David Earl Williams III was born in Evanston and grew up in Uptown, attending Senn High School in the 48th ward. In 2014, he ran as a Republican for U.S. House to represent the 9th District and he previously sought the Libertarian nomination for lieutenant governor in 2018.
A U.S. Navy veteran and animal lover who currently does medical logistics at a Skokie hospital, Williams' favorite book, according the Facebook, is the U.S. Constitution.
Windy City Times: What words would you use to describe the 48th ward?
David Earl Williams III: I would say its diverse, independent, welcoming, family-friendly, vibrant, and tolerant.
WCT: You've said, "Honor may not exist in Chicago politics, but I'm bringing it back!" Is that part of your decision to run and, if not, what made you decide to run?
DW: It's kind of about what I'm trying to bring, changing the culture of Chicago politics. It's just been run too long by Chicago machine type of politicians, where it's just been corruption scandal after corruption scandal. It would be nice to have people who put the community first, [instead of] trying to fill their own pockets. I'm running because of the fact I have a desire to serve the community like I did in the Navy. [But], I do believe in terms limits. I don't believe anyone, regardless if you like them or if they're the worst person in office, should be in there more than two terms.
WCT: What do you think differentiates you from the incumbent?
DW: I will tell you one thing, if I get elected, I'm going to give 30% of my salary to a charity in the ward. I even did mention in the Windy City Times questionnaire it going towards services like Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ) for the HIV testing and everything else they do. Look, I'm more energetic, I'm not in this for the money, I don't have a family name per se that's involved in politics where I can just win it. I'm a community activist and I like working with people. And that's going to be my drive, just to try to work with everybody regardless of who they are, not just to work with the more affluent part of the ward and ignore the rest of the ward.
WCT: You mentioned term limits which was a part of the People First Pledge that you signed along with other candidates.
DW: I was intrigued about the fact that it called for things like running for one elected office at a time instead of having a bunch of offices that you're running for. The term limit thing obviously caught my eye, and banning employees from having outside employment. As alderman, if I'm to win, that's going to be my full-time duty. I want to be there for the people. I don't want to have anything outside of it that could influence my decision. I'm not going to be there pandering to special interests.
WCT: Tell us your thoughts on the Civilian Police Accountability Council ( CPAC ).
DW: What they want, and I agree, is to have an all-elected board. We have 25 CAPS districts, and the community members elected to those positions [are] going to set department policy and be able to hire and fire the superintendent. Some people [might] see this as being radical but I think we've left the decisions to City Hall for far too long; cases of police brutality have not been addressed properly. Usually it's just been that they were going to pay these people off when they lost a family member, like people are going to forget about this, like life just goes on. But it keeps happening. I was in the Navy and anytime you did something wrong, depending on the severity of it, you're going to be reprimanded in some way. I don't think public servants should be exempt from that.
WCT: Public safety has been brought up often in talking about Chicago in general and the 48th ward. What would you recommend to have a better relationship between police and people of color in the transgender community specifically?
DW: We do need cultural sensitivity training when it comes to the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ). If they're going to be in these areas, they have to be able to talk to these people. And I do feel that, if possible, cops should be able to work within their own communities instead of someone who lives far north, for example, going to the south side. That doesn't make sense, they're going to be out of their element.
WCT: What are your thoughts on marriage equality?
DW: I've always been for it. If you're happy, you're happy. No one has the right to tell you who you can and cannot be with, as long as it's between consenting adults.
WCT: What are your thoughts on a school that would be designed specifically for LGBTQ students, similar to the Harvey Milk School in New York?
DW: I would be for that. I did read a little bit about the Harvey Milk School and I'm fine with it.
WCT: What are your thoughts on LGBTQ-inclusive education?
DW: I'm okay with that, too. You learn Black history, I mean, why not? This is just reality — we live in a world that's very diverse and people shouldn't be narrow-minded about other people who they think are "different."
WCT: What is your vision for the LGBTQ community in the new year in your ward?
DW: I personally won't tolerate, if there is any small business — because the 48th [Ward] is mainly made up of small businesses — or any business in general in the ward, any form of discrimination against people within the LGBT community. Those businesses will be put on blast and they will not be welcome. I want to run a ward that is going to accept African Americans, Latinos and those from the LGBT community to come and set up shop.
WCT: Overall, what are your top priorities for the ward?
DW: The high property tax hurts everybody. I'm in favor of the LaSalle Street Tax, that's 0.1% tax on all trading and buying of the stocks, bonds and derivatives. Once implemented, this [could] bring in about $10-20 billion [for the state] — that's a lot right there that could fund education. But if I can't get the LaSalle Street tax, I wouldn't be against progressive city income taxes.
To learn more about David Earl Williams III, visit: dewforpolitics.com .