Kasha Williams, a fifth generation member of the oldest African American Church, St. Mark CME Church in Longview, formally informed the audience of her intention to run for Councilwoman District 3.
Though she had officially filed to run, she had to hold this town hall meeting to rally her base.
“I have deep roots in the community,” Williams said. “I am the great-grand-daughter of the late Jack Garrett who was instrumental in establishing one of the first Black settlements in Longview, the Garretts Addition.
Moreover, she is the great-grand daughter of the late Ella Mae Gree-Powell fondly known as Bigmama and several others including Sammy and Evelyn Williams, Frank and Nettie Pippins. Kasha’s parents are Cedric and Kathy Williams. She has two brothers, Cedric and Frenchman.
A graduate of Prairie View A&M, she has worked for corporate America in the pharmaceutical industry and City of Longview Partners in Prevention. She is currently working in their family business, Divine Care.
The audience listened as they learned about this young lady who is asking for their trust and vote. Williams has and continues to serve in many capacities. Her service involvement with the City of Longview includes:
Streets Task Force
Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone
Vision 2015 Commission
MLK Planning Committee
Race Relations Committee.
Her other volunteer service includes:
Keep Longview Beautiful, Board of Directors
Longview Community Ministries Board of Directors
Longview Regional Healthy Woman Advisory Board Council
Longview Museum of Fine Art Board of Trustees
Greater-Longview Pan-Hellenic Council, president
Eastman Advisory Board
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. President
Top Teens of America, advisor and NAACP, Silver Life Member.
According to Williams her number one priority for the district is economic development.
She asked the audience why there is no hotel with room service or new businesses developing on the South of 1-20 that is the entrance into the city of Longview? “Most times people stop in Longview because they know someone,” she said. “We must change that. We need to increase our tax base in this district.”
Moreover, she told the audience that she has toured other train depots and the one in Longview can be improved. The good news she said is that rider ship is up and Longview needs to get to the cutting edge of high speed rail. Also, she is a member of the East Texas Corridor Council. “I am committed to increasing the numbers of rail passengers and positioning our community for highspeed rail,” Williams said.
Furthermore, her economic development plan includes addressing the need of small businesses in the district. “We need to work to maintain the businesses we have right now and also attract new ones.” Williams said she understands the plight of small businesses in her district because she has direct experience working in their family business.
In addition, Williams explained that she already had conversations with several business owners in the district. “They are up against increasing crime rates and break-ins,” she said. However, since I am familiar with this community, I know first hand and understand that poor lighting on Mobberly Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard adds to the problem and we need to work on that.” According to Williams, she will do all she can as a business advocate for her constituents. She promised to listen to the community concerns and help find solutions. “Listening is crucial and I want to listen when small business owners or anyone in the district has any concerns,” she said.
Beautification is part of her economic development. Pockets of the district that needs special attention will require community involvement through planting flowers, tress and cleanups.
Again, she will encourage communication through routine Town Hall meetings and additional public meetings whenever possible. According to Williams, she is committed to being transparent. “Call me and I will call you back.” She did remind her audience that the goals for the district will not be achieved quickly but hard work and patience has its rewards and she is asking for your vote.
Reverend Homer Rockmore who was present said, “This is important – speaking of the gathering, because we need to support someone who will represent us in the manner in which we need to be represented.”