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Peggy Williams

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My Story

“I live in Linden. So I'm wanting to contribute to Linden to be the very best that they can be; and I consider Linden to really be a jewel, a gem, within the City of Columbus”.

 

Ms. Peggy A. Williams has continued to contribute her time, dedication and self to the betterment of her community throughout her adult life. Instilled values of giving back to her community and God by her parent, Ms. Williams was born in Detroit, Michigan, but moved to Linden, later in life.

 

Ms. Williams, formerly an administrative assistant and childcare provider and area commissioner; she serves as a history interpreter with the Ohio History Connection. The former and current roles Ms. William’s serves, has her viewing the historical and current impacts of the Liden community and its betterment.

 

Appointed in 2011, and serving under the leadership of George Walker, Jr. and Carmen Allen, Ms. Williams served as a volunteer secretary for the local area commission. Able to attend city council meetings, receive in-depth training and view the governmental side of grassroot organizing, Ms. Peg admires the dedication and understanding that goes into bettering a community. Detailing her impact as zoning chair, this is what she said, “We as the grass roots, we need to go beyond that [just mailing neighbors]. The city is dependent upon our view, in order for them to make the very best decision to benefit that community that I live in, the community we live in, the City of Columbus, and Franklin County...I come to understand that we're grassroots politics, and we shouldn't be afraid or ashamed to say ‘I'm in the political arena’ because guess what? If you vote, you’re political. So I just tell people, you are political, period. Politics is just policy to establish rules. You don't want to have a say in rules that's being made that's going to impact your daily lives. So we have those kinds of things, so I had those conversations with my neighbor.”

 

Listening to her neighbors and community, Ms. Peg has led community efforts that responses to the wants of the collective, “My neighbors ask, ‘Why are you picking up that trash?’ I said because you, ethically, have a right to live in a clean environment. That's your right. The area commission finished a joint campaign with Answer Poverty, which is out of the Linden Life Fellowship Church and members of the faith based community. With parental permission to participate, we paid children and volunteers went around Linden cleaning the streets. The children were so stoked, but it has just been us, and just been me [cleaning]. It's just you getting out the show yourself friendly, and that you're interested enough to be the change.”

 

The element that pushed Peggy into community involvement is her experiences in childcare, “I saw a need as a commissioner. There was an occasion where I had to be taken out of the classroom in order to have a community leader conversation with the mayor, in my mind, while that may have been an isolated case, there might be more times when that would be necessary. So I saw the need to help children or prepare the future for children in this role as a commissioner, versus just being a classroom teacher.”

 

The support team that Ms. Peg has is wide and never-ending. “ Everybody. So many people have influenced and they've been encouraging to me, and I consider, I'm the one that's being trained. They have the expertise, they have the network wealth, they know the connections and they point me in the right direction. Not only do they point me in the right direction, they get up in my face, and they tell me the truth. We all need to hear the truth of the times in order to help steer you where you need to be doing your work and doing your service. So anybody that comes in contact with me,my support system because we're supporting each other whatever work that we're wanting to do.”

 

Ms. Peg is already blessed with her superpower, her love of people. Still present in her community, one can find her walking in her neighborhood.

 

Through community outreach and engagement to Linden, Weinland Park, Clintonville, the immediate community surrounding the Ohio History Center, is creating an initiative to further document the diverse history of these communities. Ms. Peg details what her character role looks like in documenting history.