Springfield’s mayor has nominated a community organizer to fill the vacancy on the city council. Roy Williams, Jr., was selected to take over for State Sen. Doris Turner, who has left the Ward 3 seat after being appointed to the Illinois legislature earlier this month.
Williams is a Springfield native who is currently president of the Faith Coalition for the Common Good, a social justice nonprofit, and head of the Ernie Bankhead Neighborhood Association.
"Roy is very engaged in Ward 3 and throughout the community on many different fronts," Mayor Jim Langfelder said in a statement. "I believe he will represent the residents, neighborhoods, and city very well and be a great addition to the City Council."
Williams said his community work makes him a good fit to serve Ward 3, which covers much of the east side of Springfield. He’s a member of Union Baptist Church and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity
“With all those situations, it has allowed me the opportunity to create some deep relationships. So I know a lot of people across the city,” Williams said.
He said his priorities include expanding and strengthening neighborhood groups throughout the ward, starting with Poplar Place. He said he’s committed to getting the former Pillsbury Mills site cleaned up, and he’d work to support a thriving downtown and more involvement in city decisions.
“What I'm going to do is ask people to participate more, just like we did with the census, just like we did with elections,” Williams said. “I think democracy requires participation.”
If the council approves at its meeting March 2, Williams would fill the remainder of Turner’s term that expires in two years.
According to a news release from the mayor’s office, eleven others showed interest in the job, including William (Billy) Earl, Bill Eddington II, Diane Howard, Fredrick Jackson, Judith Johnson, Vera Small, Candice Trees and Nadine Wright.