Q&A: Johnny Lanzillo seeks election to Richardson City Council

Early voting begins April 22 and ends April 30. Election day is May 4.

Early voting begins April 22 and ends April 30. Election day is May 4.

Johnny Lanzillo is seeking election to the Richardson City Council Place 4 seat that will be vacated by current Council Member Mabel Simpson. If successful, this will be the first time Lanzillo has held elective office.

Community Impact Newspaper sent Lanzillo a set of questions about his candiJohnny Lanzillodacy. His answers have been edited for publication style.

Why did you decide to run for this office?

I decided to run for City Council because I've always felt a call of civic duty, and since I am raising my family here in Richardson, I want to be a part of growing Richardson into the future and providing a different perspective on the council that doesn't have real estate development ties in the city. It is a sense of civic duty I got from both of my grandfathers, one who moved his family here in the 1960s to work for TI [Texas Instruments] after his time in the Navy, and the other who moved back here to raise his family after his time in the Army.

I also want to set an example for my son, to show him working to better your community is important.

What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?

My experience professionally as an attorney has been focused in criminal justice, so I have a unique perspective when it comes to crime and how to deal with it. I practice in both Dallas and Collin counties regularly, so I am able to see where crime is occurring, how it is occurring and what law enforcement is currently doing to slow or stop it. I believe this experience will be beneficial because as the city continues to grow in population, crime will come with it. So understanding it and being able to work with the police department will be important to help ensure Richardson stays safe as our population expands.

I'm also the managing partner of my law firm, so I have experience in management, leadership and budgeting. I believe experience in running and managing my firm and its budget helps me quickly to understand some of the same issues that the city's budget will go through. 

What do you think is one of the biggest issues facing Richardson today, and how do you plan to address it if elected to City Council?

I could say infrastructure, but every city in Texas faces that. The weather here isn't kind to the roads. To address [the city's infrastructure], I'd have to look at the budget and see what money is available, how we are going to pay for it and see where the major focus needs to be made.

Some of the other issues I've discussed with people recently has been empty retail space and [the lack of] affordable housing.

The retail space can be addressed by finding unique ways to bring businesses to Richardson and also to help grow the ones [businesses] we have. Affordable housing is important in this aspect because that is the workforce housing. Your brand-new college graduates, people starting up their own businesses and young families moving here for work can't afford luxury apartments and likely don't have the savings to buy their own home. So when there is reasonable and affordable housing, you can attract businesses and help grow the ones you have.

The city in the past has used economic incentives and tax grants to attract companies. What means, if any, would you support the city using to attract companies in the future?

I would support the continued use of tax incentives to attract companies; I think it is a valuable asset a city has to bring in these companies. Making sure people in Richardson have a high quality of life is also a good way to attract companies and the workforce they would bring with them.

I also think some of the tax incentives available should be set aside for homegrown businesses and local startups. It just makes sense to keep local business owners here in Richardson rather than seek out and hope you can convince other companies to move here.

What else do you want voters to know about you?

I am here to serve the people. I don't have any hidden agenda; I just want the city that my son will grow up in to be a city he can be proud of. If elected, I will do everything I can to make sure every vote I received was well-earned.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


Richardson Bike Mart has about 11,000 bicycles on back order. (File photo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Richardson shop has 11,000 bicycles on back order and more DFW news

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth business and community news.

Thirteen drive-thru grocery stores operated by the Salvation Army of North Texas are offering backpacks filled with supplies. (Courtesy Salvation Army)
Salvation Army expands North Texas grocery service locations to include school supplies, protective equipment

Backpacks filled with school supplies, personal protective equipment, financial assistance resources and U.S. Census forms will be available at the 13 existing locations.

Cottonwood Creek Trail features platforms for viewing wildlife and fishing in Cottonwood Creek. (Courtesy Visit Frisco)
Trails system in Frisco expands and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the DFW area.

Anika Cooper founded Simply Grace House in 2013 after her own experience in recovery. Proceeds from Simply Thrifty benefit the nonprofit's seven sober living homes. (Olivia Lueckemeyer/Community Impact Newspaper)
First Look: Richardson boutique Simply Thrifty helps women in recovery rebuild their lives

Merchandise in the store includes lightly used secondhand clothing, furniture and household items.

Richardson Bike Mart has about 11,000 bicycles on back-order. (File photo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bicycle shortage expected to last months, says Richardson Bike Mart owner

In more than 30 years in business, Richardson Bike Mart owner and President Woody Smith said he has never seen a bicycle shortage like the one that has occurred since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rapid nasal swab antigen tests are recommended as options for individuals who were potentially exposed to a confirmed positive carrier, as well as for people traveling, returning to work or undergoing a medical procedure. (Courtesy Total Primary Care)
Find out where to get a 15-minute COVID-19 test in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth metros

Rapid nasal swab antigen tests are recommended as options for individuals who were potentially exposed to a confirmed positive carrier, as well as for people traveling, returning to work or undergoing a medical procedure.

The owner of the Richardson franchise is Darrin Lawrence. (Courtesy Fastsigns)
Fastsigns now open in Richardson

The business creates custom signs and graphics printed on a variety of products.

A mother and daughter visit at Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care in Conroe earlier in the pandemic. (Courtesy Seasons Assisted Living & Memory Care)
Texas allows limited visitations to nursing homes, long-term care facilities

Facilities that meet the requirements will allow limited visitations, but you still will not be able to hug or kiss your loved one.

SweetStop bakery holds grand opening in Richardson and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Improvements to Main Street from east of US 75 to Abrams Road are ongoing in Richardson. (Courtesy city of Richardson)
Richardson officials: Main Street improvements now 50% complete

City officials said they expect the project to be mostly finished by March.

New Richardson bakery SweetStop holds grand opening

The business sells custom cakes, pastries and fresh-baked bread and offers catering.