ATLANTA—Two longtime DeKalb County community activists—Leona Perry and District 3 Commissioner Larry Johnson—have been selected to be the grand marshals for the East Lake Family YMCA’s Third Annual Black History Month parade.
The event takes place on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2:30 to 4 p.m. with the parade line up at 1:45 p.m. at the YMCA, 275 E. Lake Blvd., SE, Atlanta. The parade will travel to the Lakeside Drive turn-around and return to the Y.
Perry said she is honored and humbled to participate in the Black History Month celebration.
“I am honored and excited to be a grand marshal of the YMCA Black History Parade. It does not matter how much I accomplish, being real is what keeps me humble, staying real to myself and keeping my feet on the ground that helps,” said Perry.
Perry has spent years working as a foot soldier for the betterment of the community. She is a member of NAACP DeKalb’s Political Action Committee; DeKalb County District 5 Community Council; DeKalb County’s Democratic Committee; Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District Democratic Committee and a past member of the DeKalb Board of Registrations and elections. Additionally, Perry serves as prescient captain for Redan Middle School in House District 88 for State Rep. Billy Mitchell.
Perry retired from Optical Fibers Solutions after 30 years of service, where she handled contract negotiations and served as legislative chair for the AFL-CIO Union affiliate, Communications Workers of America. Perry is a member of Salem Bible Church, under the leadership of Pastor Joseph L. Williams.
Commissioner Larry Johnson, who represents District 3 of DeKalb County, has a long list of outstanding accomplishments. His push to close the gap for health disparities among African-Americans by providing resources for a bettter quality of living has remained a focus of his 20-year poltical career. Johnson helped secure funding for the Michelle Obama trail in South DeKalb to encourage walking and exercising to create a more healthy community. He helped facilitate the opening of the South DeKalb Senior Center, funding for Rainbow Park Amphitheater and Gresham Park Athletic Complex Improvement, all projects to improve the quality of life.
In addition to local initiatives, Johnson has pushed for health improvements across the nation. He has held several leadership roles with the National Association of Counties (NACo) including president and serving as Vice Chair of the NACo, Health Steering Committee. The Health Steering Committee has jurisdiction on a national policy level, over all matters pertaining to health care delivery and financing including indigent care health, care for the uninsured, Medicaid, Medicare, long-term care,local public health programs, mental health, substances abuse and developmental disabilities.
Johnson helped to provide funding for COVID-19 testing, housing assistance for families who were evicted from their homes during the pandemic and food giveaways. He facilitated millions of funding in grants to improve voting efforts and voting equipment to ensure a more seamless voting expereience in DeKalb County.
For more information about participating in the parade, contact Vivian Moore at 404-370-5648 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The entry deadline is Feb. 23.