State Senator Sandra Williams, who represents Ohio's 21st Senate District, is currently serving her second term in the Ohio Senate. Senator Williams is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, where she attended Cleveland Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Cleveland State University in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice, a Master's in Criminal Justice Administration from Tiffin University, and an Executive Master's in Business Administration from Cleveland State University. She is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Tiffin University. In addition to her senatorial duties, Senator Williams previously served as the Vice Chairwoman of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party and as an associate professor at Cleveland State University.
Senator Williams has spent more than three decades in public service—as a corrections officer, probation and parole officer, mediator for the State of Ohio, legislative aide, and State Representative. She also served our country as a member of the United States Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1995.
This General Assembly, Senator Williams serves as Ranking Member on the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee. She also serves on the Small Business & Economic Opportunity Committee, Transportation Committee, Corrections Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC), Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR), Ohio Power Sitting Board, and Ohio Tuition Trust Authority Investment Board.
As a prominent member of the Democratic Party, Senator Williams has built bipartisan relationships with lawmakers in Ohio and throughout the United States. During her time in the General Assembly, she has made strong efforts to improve access to economic development opportunities, such as improving contracting for women and minority contractors, as well as working to expand job training opportunities for Ohioans entering the workforce or transitioning into new fields. Senator Williams was the joint sponsor of legislation that renewed the Ohio Third Frontier program, which is dedicated to assisting the growth of diverse startup and early stage technology companies. She secured funding for Cleveland waterways projects, such as the Cleveland Port Authority and LAND Studio Irishtown Bend project. Her championing of initiatives that revised criminal sentencing and re-entry laws removed significant barriers to employment—providing a second chance for ex-offenders to allow them to become productive citizens.
She spearheaded the passage of Ohio's Lupus Education and Awareness Program, and led the charge to restructure the Cleveland Municipal School District. She also proudly sponsored “Aliana’s Alert,” which requires schools to contact a student’s parent or guardian if the student does not show up for school within two hours of the start of the school day. Senator Williams has focused on passing legislation that set 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 (OLBC), Senator Williams focused on initiatives such as promoting quality education in the African American community, voting rights, decreasing inequalities in health care, increasing opportunities for minority business enterprises, and improving racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Working closely with Dan Gilbert’s team, she successfully negotiated an agreement that ensured African American businesses received 20% of all construction contracts and a percentage of goods and services at Cleveland casinos. She also secured 20% of construction contracts for an Ohio State University Hospital project that led to Cleveland and Northeast Ohio businesses earning millions of dollars in contracts. As part of OLBC’s commitment to higher education, she created the OLBC scholarship fund, which provides scholarships to Ohio students. Senator Sandra Williams has an outstanding record of community service and is a true stateswoman.
Finally, Senator Sandra Williams is a member of the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus, NAACP, Black Women's Political Action Committee, Top Ladies of Distinction (TLOD), the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World, and Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.