“By making a simple change… crime can considerably drop as they will be ableto observe problems and address them more efficiently.
Meeting The Man
Smart, approachable, warm, and passionate are the words to describe Harold Williams as I recently had the pleasure to visit with Louisiana’s candidate for State Representative for District 101 and what I learned was not only encouraging, but inspiring.
When I arrived at his office, he greeted me at the door and welcomed me in. Harold possessed an enthusiastic and thoughtful personality. He also seemed like someone I would have grown up with, as it was easy to interact with him. Harold was eager for me to meet a few members of his campaign team that were on route to meet up with us. While we waited, we had the opportunity to talk a little bit and what he revealed to me was a real person with a strong sense of community that is ingrained within him. He certainly is not a polished politician, but rather a professional of the people. He is a former third generation law enforcement officer as well as a successful business owner and manager. It is easy to see how he loves people and interacting with them one on one and to be honest, I told him that I would only need ten minutes of his time. I did not leave until an hour and a half later!
When the Williams’ camp arrived, I sensed their chemistry as special and inviting. I could tell right away how excited they were in supporting Harold, and the room was filled with a bright, strong energy. They each were all engaged and ready to roll with what needed to be done for the day.
Roots that come from the Gullah culture that still lives strong, handed down from the African slaves of South Carolina
Right away we dove into his platform in which he lists four elements of his mission that he plans to tackle for the state when elected to office:
• Economic Development
• Public Safety
I asked Harold to elaborate on economic development and just how exactly he plans to accomplish it. He began to explain that “economic development begins with human development, and I’m going to illustrate that by focusing on education.” He continued to explain that school choice is his “micro focus” for his campaign. This is an issue clearly important to him and his community as he strongly recognizes human capital as the key that ties all elements of his mission to serve the public. He has the conviction and drive to allow parents to take control of their children’s education by giving the tool of choice, and therefore offer each child an opportunity to learn and build upon that advantage. Harold believes that the community will not grow and improve unless the people have the opportunity to grow in education and talent, rather than the government. One thing that he stressed in regards to economic development is that school choice will also be an asset to attract businesses as it will be seen as a benefit for their employees. “They will also have the opportunity to invest in those schools by partnering with them, giving them the opportunity to give more input, and providing them with more skilled workers.”
As a former police officer, public safety is a vital concern for Harold and his district. He described to me his theory of how officers can better serve the public. “Remember back in the day when you would see police officers on foot, visiting and interacting with the public?” He explained to me how law enforcement is perceived as the unwelcomed agent for “big brother” as they are usually isolated inside their cars and are engaged with individuals only when they are seen in the rear view mirror to pull you over and issue some type of warning or penalty. “By making a simple change in getting the officers out of their cars and visiting with community one-on-one,” he explains, “crime can considerably drop as they will be able to observe problems and address them more efficiently. They will also be more effective in meeting the needs and concerns of the community.” Now there is a refreshing concept!
“With the sheer fact of their concerns, access to government, and access to goods and services they are looking for a leader to articulate this message.”
“Proud Gullah Geechee!”
One question I was anxious to ask about was about the phrase “Proud Gullah Geechee” that is on his Facebook page. His face lit up like a firecracker on the fourth of July as he began to describe his family roots that come from the Gullah culture that still lives strong handed down from the African slaves of South Carolina. The Gullah society flourishes with strong family values, offers the art of Creole and Cajun traditions mixed within which is demonstrated through skilled sweetgrass basket weaving and the making of great food such as red rice. Harold was quick to give me information on the festival that he participates in called the Gullah Geechee Nation International Festival that is rich in tradition in honoring the history of African culture in Louisiana on Saturday, August 6 in Donaldsonville. For more information please click here. He participates by promoting the family values and importance of higher education to the younger generations.
I tried to challenge Harold by asking him to describe to me the strengths he possesses that would give him victory over his opponents in October. Confident in his answer, he described the makeup of district 101 and he clearly has done his homework. “With this being a diverse district,” he asserts, “fifty five percent of the population is black, 40% are white, and 5% are Hispanic and Asian, I believe I have the diverse background needed to represent this district.” The minorities in this community are more conservative than most people realize and Mr. Williams offers what has been needed for many years to pick up the district. “With the sheer fact of their concerns, access to government and access to goods and services, [constituents] are looking for a leader to articulate this message,” as he explains the issue of transparency and accessibility to government.
Harold Williams demonstrates clearly that he has a background of serving the public and has many years of hands-on training in business and law enforcement. They are two very applicable and relevant experiences we need in government, and formidable experience that levels the playing field against the two lawyers in the race.