My name is DeShawn Williams. I am a husband to my beautiful wife Tracy, and father to my little guy Austin, who is four, and a brand new baby daughter Skylar, who is only one month old.

I am extremely excited to raise my family in Champaign County. This county has been wonderful to my growing family and I am proud to live here. But, like anything, there is always room for improvement.

When I was twelve years old, my English teacher--Mr. Ward--told me point blank that I would either be dead or in jail by the time I was 21. He meant it in a way, I think, to scare me into changing some of my associations, and I did. Today, at 33 years old, I am a bank manager, father, and candidate for office. I can both appreciate what he was trying to say but also understand that he only said it to the Black kids. Kids like my son are growing up in an America that still doesn’t always want us achieving, and I want my son to see that anything is possible. A kid that was told at twelve years old that he’d be dead by 21 can grow up to be a county board member. 

As your county board member, I will fight against the building of a 47 million dollar jail. A county board member who will push for restorative justice programs that will keep our jail from filling up with kids that look like him. A county board member who will use his personal experiences as motivation to make sure that those coming up behind him have better opportunities.