In this interview, Mike share's his family's story with Pat Kennard. They discuss his parents, growing up in Akron, how he met his wife, and the births of their children.
Deep Roots in Akron & Public Service
Mike was born in 1956 and grew up in Elizabeth Park Homes, just blocks from downtown Akron. He attended Schumacher Elementary School and Simon Perkins Junior High. He graduated from Butchel High School in 1975. As a kid, Mike spent a lot of time at the West Akron YMCA. Years later as an Akron City Councilman, he led the transformation of the “Y” into the vibrant Lawton Street Community Center.
Mike's Father Details
Mike's Father, James R. Williams, was elected as 4th Ward Councilman to Akron City Council in 1970. In 1975, his father became an Akron Councilman-at-large. Three years later, he was appointed to U.S. District Attorney for Northeast Ohio. He became an Akron Municipal Judge in 1983 and a Summit County Common Pleas Judge in 1989. Watching his father lead a life of public service left an indelible impression on Mike.
Mike's Mother Details
Mike’s mother, the late Catherine D. Williams, taught in Akron Public Schools throughout the day and taught her son to support his community throughout her life. She passed away in 2002. Mike's parents were married for 47 years. Mike has a younger sister, Jacqueline Williams-Walton.
College Education Details
In 1980, Mike graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. He returned to Akron to attend law school at the University of Akron, graduating in 1985. While at the University of Akron, Mike met his future wife, Annalisa Stubbs.
Mike's Family Details
Mike and Annalisa were married in 1985. Their first son, Michael James, was born in 1986 and passed away 52 days later. This experience was a key point in their lives that bought both of their extended families closer together. Alexandria, their daughter, was born in 1988. Their second son, James, was born in 1990. Annalisa is an Akron Municipal Court Judge. This year, 2015, will be Mike and Annalisa's 30th wedding anniversary.
Working for You
Working for You Details
Following in his father's footsteps, Mike was elected as Akron's 4th Ward Councilman in 1987. After serving the Fourth Ward for a decade, Mike was elected Akron Councilman-at-large in 1998. Since then, he has become well-known as an independent voice on City Council that speaks strongly on behalf of Akron's residents and businesses.