Al Williams Jr. is a true son of Detroit.
He grew up in the district on Fairfield and went to Gesu Catholic School and U of D High School and Academy. His parents, Alfred and Sondra Williams, were educators who encouraged both their children to go to historically black colleges. Al graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in political science. His sister Staci graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.
After graduating, Al embarked on a 20-year journey of political and community organizing in the African-American community. He founded Vote Smart Detroit, a voter registration and education program aimed at Detroit Public School students. Al also co-founded and became chairman of the Midtown Democrats, a group of politically active young leaders that energized the Wayne State Campus and Democrats across southeastern Michigan. He helped coordinate massive student-powered efforts throughout the country, including organizing over 900 students in support of victims affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Al was the first of 1,100 applicants selected to participate in the first Obama Organizing Fellows Program and led the winning team as the campaign manager in the program.
Williams has worked for state legislators in Georgia, New Jersey and Michigan, and helped move policies impacting urban communities around insurance redlining, healthcare policies, public education, and the environment. Al worked as a legislative aide to the Wayne County Commission, where he was influential in advocating for the continued funding of the Michigan State Fair Grounds and to restore revenue sharing to Detroit.
Al Williams fights for Detroit. When Michigan’s economic crisis deepened, he worked as an organizer side-by-side with community members and many non-profit organizations to fight foreclosures throughout Detroit and the state. As a result, then-Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans suspended foreclosure sales, saving hundreds of Detroiters from losing their homes.
Al went to work for the Detroit NAACP as a political organizer where he advocated on issues ranging from green and climate equity, education and voting rights. In 2012, he was the statewide Campaign Manager for the successful “No on Proposal 1” campaign to end the dictatorship of emergency managers in Michigan. Al and his team of over 3,000 volunteers won that campaign in the streets, but we lost the fight in the legislature.
In 2013 Al went to the Michigan Democratic Party as the Statewide Membership Director, where he successfully doubled membership in less than two years. He also served as a chief of staff to the Democratic Chair of Appropriations in the State House.
Living his message of public service, Al continues to write policy and serve as a campaign consultant for highly qualified office-seekers throughout the country.
As your state representative for the 3rd District, Al Williams will fight every day to make life better in the district throughout the city of Detroit and the State of Michigan.