Celeste Williams

Democratic congressional candidate Celeste Williams discusses her campaign platform Aug. 29 at the UA Young Democrats’ first meeting of the school year.

A 2020 Democratic candidate for Congress spoke with 50 attendees of UA Young Democrats’ first meeting of the year Aug. 29, voicing her opinions on affordable healthcare and climate change.

At the meeting, Celeste Williams discussed her intentions as a potential congresswoman, covering topics such as healthcare, climate change, abortion, gun control, and marijuana legalization. The meeting also served to gauge general interest in the UA Young Democrats Registered Student Organization by introducing attendees to the executive board and discussing upcoming events.

After losing the 2018 election for Arkansas state representative to Rep. Austin McCollum (R-95), Williams hopes to find a role in Congress so that she can help people on a larger scale. Williams thinks that her lack of experience in politics makes her more qualified to serve as a politician. 

“If you want people to understand the needs of average, ordinary Arkansans, then you should elect one who gets it,” Williams said. 

Williams has been a nurse practitioner for 23 years. As such, Williams thinks she has gained many qualities that make her suited for the position of congresswoman.

“Nurses collaborate a lot, and I think that is a skill that is missing in Washington right now,” said Williams. 

Williams addressed issues for UA students, including the cost of higher education and the recent school shooting threat in Arkansas.

Reports of a possible gun violence threat occuring at an undisclosed Arkansas school Aug. 29, according to the Arkansas State Police. 

What gives Williams hope is to get out and to do something about these issues, she said.  

“I can continue helping each person individually, or I can do this and maybe I get to help literally thousands of people live a better life,” said Williams.

Micah Wallace, president of the UA Young Democrats, introduced Williams. 

“There’s no one else I’d rather see in Congress,” Wallace said.

Williams is running against Rep. Steve Womack (R-3), who has held the position of Congressman since 2011.

UA Young Democrats vice president Billy Cook, was very impressed with the turnout, as well as Williams’s speech, he said.

Williams shared her beliefs on human rights violations, speaking against the death penalty and the risks associated with it.

It is important to make sure we are representing the values that we want to stand for— justice, equity, and liberty, said Williams.

“I think that there are people in Arkansas who are waiting to be inspired; they’re waiting to be heard,” Williams said. “So I would love for each and every one of you to help me.”

The next general election for the Arkansas House of Representatives is Nov. 3, 2020. The Primary is March 3, and the Primary runoff is March 31. Voting takes place from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and voters can find polling locations at www.co.washington.ar.us.

Kristen Fite is a staff reporter for The Arkansas Traveler.

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