Local icon fought for workers rights and social justice
Sacramento County’s Department of Health and Human Services administration office, located in South Sacramento, was officially dedicated to Grantland L. Johnson during a ceremony on June 8, 2015, and renamed in his honor as the Grantland L. Johnson Center for Health & Human Services.
Johnson, who passed away in 2014, was the only local individual elected to municipal and county offices, and appointed to serve at the state and federal levels.
He was elected to the Sacramento City Council in 1983 and made history as the first African American to serve on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors from 1987-1993.
President Bill Clinton also saw in Johnson a distinctive ability to affect change on the larger public policy stage, appointing him as Regional Director of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 1993.
Johnson was selected by Governor Gray Davis as Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency in 1999 where he served as the Governor’s chief adviser on health and social service issues, and fought for access to affordable health care, senior services and employment benefits.
“This building dedication is a fitting tribute to a humble and dedicated public servant, one I was proud to call a dear friend,” said County Supervisor and Chair Phil Serna. “He was one of the most influential leaders to ever serve our community.”