New York City Council Member Nantasha Williams is the representative for Council District 27 in Southeast Queens and its communities of Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, Addisleigh Park, and Springfield Gardens.
Nantasha is a community leader, social justice advocate, and political organizer committed to affecting real change in her community. Creating new economic opportunities, youth development, housing, and protecting our seniors are her top priorities. It is her mission to serve the residents of her hometown, Southeast Queens, New York and continue its rich legacy into the future. Elected to the New York City Council in 2021 by a significant margin, Nantasha has worked tirelessly to deliver for the community that raised her. During her first year in the City Council, Nantasha helped pass historic legislation requiring many ads for jobs in the nation’s most populous city to include salary ranges, in the name of giving job applicants — particularly women and people of color — a better shot at fair pay.
During her second year in office, Nantasha was able to secure almost $9 million in major investments in the New York City budget for her district including $3.8 million to rebuild a local park neighboring PS.176Q, $2.8 million for crucial resilience upgrades in the Cambria Heights Library, and $2.75 million for the reconstruction and revitalization of a playground that was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ida. Nantasha, as Chair of the Committee on Civil and Human Rights, also passed legislation requiring the City of New York to provide anti-racism and anti-racial discrimination training for employees, interns, independent contractors, and volunteers of city agencies. Each employee of the City is now required to complete such training at least once per year.
Nantasha also launched the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan, in partnership with New York City Department of City Planning, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Speaker Adrienne Adams, to create a grassroots vision for the future of the Downtown Jamaica and Hollis area that includes more affordable housing and investments to improve the quality of life. The Jamaica Neighborhood Plan aims to create a vision driven by the local community for Jamaica’s future where the community has more people able to live, work and play in the area.
Raised by a single mother who worked as a social worker for the City, Nantasha learned at an early age the importance of hard work and the demands and rewards of fighting for our most vulnerable community members. Nationally recognized as a political strategist, she dedicates her life in service to marginalized communities throughout the country. In 2014, she was appointed the Executive Director of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus (“the Caucus”) one of the largest and most influential political entities in the State of New York. As Executive Director, Nantasha fought for millions of citizens to ensure that the policies being drafted by the New York Legislature were inclusive and aimed at improving the well-being and future advancement of people of color in low-income communities across the state.
As a former activist prior to her election, Nantasha has confronted issues impacting women and girls, an area she is passionate about. She has brought equal determination to fighting for criminal justice reform, stopping gun violence, and ending economic inequality and racial injustice. She served as a member of Community Board 13 where she was appointed Chair of the Special Initiatives Committee, which was created to find ways to modernize all board functions, address unique community issues, and increase board participation. Nantasha served as board member of Life Camp Inc. – a cure gun violence program supporting efforts that minimize gang crime and gun violence in the community.
To further engage women in politics, Nantasha founded the New York City Black Women’s Political Club, an avenue to build political power for Black women across New York City in 2019. In recognition of her exceptional work and allegiance to her community, Nantasha was honored as one of Albany’s Top 40 under 40 by City & State. But Nantasha’s champion spirit for human rights, women’s rights, and racial equality extends beyond the borders of her home state. She helped lead operations and organizing efforts for one of the largest demonstrations in American history, the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. Nantasha has also organized other demonstrations across the country, leading the charge for protesters demanding representation and implementation of legislative policies for women’s rights and racial justice. Previous to being elected to the City Council, Nantasha served as the Project Manager for Minority Women Business Enterprise Compliance, and helped initiate community outreach efforts for the JFK Redevelopment Program.
Nantasha also volunteered as an advisor to “Until Freedom,” an organization supporting important justice campaigns across the country. This included, most recently, lending her guidance to the proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case.
Nantasha continues her service through advancing her education. She is currently in a PhD Program for Social Welfare at the CUNY Graduate Center with a research focus on Social Movements, Public Policy, and Racial Justice. She acquired her undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy.