Cleveland Mayoral Candidate Jeffrey Johnson Has Approachable Style: Fashion Flash (photos, Video) BestsellerMagazine.com - CATEGORY Report update: TITLE Cleveland.com You are signed in as Edit Public Profile Sign Out The Plain Dealer Sun News Media Insider Rewards >Cleveland mayoral candidate Jeffrey Johnson has approachable style: Fashion Flash (photos, video) Updated September 11, 2017 at 11:23 AM; Posted August 13, 2017 at 5:30 AM Fashion Flash: Jeffrey Johnson > 10 Gallery: Fashion Flash: Jeffrey Johnson By Allison Carey, The Plain Dealer Jeffrey Johnson, 59, Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland City Councilman-Ward 10, Attorney Background: I grew up in Glenville and then Collinwood. I graduated from Collinwood High School where I was an average student playing sports. College was pivotal for me. I played football for two years at John Carroll and then I transferred. I'm a 1980 graduate of Kent State. That's where I grew, read a lot of American history, got interested in issues and I ran for student government. I became the leader of the Black Student Union. I met Louis Stokes at that time; he signed a photo for me. He was humble and distinguished and that stayed with me. He wrote "Aim High" and I still have that photo. Then I went to Cornell for a semester to study city planning and development. I came back to Cleveland and went to law school at Case. I became a councilman a few months before I graduated from law school. Being a lawyer was my backup plan in case no one voted for me. Having a law degree has helped me tremendously. When you're a lawmaker it's crucial to know the language of the law. Politics: In college I got a sense of how being involved with the issues of the day excited me. I'm motivated by public service. I met Mike White while I was in law school and I worked under him. Three years later he became a state senator and supported me for appointment to city council. I went on to become a state senator from 1990 to '98. Running for Mayor: I want to use the power and resources of City Hall combined with the involvement of the private sector that a mayor can bring to the table to go into the 34 neighborhoods of Cleveland and work toward investing in and restoring them socially and physically. The motto of my campaign is Neighborhoods First. Public eye: I've been in the public eye since 1984. People are recognizing me more and more, at least locally. I want to have a presence. It's important for me to look right so they can be proud of their leadership. I am humble and accessible. Fashion is part of the package. It reflects who I am. Style: Fashion has always been a way for me to enhance my confidence. I'm confident anyway, but clothes seal it for me. What I wear reflects who I am. I'm not flashy. I say that my look is progressive. It reflects my personality. My daily uniform is a suit and I'm not a trend guy. I don't buy new suits every time they the lapel size changes. I rely on styles that I like. I stay away from loud colored suits and use things like ties and socks to add a hint of color and interest. A few years ago I broke away from always wearing a tie for business attire. It was an Obama influence. A suit with a white or striped shirt and no tie looks sharp. It gives me a certain amount of freedom. Fashion Flash: Jeffrey Johnson shows his style at The Plain Dealer Shopping: My daily uniform is a suit. I look for the best deals so I go to Brooks Brothers Outlet at Aurora Farms and K&G Fashion Superstore at Steelyard Commons. I'm also a fan of Macy's, that's where I get my Jerry Garcia ties. I didn't follow the Grateful Dead but I learned more about him later. I hadn't realized what a talented artist he was. I go to Allen Edmonds at Eton Chagrin Boulevard for shoes. Fashion influencers: Professionally, Louis Stokes. He was always impeccably dressed. He took the time with it and looked comfortable in his clothes. He had a certain elegance. He taught me to be approachable. Fashion is part of being a role model for our community. My wife, Felicia, helps me with color and understanding the benefits of adding it. She's also added to my ability to be more relaxed about my clothes. My style is evolving, especially since we got married 18 months ago. My mom influenced my appreciation for clothing. Inspiration: The Stokes brothers and George Forbes along with Mike White and Fanny Lewis inspired me from a political standpoint and though I didn't interact with him as much as his brother, Carl Stokes was also a snappy dresser. Maynard Jackson, the former mayor of Atlanta, also inspires me. He visited Cleveland often. His style and his use of the office to leverage power, to build wealth in the community and to help people are the barometer I use. Interests: I'm interested in sports. I read biographies and love watching movies. That's how I decompress. Dream fashion item: I would love to go with my wife to Italy for a shopping spree together. I love how excited she gets and I always seek her input. Fitness: I work out at the Cleveland State recreation center and I'm campaigning hard. Pet peeves: When someone tells me that they choose not to vote because they think it won't make a difference. When they dismiss it as insignificant. I have a historic perspective on voting. Part of my learning at Kent was American history and it makes me think of all of the folks who fought for the right to vote. It's fundamental to freedom. Music playlist: I'm a big fan of Sade and of Prince, my heart is broken about him. I'm also a fan Michael Jackson and I like contemporary jazz, especially the work of Brian Culbertson. In hip-hop, I like Tupac (Shakur) and Biggie Notorious B.I.G.). Advice: I've given advice to people I've mentored. I tell them what my mother told me. She raised me to respect my clothes, never leave them on the floor, to hang things up right away. It increases the life and the value of your clothes. She even taught me to wash and iron my dress shirts, which I still do. When something shows signs of wear I take it out of rotation. I tell people to smile, to be age appropriate, choose comfortable clothes, don't be too flashy and choose clothes that when you look in the mirror you are proud of yourself. You don't need a large bank account to make that happen, either. Something we don't know: My Collinwood High School class of 1976 peers voted me Sexiest Legs, Best Proportions and Most Athletic. If you weren't a city councilman and a lawyer, what would you be? I pursued acting in college before being bitten by the political bug. I did several plays. Today, I would create my own non-profit. I would like to impact social issues in some way. I've never been interested in being a for profit entrepreneur. Cleveland is... A city of wonderful neighborhoods. FLASH FAVORITES: Place on Earth: Home with my family. I've learned in the last 18 months what I've been missing almost all of my life. Color: Blue. Salty or Sweet: Sweet. Chocolate or vanilla: I mix them, always have. Political book or movie: As for genres, I'm a big fan the classics, like "From Here to Eternity." For books, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?' influenced me early. Local Restaurant: One of my favorites is Slyman's on St. Clair. I love the noise, how tight it is and the smell when you enter. It has the best corned beef. Lancer Steakhouse is my other favorite. I appreciate their legacy with the African American community and the great seafood. Clothing store: I can get more from Macy's than from any other place. Dogs or cats: Dogs, we have a Morkie, a Maltese and Yorkshire terrier mix. Her name is Lola. Coffee or tea: I'm a green tea guy. Morning person or night owl: Night owl. Skincare: More important than skincare to me is fragrance. I like Cool Water by Davidoff. It's part of the whole package. Guilty Pleasure: Marathon watching House of Cards. Junk food: Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. Can't live without: My family. All Cleveland Mayoral candidates on the ballot have been invited to appear in this feature. For previous candidates who have appeared, see their fashion here: Brandon Chrostowski Tony Madalone Zack Reed Bill Patmon Fashion Flash is always looking for Clevelanders with a fresh take on style. If you or someone you know has a great fashion sense click here for the >submission form or email email@example.com. Read more Fashion Flash features here.