FAMU alumna now a city leader

Diane Williams-Cox, new member of the Tallahassee City Commission.
Photo submitted by Alea Williams

Diane Williams-Cox, a FAMU alumna and an active member of the Tallahassee community, is the new city commissioner for Seat 5.

“It feels wonderful, I’m really excited to be making a difference in the community at this level. While I don’t believe you have to be elected to be effective, I think it is good to be elected, so that you are at the table when policies are being made,” Williams-Cox said. “So, I’m really excited about being able to make a difference in our community.”

Williams-Cox is a Gadsden County native and a longtime resident of Leon County.

Williams-Cox graduated from FAMU in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in data Processing and earned her MBA at Nova Southeastern University in 1993.

Williams-Cox has run three times for other elected positions, including the school board in 2008 and twice for the state House of Representatives.

“What kept me going was that I knew that we still needed someone to represent our community and I knew that the experiences that I brought to the table would be beneficial and I had a lot of encouragement from supporters and family and friends. I believed that God had a plan and He had a design and he had a seat that was all picked out for me at the table,” she said. “So, I just continued to run until we found ourselves in the seat that he had designed for us.”

Towanda Davis has been Williams-Cox’s campaign manager since 2008. She said she was motivated to continue to be an advocate for Williams-Cox.

“Her passion for people, her commitment to the community and involvement and wanting to see better growth in Tallahassee. That’s where I recognized her relentless disposition. That’s how you know people have a heart, a servant heart to serve the people even when they don’t win. She always says her mantra is leaving it all out on the field. Giving everything that I have because at the end of the day I want it to be said that I did my very best to serve the people,” Davis said.

Davis said she relates Williams-Cox’s ethics to Martin Luther King’s words: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

Williams-Cox and her team said that the most challenging thing in their campaign was financial resources.

“In terms of our finances we were absolutely on a shoestring budget. Radio is our best bet in reaching people. I’ve said we’ve got to be able to get to the north side. So, how do we go about doing this is by going to some of the non-traditional stations. I’m not sure if that was the difference maker but I’m sure it helped,” said Remera Haynes, Williams-Cox’s campaign treasurer.

According to Williams-Cox, the city’s new leadership just received the agenda and their first meeting was held Wednesday. She said she expects the commission to act on its first initiative of hurricane relief in Tallahassee.

“Our city has a very low inventory for affordable housing, we are going to continue to work on crime and making sure that we continue to trend downward. Looking at the economic development, and finding to attract business to come to our town, and bring their business so that we can get jobs and you know earn money and the talent retention we need students from FAMU, FSU and TCC to not have to go to the big cities to earn a living we want you to stay right here and contribute to the community where you received your education,” Williams-Cox said.