Sadhu Johnston leaves Chicago to become Vancouver’s new Deputy City Manager
CityCaucus.com has received a tip from one of our Chicago contacts that the new Deputy City Manager for Vancouver will be Mr. Sadhu Johnston, who is leaving the role of Chief Environmental Officer (CEO) with the City of Chicago. The City of Vancouver confirms with this release issued over an hour after our story was posted.
Johnston, 35, has worked for the City of Chicago for six years, and was chosen by Mayor Richard M. Daley for the newly created position of Chicago’s CEO. Chicago makes the claim of being "the nation’s greenest city" according to spokesperson Jody Kawada from Mr. Daley’s office.
As Mayor Daley’s Chief Environmental Officer, Johnston is responsible for oversight of all City of Chicago environmental initiatives. Prior to serving in this capacity, Johnston served as the Commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Environment (DOE). He was appointed by Mayor Daley in July of 2005 after serving as the Assistant to the Mayor for Green Initiatives. His responsibilities as commissioner included the overall management of DOE, which administers programs to protect and restore Chicago’s natural resources, reduce waste, clean up brownfields, promote energy efficiency and reliability, educate the public about environmental issues, and enforce the City’s environmental protection laws. Prior to working for the City of Chicago, Sadhu served as the Executive Director of the Cleveland Green Building Coalition.
"Sadhu helped develop our Green Permit program to encourage environmentally-friendly building design," adds Kawada. "He’s worked on Chicago’s Climate Action Plan, its Blue Cart recycling program, our Green Jobs Strategy and the development of an e-waste disposal program."
Mr. Johnston clearly is a true believer in living right with the earth. Raised in communes from India to Colorado, educated at Oberlin College in Ohio, an avid bike commuter and the proud builder of not one but two compost piles at home, Mr. Johnston might seem an unusual type to be a top aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley, but he will be in cozy company with Vancouver’s farmboy mayor Gregor Robertson, also an avid back-to-the-lander.
Johnston might finally put some teeth into Robertson’s "greenest city" proclamations. Since announcing the GCAT committee last winter, Vancouver’s green initiatives have been tepid affairs at best, such as the costly Gregor’s Garden project on City Hall’s front lawn.
Not only does Vancouver share Chicago’s "greenest city" boast, but Johnston has been intimately involved in the Windy City’s 2016 Olympic Summer Games bid, which like Vancouver 2010 is supposed to be a catalyst for green development.
According to Kawada, Johnston has dual US/Canada citizenship, and is moving here in part to be close to family located in Vancouver.
Click here to see a video of a speech by Sadhu Johnston.