Eric A. Johnson

Office: New Orleans City Council District B
Status: Challenger
Party Affiliation: Democratic
City: New Orleans

Eric A. Johnson was born and raised in uptown New Orleans and is a graduate of Walter L. Cohen Sr. High School. Eric holds a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Minnesota State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice from Washburn University.

Eric is an Alumnus of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate; Harvard Business School Real Estate Management, Design & Finance Program; and Harvard JFK School of Government Public Trust Leadership Training. Eric has served his country in the United States Army.

Eric holds a Certification as a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council and has served as a Presidential Management Fellow in Washington, DC., is a graduate of the Brooking Institute Emerging Leaders Program, a Fellow, Institute of Politics, Loyola University of New Orleans, Fellow, Government Leadership Institute, University of New Orleans, and Fellow, Metropolitan Area Leadership Forum New Orleans.

Eric specifically credits his experiences of attending Kingsley House, Holy Ghost Church (Now St. Catherine Drexel), the open doors of the New Orleans Library System which he passed through frequently and the encouragement received by the teachers of the New Orleans Public School system, New Orleans Recreation Department programs, Loyola University of New Orleans Upward Bound Program and his service in the United States Army as key to shaping his life’s direction.

Eric has worked on trans-formative urban development projects and issues in the Northeast, Midwest, South and Southeastern regions of the United States. He has served in key positions in economic development, housing and urban improvement, community development policy and management and real estate management and affordable housing.

Over his career, Eric has lead strategic planning and visioning initiatives in support of long-term redevelopment ventures, managed program budgets in the millions, created successful micro-enterprise program and loan fund in support of local job creation, reviewed hundreds of community competitive grant applications for funding, secured resources for key initiatives, acquired land for key development projects including an emphasis on affordable housing, built confidence and capacity of staff and community organizations to achieve success and more importantly, taken on tough challenges that many would have not chosen to do so.

As an expert in urban development strategy, Dr. Johnson is well versed in the overall context of economic and community development policy in American cities. He has testified before the United States Congress Ways and Means Committee on community development initiatives and has conducted workshops and participated as a panelist in numerous venues related to economic and community development issues and frequently serves as a reviewer for funding for the US Treasury CDFI awards.

Currently Eric is working with the Central City Housing Development Corporation to realign the organization to undertake affordable housing by developing a plan to retain and increase affordable housing for seniors in Central City.

Eric has worked for the New Orleans Downtown Development District as the Director of Special Projects and public safety where he managed a $1.3 million special projects budget where he served as the project manager responsible for managing the contract between the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department’s (NOPD) dedicated unit for the Downtown Development District. In this role he created the “Downtown Hospitality Ranger” program which served as a cadre of ambassadors for citizens and patrons visiting downtown New Orleans.

Eric gained invaluable experience having worked as a legislative aide with the New Orleans City Council where he learned firsthand the workings of both the civic and community infrastructure of the city and how local policy is developed and implemented. The position also shed significant light into the longstanding issues facing the city including how the budget process works, key issues and concerns of the business and neighborhood groups and how important community engagement and constituent relations are to the governing process.

Eric currently serves on the Board of Directors for Kingsley House, Odyssey House, Lighthouse Louisiana, Old Main Street Algiers, serves as a speaker with the Silverback Society and is a member of the City of New Orleans Housing Advisory Committee. Eric is also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Eric lives in the lower garden district with his wife and son.