Among the dancing and political comedy of Gov. Ned Lamont’s inaugural ball on Wednesday night, state Rep. Quentin “Q” Williams gathered with coworkers to prepare for his first day of a new leadership assignment, a co-chair post over the Labor and Public Employees Committee.
According to his fellow co-chair, state Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, Williams was excited about legislation he planned to introduce to guarantee shift workers a more predictable schedule, which was part of a slew of pro-labour bills that were set to take up much of the committee’s work beginning with an organizational meeting Thursday morning.
Kushner claimed that Williams’ enthusiasm for the new subject energized the debate.
The death of the 39-year-old politician shook the State Capitol on the second day of the new parliamentary session.
Legislative leaders instead postponed committee meetings and other legislative activity for the remainder of the week, declaring that the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building would be closed until Monday. Gov. Ned Lamont ordered that all Connecticut flags be flown at half-staff on Thursday and that they remain there until sunset on the day of Williams’ burial, which has yet to be determined.
Bound towards the highest altitudes
Williams was up in Middletown as the son of a single mother, Queen Williams, and attended local schools before attending Bryant University and Villanova University for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He was married to Carrissa Williams, the owner of Small Victories Wellness Service, and they resided in Middletown together.
Williams served as the director of the Downtown Business District in his hometown for numerous years, interacting with companies and community partners. Williams was encouraged by fellow Middletown Democrat Matt Lesser to run for the House district that Lesser departed in 2018 to run for state senate after serving on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and then two terms as city treasurer.
Williams displayed a particular interest in housing and public school issues after coasting to a nearly 10-point win in his first legislative contest, according to colleagues and legislative records. By the end of his second term, Williams had been appointed co-chair of the Housing Committee, an uncommon leadership position for a new legislator.
Williams’ family, including his widow and mother, have requested privacy, according to Lessor, the family’s spokeswoman.
Middletown is planning a vigil.
According to Lessor, a vigil for Williams will be held on the South Green in Middletown at 7 p.m. Friday, with funeral arrangements to be announced later. Following the news of Williams’ passing on Thursday, community members expressed their outpouring of sympathy.
Former Middletown mayor Dan Drew recounted Thursday that he first met Williams at a local Democratic gathering in 2009 and that what struck him right away was the young man’s love for the community of over 50,000 people. After William was elected city treasurer, a post in which he helped the city raise its bond rating, the two could spend nearly eight years together in the Middletown administration, according to Drew.
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