WHO I AM
My name is DeShawn Williams, and I am running for Urbana Mayor. I am a husband to my beautiful wife Tracy, a father to our amazing children Austin, and Skylar, and a son to my wonderful parents George and Dondie Williams.
I love the city of Urbana, and I fiercely believe that we can solve our deepest challenges through building community.
I was born in Michigan City, Indiana and spent my early childhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Having parents who owned small businesses, I was taught early in life the value of hard work and how important it is to be self-sufficient. Both Grand Rapids and Michigan City during my childhood years were what we would call now, a high-hope area with gangs and illicit drugs within arms reach. Between ages 11 and 14, I started down a path that would lead someone to say to me that I would either be dead or in jail by the age of 21. It was that encounter that turned my life around.
I began my career in banking as a teller in 2006. I was consistently promoted until I became one of the youngest Vice-Presidents of the bank. I've always had a servant's heart and used it by helping people improve their personal finances through education and coaching. I left banking when my desire for more public service increased. In 2020, I was elected to the county board and served there until my skillset was called upon by the newly elected Treasurer. I was asked to assist in rebuilding the office back to the point where it works for the people of Champaign County. I proudly accepted the role as the Chief Deputy Treasurer, where I have been a part of the reconciling and balancing of bank records and financial clean up dating back to 2019. Together we have brought a sense of pride back to the Treasurer's office while ensuring efficient and accurate processing.
As your next Mayor, I will work to implement restorative justice programs that will keep our jails and court systems from filling up with children who look like my own. We will put forth a community healing effort.
As Mayor, I will work to strengthen the local economy while pursuing policies that address the rising issues within our city. We will directly tackle issues surrounding racial grievances as well as the lack of diversity and inclusion. One of my top priorities will be increasing and improving the stock of affordable housing in our community while also striving for equity in housing. For our children, I will work to make Urbana feel like the nurturing city we know it can be! Urbana deserves leadership that prioritizes both safety and equity. And I know I can provide the leadership that our community needs to grow and thrive.