Anthony Hardy Williams never dreamed he’d hold elective office growing up. After majoring in economics at Franklin & Marshall College, he planned to use his academic experience to take over the business world. Hone his skills at a Fortune 500 company, then, strike out on his own. He followed his plan, working as a corporate analyst, next as an executive for PepsiCo, and then launched his own vending company. Then his world exploded – literally. That’s when he watched part of his childhood neighborhood engulfed in flames during the 1985 MOVE standoff in Philadelphia. He saw hopelessness creeping into formerly vibrant communities. He watched companies closing and jobs leaving, not just in his corner of the world, but all across Pennsylvania. Fear rose. Opportunities waned. Something needed to be done. Someone had to address the issues hanging over kitchen tables and the boardroom tables alike. Someone had to have better ideas. At 31, he decided to try and tackle that challenge.
In joining the Pennsylvania Legislature – first as state representative for the 191st District in 1988, then as state senator of the 8th District in 1998 – he resolved to make the needs of his constituents known, and has, with solid results.