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City to name public works building for Johnnie Johnson

Johnnie Johnson and other sanitation and Water, Gas & Light Commission workers filed suit against the city of Albany in 1972 for discriminatory employment practices. His son, Yaz Johnson, is asking city leaders to name a downtown structure in Johnson’s honor.

Johnnie Johnson and other sanitation and Water, Gas & Light Commission workers filed suit against the city of Albany in 1972 for discriminatory employment practices. His son, Yaz Johnson, is asking city leaders to name a downtown structure in Johnson’s honor.

ALBANY — The Albany City Commission has voted to name its public works building after Johnnie Johnson.

The move ends an ten-year process to honor the late civil right leader. The effort to recognize Johnson was led by his son.

Ward III Commissioner Christopher Pike said that Ward VI Commissioner Tommie Postell and Johnson's son Yaz Johnson had come to an agreement to name the public works building after the late Johnson.

Johnnie Johnson, a former city public works employee, led about 260 black sanitation and utility workers to strike in the spring of 1972 and then, along with five others, sued for equitable rights and pay in local government in what would become a landmark civil rights case in Georgia.

Yaz Johnson has been working for the last decade to get his father's name placarded on a notable government building. But each time a building has become available, city and county government officials were unwilling or unable to budge on the issue until recently, when city officials took inventory of available buildings and presented them to Yaz Johnson.

The public works building is the last in a series of buildings, parks or streets that were offered up.

Yaz Johnson initially wanted the annex next to the government center, and then the law enforcement center named after his father. When rebuffed, Johnson suggested the new Broad Avenue bridge. City officials countered with the government center plaza itself, to which Johnson refused.

City staff then determined that there were three feasible pieces of property that could be named: the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, the Albany Municipal Auditorium and the public works building.

Under city rules, to rename a building, the commissioner who represents the ward of the building in question must bring forward the move to change the name, something Ward II Commissioner Ivey Hines did Tuesday.

While the vote is non-binding, it will likely be ratified at the city's night meeting later this month.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 7 months ago

If you just had to do it, this was the right choice.

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justme 2 years, 7 months ago

While I like to poke at you and the rest, believe me it is all in jest, well not always........

Now down to this Johnson family. My dad was honored with a plaque being placed in his honor located in a major city for his contributions and work in securing a benefit all Americans enjoy today. We never asked for this and were shocked when informed. I don't know that we would have enjoyed the honor as much had we asked for it. I would think that the Johnson family would be embarresed asking for something,demanding something and then getting stuck on some old nasty building.

Anyway have a good day Ruby.

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bubbavet 2 years, 7 months ago

You have to understand the mentality of those kind of people, if you can. It's "GIVE ME"

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KaosinAlbany 2 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for finally putting this to rest. The commission has more pressing matters than naming something after someone. Let's move on and tackle the budget concerns for the city.

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Cartman 2 years, 7 months ago

The selfish manner in which this building is named; will far overshadow the honor it is meant to bestow.

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VSU 2 years, 7 months ago

As much as we like to think this matter is put to rest, I doubt that we have heard the last of it.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 7 months ago

Anyone that stand for justice, should be honored with something. This is well deserved, and we must stand behind this award.

Thanks

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Cartman 2 years, 7 months ago

It's not for Johnny. It's for Yaz.

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bubbavet 2 years, 7 months ago

Yeah!! Wee Wee Wee all the way home .Right

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MRKIA 2 years, 7 months ago

I BELIEVE THE PUBLIC SHOULD STAND FOR AN AWARD "BEFORE" IT'S BEING BESTOWED NOT AFTER SOMEONES FAMILY MEMBER DEMANDS IT. SO IN THAT VEIN, LET YAS GO OUT TO THE PUBLIC WORKS BUILDING AND "STAND" THERE AND ADMIRE IT TO HIS HEARTS CONTENT. EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS A COMPROMISE TO GET RID OF HIM AND ARE LAUGHING BEHIND HIS BACK. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU MIGHT GET IT.

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Bubbavet_rureel 2 years, 7 months ago

Cartman, I knew Johnson personnally, and he would want this for you, me, and everyone.

Yaz is his DNA, He loved his Father, and it's noble to keep his hopes and dreams alive.

Cartman, we should name a building after you, what would we name it? We cab base the name off of your comment responses.

Be my friend, can we name you that?

Bubbavet_rureel

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Cartman 2 years, 7 months ago

What about my father? He fought in WWII and Korea. He ran a small business and raised a family. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. It never occured to me to beg someone to honor him. He would roll in his grave if I did so. I'm sure Johnny Johnson was a fine man as well. Enjoy the building, friend.

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Jacob 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe now Yaz can move on with his life and try to accomplish something all by himself, instead of riding Johnny's coatails. Who knows, perhaps he can do something even bigger than getting named as a litigant someday and get an entire street named after himself. Yazgolethorpe Blv. has a nice ring...

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RevTerenceDicks 2 years, 7 months ago

Kudos to the Johnson family and those who truly helped. I did not know this man - Albany, Georgia civil rights leader Johnnie Johnson - but sounds like he fought the Good Fight, with a big heart, caring for others. Mr. Johnson's son - Yaz Johnson and others - fought a 10-year effort for his father's honor. To Mr. Yaz Johnson: You did a good thing - and your father deserved the merit and accolades for fighting for the people.

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RevTerenceDicks 2 years, 7 months ago

Just read some of the other comments. Why can't people comment with respect and love - instead of envy and derogatory statements.

Yes many people deserve recognition - but that will never be possible. The negative comments show a sad and growing trend in society.

Mr. Yaz Johnson should be commended for fighting for his father - and is not riding on his father's "coat-tails."

People who call his efforts begging or demanding - are showing a poor side of the human condition.

Not knowing either Mr. Johnson - I certainly agree with the person who said: "He loved his Father, and it's noble to keep his hopes and dreams alive."

Those whose father's have not received the recognition they deserve - should not tear down Mr. Johnson's efforts.

I can bet their father's would not be proud of the sour grapes - and if they would be - I wonder if the recognition of those they site would even be warranted

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MRKIA 2 years, 7 months ago

YAS SHOWED THE POOR SIDE OF THE HUMAN CONDITION BEGGING AND DEMANDING FOR THE CITY TO RECOGNIZE HIS DAD'S EFFORTS. HONORS ARE NORMALLY BESTOWED VOLUNTARILY NOT AS A RESPONSE TO DEMANDS, BROWBEATING AND COMPARISONS TO OTHERS. YAS BLEW IT AND NOW HE GETS THE JOHNSON SANITATION BUILDING THAT NO ONE WILL SEE ANYWAY. WHAT A MEMORIAL. HAPPY NOW???

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