My name is Cassandra Johnson, and I am running for Champaign County Treasurer. My unique set of skills acquired while working in the United States Air Force at home and abroad, not to mention my innate desire to serve the people of my community, makes me the strongest candidate for this position. The driving principles of service, accountability, and transparency—cultivated in me by my parents and developed in the military—have become my defining characteristics. From my upbringing in Brooklyn, New York, to a recent Air Force mission in Southeast Asia, to my doctoral work through the University of Southern California, I have gained invaluable experience working with and serving diverse communities and tackling ever-new challenges.
My Air Force career, which began with my enlistment at 17, fostered a strategic, problem-solving mindset. Over my 22-year career, I served as a Hebrew and then Arabic linguist, a weapons' intelligence analyst in Iraq, a financial manager for a new Air Force unit and operations supervisor for an interagency directorate in Germany, all the while developing and managing teams and encouraging cooperation among disparate team members. My career with the Air Force culminated in a diplomatic assignment in Southeast Asia at the rank of Senior Master Sergeant, where my knowledge was put to the test as the financial and operations officer of the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché Office team. Always driven to help my organization improve, in terms of both efficiency and effectiveness, I excel at dealing with the same sort of challenges in the Champaign County Treasurer’s Office today.
My family’s legacy of public service and de facto social work, in such diverse fields as law enforcement, military service, and medicine, also manifests in my drive to improve the lives of my friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Helping others is an integral part of who I am. Whether it be teaching someone to communicate in a different language or mediating an altercation using my master’s degree in negotiation and conflict resolution—earned while serving in the military—I lend assistance whenever I can. The aspiration to improve my community in Champaign is my most recent effort to build, mentor, develop, and encourage those around me. These abilities complement my desire to work hard, be open to learning, apply gained knowledge, and improve my understanding of people.
My lifetime of service and proven track record in financial management make me uniquely qualified to be the next Champaign County Treasurer. This along with my innate ability to successfully assume different roles every two to three years, leaving each organization better than when I arrived, are key traits that characterize why I have what it takes to correct past setbacks. The office has seen difficulties, particularly with frequent turnover, and I am ready to roll up my sleeves to ensure the community is not adversely affected by past challenges. Using my financial and operations management skills, I hope to coalesce the office’s members around a common purpose: to make the Treasurer's Office work for the people of Champaign County.
I am excited to serve this community—the place we all call home. As my neighbor, please feel free to call me CJ and reach out to let me know your thoughts on making the Treasurer’s Office accountable, transparent, and service-oriented.
“I definitely want to rebuild community trust in the Treasurer’s office and I believe I have the necessary skills, time, commitment, and willingness to collaborate with fellow public servants to realize that goal.”