The Department of Health and Human Services Administration building, located at 7001 East Parkway, will be renamed in honor of Grantland Johnson, a former County Supervisor who passed away on August 19, at the age of 65. This change is in dedication to his legacy as a revered leader in the community both locally and statewide.
“Grantland’s legacy of public service not only shaped a better community for us all, it shaped people like me and so many others who shared his fundamental concern for social justice. With the naming of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services building in his honor, we will always be reminded of Grantland’s passion to help people in need and his dedication to the Sacramento community,” said Phil Serna, District 1 Supervisor.
A political pioneer, Johnson served as a Sacramento City councilmember in 1983 and then as the first African-American County supervisor in 1986, and re-elected to a second term in 1990. He continued serving the public by improving transportation, healthcare, and social services in Sacramento until 1993, when the Clinton Administration appointed him as Regional Director of the United States Health and Welfare Agency. Johnson was later appointed the first African-American Secretary of Health and Human Services by Governor Davis in 1999.
“Grantland Johnson was a beloved friend and colleague and naming this building in his memory is a fitting tribute to him and the tremendous impact he had on the community and the people whose lives he touched,” said District 5 Supervisor Don Nottoli. “Many of the improvements in the Sacramento community would not have been fulfilled without Grantland’s tireless efforts.”
In addition to being a respected figure, Grantland Johnson was a courageous groundbreaker who made significant strides in Sacramento’s development. With his extensive knowledge of public policy, he invested his energy into developing better services, especially in economically-challenged areas. Johnson has been described as a champion for diversity, social justice, and worked to support and protect the interests of working people from all walks of life.
Naming the Parkway building in his honor will memorialize those contributions and symbolize the respect and gratitude of the people of Sacramento County for years to come.