Like many, La Tasha C. Williams sees the unlimited potential in Harrisburg. From its geographical accessibility, diversity in people and cultures, and proximity to the hub of legislative and judicial reform, Harrisburg is a primed pivot point for positive transformation. “I’m originally from Washington, DC and I chose to stay here. I bought a home here,” said Williams. “There’s so much life here – we are so close to the center of government, where change is happening all of the time. There’s no better place to be, and I want to be a part of it.”
Williams is running for judge on the Dauphin County Court of Pleas. Endorsed by District 103 House Representative Patty Kim, her sparkling credentials, and commitment to bring positive change are commendable. However, it is Williams’ philosophy, moral fiber, and the moving stories of empathy and humanitarianism that make her a special candidate.
Take, for example, Williams’ 15 year fight to free Giovanni Reid , who was given a life sentence for second degree murder at 16 years old, based on speculative and circumstantial evidence. Williams spent countless hours, raised thousands of dollars, and even got a second job so she could support her advocacy against a circumstance she perceived as injustice.
According to Williams, it is this dedication to do what is right within the fabric of the law, that makes an effective judge: “Above all, this job is about fairness and equity. I think far too many times people feel like they are not being heard, and authority does not understand where they are coming from. I cannot turn a blind eye to those who blatantly break the law, but it is my job to understand where they are coming from. Law can be and should be followed with fairness and compassion.” Williams unquestionably backs this philosophy with her past actions, and proposed policies as a candidate.
Williams’s courtroom beliefs start and end with integrity, compassion, and experience. These guiding pillars provide the foundation for the specific reform that she wishes to lead. Like many in the county, she has concerns about the county prison. “People go in and don’t necessarily know if they are going to make it out alive”, Williams said. Issues of negligence and recklessness on behalf of prison management in Dauphine County Prison are well documented. Outside of her concerns regarding the integrity of the prison system, Williams summarized her ideology in four main points:
- Conduct all interactions with all parties with fair treatment and equity.
- Eliminate wrongful convictions
- Provide alternatives to incarcerations, especially for people who are chemically dependent
- Aid children in dysfunctional and destructive homes in finding healthy life choices
La Tasha Williams is genuinely dedicated to stimulating constructive change in the Dauphine Justice Department through this robust platform. Part of that change is ensuring that the demographics of the county are appropriately reflected through the judges of the Court of Common Pleas. The 2019 census report 51.5% of the county as female, and yet only one out of nine judges of the court are female. Similarly, in Harrisburg, the Black or African American population is 51.5%, and yet only one of the judges out of nine are Black or African American. To fairly represent the people, it only makes sense that the vacant 10th seat is filled by a Black or African American woman.
November 2nd, 2021 is general election day. Regardless of your political leanings, predisposition, or beliefs, it is vital that you go out and vote! The future of Harrisburg, Dauphine County, and Pennsylvania on a whole is in the balance.