State Senator Sandra Williams, who represents Ohio's 21st Senate District, is currently serving her first term in the Ohio Senate. She previously served four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Senator Williams' upbringing mirrors the working-class nature of her district. Her father was an auto worker at Chrysler's manufacturing plant and member of the United Auto Workers and her mother, a loving and supportive homemaker.
Senator Williams grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where she attended Cleveland Public Schools. The youngest of seven children, she worked her way through Cleveland State University and then attended graduate school at Tiffin University during evenings and weekends. Senator Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Administration. Senator Williams earned a Master of Business Administration Degree from Cleveland State University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Tiffin University.
Senator Williams has spent more than two decades in public service as a corrections officer, probation officer, and parole officer, mediator, legislative aide, State Representative and now State Senator. She also served our country as a member of the United States Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1995.
As a prominent member of the Democratic Party, she has built bipartisan relationships with lawmakers in Ohio and throughout the United States. Senator Williams has focused strong efforts on workforce development by bringing millions of dollars in workforce training funding back to Senate District 21 and economic development legislation such as the renewal of the Third Frontier program. She led initiatives to expand job training opportunities for Ohioans transitioning into new fields, development and passage of initiatives that revise criminal sentencing and re-entry laws that removed significant barriers to employment, giving ex-offenders a second chance to get to be productive citizens. Senator Williams has also secured capital appropriations in the district of over $20 million in her first term.
She spearheaded the passage of Ohio's Lupus Education and Awareness Program and subsequent funding for outreach to Ohioans affected by Lupus. Williams led the charge with legislation to restructure the Cleveland Municipal School district which will provide the foundation for stronger schools, increased learning opportunities, and a brighter future for Cleveland's children.
As the former President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, Williams' focused on uplifting African Americans through promoting education, voting rights, decreasing disparities in health care, increasing opportunities for minority business enterprises, and criminal justice. As part of the Caucus' commitment to higher education, she created the OLBC scholarship fund.
Senator Sandra Williams has an outstanding record of community service; she is a member of the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus, NAACP, Black Women's Political Action Committee and the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World.