Paul Johnson Honored at KRC’s 40th Anniversary Celebration
Paul Johnson, KRC’s Policy Analyst and statehouse watchdog, was honored last November for his years of monitoring and reporting on state economic, farm, food, environmental and social net programs and issues. At KRC’s 40th anniversary celebration as part of the annual November 2019 conference, Mary Fund, Executive Director, and Stu Shafer, KRC board president, made the presentation.
“Paul has shown an amazing capacity for dedication to the hard issues of social and economic justice and making us all understand their connections to food, farming and environmental issues,” stated Mary Fund, KRC director who has worked closely with Paul over the years on Policy Watch and other issues. ‘He has also combined theory and practice better than anyone I know with his market farm and the Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance CSA, and his policy work. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go from this work, but Paul is a stable, relentless force. He has also become an important source of information and wisdom to the next generation of activists and policy wonks.”
Paul has worked as KRC’s Policy Analyst at the Statehouse since 2011, when KRC launched its weekly Policy Watch e-newsletter. But his roots in policy were set long before that. He was the lobbyist for Kansas Legal Services, 1978-1980 back when KLS was still allowed to lobby. In 1980, he began working for the Public Assistance Coalition of Kansas (PACK) made up of several church organizations, several social welfare groups, and the League of Women Voters, following family and child welfare issues. By the mid-1990’s he worked for the Kansas Catholic Conference following similar social welfare issues.
During that time, he also served on the KRC board, and represented KRC on the Midwest Sustainable Agriculture
Working Group, which morphed later into the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, serving as a member of MSAWG’s Coordinating Council for several years. Currently, he also works for the League of Women Voters as a consultant/mentor for their policy work. He operates a market vegetable and fruit farm near Perry, Ks. and was a founding member of the Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance, a community supported agriculture (CSA) which continues to sell to customers in the Topeka, Lawrence, and Kansas City area.