For Immediate Release
Date: September 21, 2017
During the 20th Annual King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation Inc. Awards Gala on Saturday, September 16, City of Savannah Alderman Van R. Johnson, II was presented with the Reverend James M. Simms Public Service Award.
The Reverend James M. Simms, an African American, represented Chatham County in the Georgia Legislature during Reconstruction and was subsequently appointed a judge by the Governor of Georgia. This award is based upon distinguished service in an elected or appointed political office and significant contribution to the social, moral and political thought and policy of the community.
Alderman Johnson has served on the Savannah City Council since 2004 and has served as Mayor Pro Tem and Vice Chairman of Council. He has distinguished himself by being only the 4th elected official from Savannah to be elected to the National League of Cities Board of Directors and currently serves on numerous national, regional and local boards. He is a respected authority on youth development, engagement and leadership programs, and has lent his expertise to governmental agencies across the country. Most recently, Alderman Johnson has been saluted for his efforts during Hurricanes Matthew & Irma in evacuating Savannah residents and providing numerous updates on City re-entry.
In introducing Alderman Johnson, retired educator & community leader Mrs. Juanita Adams lauded him for his "outstanding, stellar humanitarianism and public service contributions, all while accomplishing 14 years as an Alderman for the First District."
Savannah Mayor Eddie Deloach and former Mayors Otis Johnson and Edna Jackson, all who have served with Alderman Johnson, were also present.
In accepting the award, Alderman Johnson thanked those who taught, loved, prayed for, challenged and tolerated him and further added, "If you did these things for me, we can do these things for young people in our community!"