Charise Williams candidate for Cook County Commissioner 3rd District

Charise Williams

Staff Writer

As a candidate for Cook County Commissioner of the 3rd District,
Charise Williams said she believes in progressive leadership, accountability and reform, according to her campaign strategy.

Williams said if elected, she will not only be a voice for the community, but an advocate for a fair and sensible taxing structure for the county, fight to ensure that Cook County services and programs meet the needs of residents, and work to develop real economic growth through the procurement process of jobs, entrepreneurship, small business development, and career training.

“I am the daughter of a Marine and raised on the south side of Chicago by a single mom,” said Williams about her appreciation for her father and mother’s work ethic. “My mother provided for my younger brother and I on her teacher’s salary and even though my brother and I didn’t always get what we wanted, we always had what we needed. I attended a state college and while my classmates were accepting their diplomas, I was not with them as I was giving birth to my son. I too was a single mom, raising my son on the south side of Chicago in the midst of bar-b-ques, basketball courts and gunshots.”

As Cook County Commissioner of the 3rd District, Williams said she will work to build strong partnerships with other branches of government and community stakeholders to stimulate sustainable growth for the County.

As a working parent, a community conscious leader and independent
thinker, Williams said she’s extremely committed to creating a stronger, safer, more affordable and accessible Cook County.

“I knew what a lot of single mothers know, that in spite of my circumstances, I had to try my hardest to set the best of example for my child,” Williams said.

Williams said when her son was 10 years old, she decided to go back to school and pursue her Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Chicago. After graduating, she had offers to pick up her family and leave the community.

In spite of the offers, Williams said her desires were to work in a place where she loved while working for her community.

After graduation, Williams said she volunteered for Get Covered Illinois Campaign, coached the next generation of college graduates
through programs Link Unlimited and Chicago Scholars, and taught adult financial literacy to families and seniors with Oak Street Health.

Williams is currently the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civic Engagement at the Illinois State Treasurers office (Jan. 2015 – Present). She is a former political director for Frerichs for Illinois campaign (June 2014 – Jan. 2015), director of community relations for Oak Street Health (March 2014 – Dec. 2014), a consultant for Compass Public Affairs (Oct. 2013 – April 2014), and a graduate of Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Williams said earlier in her political career, she had the privilege of interning for Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and earned her undergraduate degree at Louis University.