Karen Y. Johnson is a passionate community advocate and take-charge community leader who has served in many roles over the years in her commitment to serving the community at-large. As Metropolitan Government Council Member for the 29th District of Nashville Davidson County, Tennessee, she serves as Vice Chair of the Rules, Confirmations & Public Elections and Public Works committees. She previously served as Chair of the Charter Revision Committee, the Budget & Finance, Parks & Recreation, Personnel Public Information-Human Relations Housing, Public Safety & Planning, and Zoning & Historical Committees of the Metro Council.
Her love for community activism began at an early age in Nashville, Tennessee and her parents the late Dr. Leotis Peterman and the late Lucy Peterman Lane instilled the importance of education and community involvement in their daughters, Karen and her twin sister, who spent their youth volunteering as a pastime. In 2010, Johnson ran for Juvenile Court Clerk but lost in a very close race. However, that only allowed her to tirelessly continue working in the community and finding new endeavors to lend her expertise.
Johnson has been recognized by many organizations and received numerous awards for her outstanding work. She was recently the recipient of the Public Service Award from the Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. She was elected Metro City Council President Pro Tempore, selected for the prestigious Leadership Nashville Class, and as a National Fellow with the National League of Cities, the Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and elected to the National Board of the National League of Cities becoming the first person from Nashville elected to this post. She is a founding board member for the Woman Suffrage Monument which was recently unveiled in Nashville and considered one of the city’s most historic events.
In 2017, Johnson announced her bid to run for Nashville Davidson County Register of Deeds. With more than 23 years of Records Management and Human Resources Business and Information Systems experience, her passion, education, and professional experience sets her apart from the rest as she works hard for a May 1 victory.
“Being qualified is a critical component in running the office of Register of Deeds,” says Johnson. “My twenty years of public service in local government to the citizens of Nashville and twenty-three years of professional experience managing records, information systems and human resources/staff for fortune 100 companies brings well rounded experience suitable for this office. Additionally, my leadership as President Speaker Pro Tempore of the forty-member metro council demonstrates my leadership abilities complemented by my strong educational background- Bachelor\’92s Degree in Business Administration (TSU); and a Master\’92s Degree in Business Administration and Organizational Management (Trevecca Nazarene University).”
Johnson also has addressed what she thinks are the most pressing issues facing the public that she plans to address. “In speaking with our Nashville citizens, the most critical issues we found were having easier access to the records and to the office. We will make this our first priority though a number of strategic efforts. If elected to this office, I will put my professional and public experience to work for the Nashville citizens and create an award-winning office that will exceed all expectations!”
“If elected, one of my first duties is to ensure visibility, transparency, and accessibility to the records as well as better access to the office itself,” Johnson replied when asked what she hopes to accomplish if elected. “Additionally, I would re-examine the current system to make sure the office offers customer-friendly technology. Because diversity is an essential part of our city’s makeup, I would ensure the office takes a proactive inclusion approach both internally and externally. Other efforts would include outreach services to assist disabled/elderly customers and include partnerships, where feasible, to help our customers better understand who we are and what we do.”
Karen is married to United States Marine David Johnson. They have three adult children, Chris, Jon and Dave.