Johnsons receive John Walker Award

Sat, 06/08/2024 - 8:00am

Longtime Democratic activists Christopher and Valarie Johnson of Somerville were presented with the John Walker Award during the 2024 Maine Democratic State Convention on Saturday, June 1, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. They were honored for their tireless efforts and years of volunteer service to the LCDC, their community in Somerville, all of Lincoln County, and to the state of Maine.

The award’s namesake, John Walker, represented the highest ideals, principles, and precepts of the Democratic party and this country. His consistent efforts towards finding common solutions to common problems – towards improving the lives of Maine people – united groups of individuals who, absent his vision, would be disparate. The Maine Democratic Party presents the John Walker Award in recognition of those whose vision and dedication leave a significant mark on his or her fellow citizens and the state as a whole.

The award was presented by Maine Democratic Party Chair Bev Uhlenake who said this about the recipients, “Chris and Valarie are a couple of remarkable Lincoln County Democrats who over the past 23 years have demonstrated admirable dedication to showing up, stepping up, and doing the work necessary to bring about change in their community. Between the two of them, they have served in the Maine State Senate, as chair and vice chair of the Lincoln County Democratic Committee, on the State Platform committee, on their local school and select board, and on a variety of other committees and boards. It’s my pleasure to present the John Walker Award to Chris and Valarie Johnson.”

In their acceptance speech, Valarie Johnson shared, “By our estimate, in the past 23 years, Chris and I have compiled at least 104 years of service … the committee years add up quickly when you are on several [at a time]. We never started out with that goal in mind. We just see things that need to be done and do it.”

“When I first joined the Lincoln County Democratic Committee 23 years ago, I did it because the alternative was just being angry at the world. … I decided that I have a duty to my children, my community, and to my country to join others to work for a better future. Alone there was nothing I could do but vote. But I had learned the value and power of Unions ... And I wanted to see the Democratic party become a growing political union of people of good will,” said Chris Johnson.

The full acceptance speech and photos may be found at https://lincolncountydemocrats.com/.