue that Johnson, if elected, wants to work to solve.
“I’ve used the Bowie State train station a lot and the littering is unbelievable,” he said. “I go out there and I’m able to pick up three or four bags of trash just on my own. I think people can take more personal responsibility. If the city leads the way with that, we might make some progress.
“Obviously you can’t solve all the problems at one time, but I’d like to be able to have some level of impact,” he said.
If elected, Johnson’s plan of action is to increase public awareness, get out in the street, and meet-and-greet the everyday citizen. Johnson considers himself to be a “new voice that is aware of basic issues.”
However, he does not consider himself to be lofty.
“I’ve had a lot of public service and public policy experience,” Johnson said. “I know politics and I’m not bringing a huge ego. I don’t want to be wild and abandoned. I just want to stay focused on the issues people are worried about and are concerned about.”
Johnson, 59, said he’s “checking his ego at the door” and his competitive edge is he’s “not really competitive.” He promises to not “lock horns with anybody” because he wants to be a team player.
Currently, Johnson works as a paralegal with the Department of Justice.Johnson moved to Bowie 14 years ago. He describes himself as “active” in the community.
“I’ve always voted in Bowie,” Johnson said. “I’ve voted on every election. I read the local papers. There’s always interesting things in there. I’m in tune with that so I think I can be responsive to my constituents and what they say. I’m a good talker and I’m a good listener.”
According to Johnson, government should “be streamlined and made less complicated.” He will advocate for making the city council more accessible to the people who voted the officials into office.
As far as transparency is concerned, Johnson thinks the elected officials sitting on the current city council are transparent, but need to continue to “be accessible.” In fact, Johnson is not a fan of the word “transparency.” Johnson prefers words like “listen” and phrases such as “be responsive to the constituents.”
If elected, Johnson said he will improve and further the transparency of city council by “walking the streets, knocking on doors, and listening to the people.”