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Harrisburg community hopes mayor-elect Wanda Williams can bring positive change to the city

With a change in mayoral leadership, Wanda Williams' supporters hope she can bring about "much needed change."
Credit: AP
A pedestrian walks past the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Monday, March 22, 2021. The Capitol building reopened to the public this month for the first time since December, albeit with social-distancing requirements, no events scheduled inside and a stepped-up police presence following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — After months of campaigning and debating, Wanda Williams will be Harrisburg's next mayor. The win is historic as Williams is the second woman, and second Black person, to hold the position. 

Supporters in the Allison Hill area of Harrisburg, could not be happier.

"This will be an excellent thing for Harrisburg...right now, as you can see, we're suffering right now," said Kim Harvey.

Harvey, who has a young son, said during the height of the pandemic she was unable to pay rent and lost her home.

Credit: Kim Harvey
Harrisburg Mom Kim Harvey

While Harvey is still struggling with homelessness, she hopes Williams can provide resources to people who are in her similar situation. 

"Help homeless women with babies and children," Harvey added.

Others in the area echoed similar sentiments as they called for more parks and after-school activities for kids.

"Children need something to do, [Wanda Williams] could do something about that because the children are running around and there's no place to go," said Yolanda Lyons, a Williams supporter.

This change of mayor comes as gun violence is on the rise in Harrisburg and citizens say it's time for new leadership to take control.

"It's scary...and one day I don't want it to be me or my son," Harvey said.

Williams defeated Republican nominee Timothy Rowbottom and incumbent Mayor Eric Papenfuse with 65 percent of the vote. 

Credit: WPMT

When asked why voters chose Williams, many said they were looking for more of a leader.

"Well he had his time in office. I don't see where the mentally ill has any help. I don't see where the children had any help. He had his time, now it's somebody else's turn," Lyons said.

Official election results will be available as early as Friday, October 5th.

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