About Jillian

Jillian Johnson is a City Council Member at-large in Durham, NC and currently serves as Mayor Pro Tempore. She is a long-time community activist, aspiring board game developer, and mother of two sons. Jillian was elected to the council in 2015 on a platform that focused on racial, economic, and environmental justice, police accountability, equitable development, broadening democracy, and centering the voices of our most marginalized residents.

As a Council Member and Mayor Pro Tempore, Jillian has brought authentic and dynamic progressive leadership to the City of Durham. In her first year in office, she successfully advocated for an increase in the city’s livable wage to $15/hr., which was fully implemented in 2018. She led the establishment of the city’s Racial Equity Task Force, which will make recommendations to the city and other government bodies and institutions on how to address race equity issues in Durham. She also led the establishment of participatory budgeting, which will allow Durham residents to directly decide how to spend $2.4 million of public money.

Originally from Virginia, Jillian moved to Durham in 1999 to attend Duke University and graduated cum laude in 2003 with a B.A. in public policy and a minor in women’s studies. She has been working in the non-profit sector since 2004 with experience in administration, community organizing, mobilization, communications, social media, and information technology. Jillian remains active in the labor movement, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the LGBTQ movement, and was one of nearly 1,000 people arrested in 2013 as part of North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement.

Jillian currently serves on the following city and community boards: Joint City/County Planning Committee, Museum of Life and Science Board, Audit Services Oversight Committee, Council Procedures Committee, Durham Housing Authority Board, Leadership Committee, Youth Commission, Mayor’s Council for Women, Joint City/County Committee, Cultural Affairs Board, Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee, and Race Equity Task Force.