The District of Columbia State Office gained a seasoned community activist when Mr. O.V. Johnson became actively involved as an AARP chapter committee member. He has volunteered as an Advisory Neighborhood Commission Chairperson in Ward 8. He led community efforts which resulted in establishment of a new school, new Metro service, and improved sewer treatment in his area.
Little did he know his service to AARP DC would lead him to receive the 2011 Andrus Award for Community Service – the top volunteer award – from the District of Columbia State Office.
“O.V.’s tenure as an AARP volunteer followed a conventional path from community activism to the state and national levels within AARP,” said Denise Rolark-Barnes, AARP state president. “but there are many roads to AARP volunteer leadership,” she concluded. A talented leader, Johnson became an AARP chapter president and went on to serve four two-year terms in that position. Johnson also joined the AARP DC state office’s advocacy team (A-Team), and became an AARP DC ambassador. On the A-Team, he continues to play a key role gaining DC government officials’ support for issues like lowering utility rates and funding the Office on Aging.
At the national level, Johnson is a member of what has been known as the AARP Capitol Strike Force, a group which puts the human face on AARP’s positions by making personal visits to members of Congress to win support on national issues affecting people age 50.
“It takes an experienced volunteer to be effective at the top levels of government,” said Louis Davis, Jr., AARP state director. “O.V. visits congressional representative as a community leader with a successful track record, and all politicians – local and national - respect that.” In addition to volunteering with AARP DC, Johnson is currently involved with the Ward 8 Democrats, the League of Women Voters, DC Vote and other groups.