Council Member Russell Johnson is a Bakersfield native who attended local schools, graduating from Stockdale High School in 1997. After obtaining his undergraduate requirements at Bakersfield College, he transferred to the University of California Santa Barbara where he obtained his degree in history.
Bakersfield was always his home, and he returned to the valley in 2002. He worked as a district representative for a California State Senator, until he left to work in the private sector in 2005. At that time, he was appointed to the Bakersfield Planning Commission, and he served from August of 2005 until April of 2009. In 2007, he was asked to serve as Kern County Supervisor Mike Maggard’s Chief of Staff; a position he held until December, 2009.
January, 2010 marked the start of a new chapter in Russell’s life as he started his own public affairs and community relations business, Common Sense Consulting. As a small business owner, he understands the challenges that business owners face when they deal with Government.
Community service has always been a passion of Russell’s. He has served on many non-profit boards, including The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County, Kern County Right to Life, and The Center for Kern Political Education. In 2010, Russell was elected to represent the Citizens of Bakersfield as the Ward 7 City Council Member.
Russell currently serves as Chairperson of the Safe Neighborhoods and Community Relations Committee, and he is a member of the Legislative and Litigation Committee and Water Board. He is also the City Council alternate liaison to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control Board, City Selection Committee, and the 1st Vice President of the South San Joaquin Valley Division of the League of California Cities.
Russell’s family has lived in Kern County for many years; in fact, his grandfather, Bill Park served on the Bakersfield City Council in the late 1960’s. He and his wife Susanne have been married since 2006.