Goldie Johnson was the first of the two at-large candidates who made formal announcements one day last week at the District Building.

Standing in a corridor outside the entrance to the mayor's office suite, Johnson told reporters and a small knot of supporters that providing better education, jobs, low-cost housing and youth centers and stemming the high cost of running the city are top-priority matters.

"I think we are being cheated out of the taxes we are paying and the council is not providing what they should.

"The little people need me . . . I'd rather work with everyday people because I'm an everyday person."

Johnson is best known as a founder and president of the Metropolitan Washington Police Wives Association, an organization that has continued to press to reduce bias and improve conditions for black members of the police department.

Born in Arkansas and one of 16 children, Johnson served in the Women's Army Corps before she "came here to see President Eisenhower" in the early 1950s and decided to stay.

"I decided to take up cosmetology - I'm a damn good one, too," she said. She has owned a beauty shop for 20 years.

Married to Police Sgt. William E. Johnson, she lives in Shepherd Park and has a daughter, Yvette, 10.