In 2014, he recognized an opportunity to start reshaping government to better serve the people of New Orleans, prompting him to run for City Council. Despite being a political novice, his substantive and progressive agenda resonated with voters, leading to his election by a two-to-one margin. In 2017, he secured a second term with an overwhelming victory, defeating four challengers without a runoff. Over his six years on the City Council, during four of which he served as its president, District Attorney Williams applied the teachings of Marty Linsky from the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute. He initiated the creation of public-facing dashboards offering real-time data and information to the people of New Orleans on neighborhood crime, jail population, money bail, and traffic camera tickets.
In his first term, District Attorney Williams played a crucial role in securing the initial funding for early childhood education, making New Orleans the first municipality in the country to make significant front-end investments in its youth. He also took a stand against President Trump’s controversial immigration policies, declaring that no New Orleans agency or officer would participate in any ICE raids or initiatives. Collaborating with fellow council members, District Attorney Williams worked towards municipal bail reform and the decriminalization of marijuana.
Beyond his professional commitments, District Attorney Williams is a proud and devoted father to three children: 2-year-old Xavier, 14-year-old Graham, and 20-year-old Zoe. He resides in uptown New Orleans with his wife, Dr. Liz Marcell Williams, founder and CEO of the Center for Resilience, his two young sons, and a very laid-back pit bull named Ignatius.