Colorado State Rep. Angela Williams was awarded the 2015 Legislator of the Year for Region XII at the 2015 National Black Caucus of State Legislators in Los Angeles, Calif.
Region XII is made up of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah and Washington. “It was a pretty big honor to be chosen,” she says.
In 2015, Rep. Williams pushed legislation that focused on minority issues. Her biggest legislation focused on the rebuilding of trust between community and law enforcement in light of the recent shootings. “I woke up one day and thought Colorado needs to get ahead of the curve to avoid an incident like Ferguson.” She introduced 10 bills for rebuilding trust between community and law enforcement and six were passed with bipartisan support, including: law enforcement use of body-worn cameras, police officer training improvement, prohibit police officer interference with a person doing lawful recording, disclose misrepresentation by police officers, transparency after an officer-involved shooting, and police shooting data collection.
Also in 2015, Rep. Williams helped ensure minority small businesses can be successful through her work as chair of Business Affairs and Labor. She successfully passed a work act that created a grant program for middle-skilled workers to help fill job gaps like construction. The program will be given $10 million over the next three years for recruitment, training and marketing.
“My role as a state legislator for the minority communities is to ensure that we have equity and justice for all, in all parts of our lives, whether it be education, jobs, business, health care. My job is to uplift communities of color and ensure that they’re being treated fair and equitable and have access,” she says.