In Their Own Words: Meet District 4’s Barbara Williams
City of South Fulton residents are set to vote for their first mayor and city council, with early voting starting on Feb. 27. We reached out to the candidates with 10 questions to learn more about them and let residents hear from them “in their own words.” (All responses were sent to us electronically and have not been edited or altered in any way.)
Q1: Please provide your name and confirm if you have you ever run for office in the past (if so, for what seat) OR held public office in the past.
A1: Barbara Williams, I have never ran for public office.
Q2: In what ways have you contributed to the City of South Fulton through community involvement or other initiatives/efforts prior to announcing your candidacy?
A2: I saw a need for our girls to have more options in our neighborhood which persuaded me to form a collection of Girl Scouts troops for girls of all ages. I serve as the head advisor for all of our associated troops. We have collaborated with several local area schools, including Renaissance Elementary School and Cliftondale Elementary School. Our current home base is Arlington Christian School. We have become one the largest collection of Girl Scout troops in Metro Atlanta. I have also volunteered to serve as a committee member for several South Fulton area schools, including Renaissance Elementary School, Renaissance Middle School and Langston Hughes High School. I have served as a board member on the Willow Creek HOA for several years, currently serving as the HOA’s Communications Specialist. I have organized community health fairs in South Fulton for the past half-decade. I have served as Vice President, Secretary, and Fundraiser Chairperson for the PTA/PTSA for several South Fulton area schools, and currently serve as a member of Langston Hughes High School’s PTSA and PTF.
Q3: What is the most pressing issue you believe the City of South Fulton is facing and what will you do to address it?
A3: Public Safety is a major concern in our district. Everyone deserves the right to feel protected and safe in their community. I believe that a strong commitment to our children, educators and Public Safety Department will go a long way in helping to make our neighborhoods safe.
Q4: What experience and training do you have that makes you uniquely qualified to hold office in the new city?
A4: I have phenomenal organizational skills, and pride myself in paying attention to details. I also firmly believe that communication and compromise can resolve almost any dispute. I have worked for decades to hone and apply these skills in my professional, personal and social life. I believe that these skills will be an equally beneficial asset through my service as a public officer to the community.
Q5: In your opinion, how can the City of South Fulton spur economic development?
A5: The South Fulton area has a vast amount of undeveloped land, as well as several local businesses. I believe that promotion and support of our local businesses, and research and investment towards achieving the smartest and best use of our undeveloped land will undoubtedly spur economic development.
Q6: What measures would you champion in order to combat crime and keep residents safe?
A6: I would champion initiatives aimed at community involvement, education, youth mentorship and public safety support and development to help keep residents safe.
Q7: Do you think there’s a likelihood that the city will need additional tax increases in the future?
A7: While tax increases can become a public necessity, I believe that the primary goal should be to live and operate efficiently and smart economically to avoid tax increases.
Q8: What is the greatest challenge that you think the new city will face and what would you do if elected to combat it?
A8: I believe the greatest challenge for South Fulton will be to gain public confidence in the City’s commitment to public safety and economic development. Many people voted for the creation of the City of South Fulton to ensure that proper and localized attention is given to these areas. If elected, I will strive to promote growth and success in both.
Q9: 59% of voters cast their ballots in support of cityhood, 41% opposed and there are a number of residents who did not vote at all. A. Do you think as an elected official you have a responsibility to cultivate a sense of unity and create bridges among communities that are still at odds following the election? If so, how would you propose doing that?
A9: Absolutely. An elected official must have responsibility to the entire City of South Fulton, regardless of whether a person voted for or against the City’s creation. I think that unity can be cultivated by listening to all voices within the community and striving to achieve accomplishments and successes that benefit everyone in the community at large.
Q10: Have you been endorsed by any elected officials (past or present), political or faith leaders, associations or organizations?
A10: I have not sought the endorsement of any elected official and/or organization, but am hopeful that my positive and enthusiastic involvement with the community to date will encourage great conversations on my behalf.
For more information about Barbara Williams, visit www.vote4williams.com.
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