Goodbye, Friend (For Quentin ‘Q’ Williams)

Sarah Ganong, State Director of the Working Families Party


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Sometimes life gets in the way of politics. Today is one of these days.

Our plan for our regularly scheduled column this week was to write about the legislative session that began yesterday: what to expect, our plans, and our policy priorities. Important things, quite a few especially important things, the kind of issues we work and care about every year.

This morning’s devastating news, however, put policy on the backburner. Quentin “Q” Williams, a young State Representative and a good friend, died in a car crash last night on Route 9, on the way back home following the festivities of the first day of the session. Like pretty much everyone in Connecticut politics, the team at Working Families had just seen him and celebrated his re-election at the Capitol and the Governor’s ball. We exchanged pleasantries, a warm or snarky comment, or just a greeting. And we had just seen his big smile, always optimistic, always caring, always ready to move forward.

And today he is gone.

It feels wrong, unfair, like something deeply out of place, something that should not have happened. Q was the kind of politician that made you believe that politics was good, noble, and important. He cared deeply about serving others, about doing the hard, thankless, and grudging work of gathering support to get bills passed. He was kind, generous, optimistic, and an absolute joy to work with. It is so easy to lose faith in politics. Q was the kind of person that restored that faith.

It is easy to forget, when you are at the Capitol in the rush of the legislative session, how much politics is about people – folks working together, trying to do the right thing. And Q was one of the best. Someone that cared deeply about social justice, passionate, engaged, tireless, and always ready to serve his constituents and those in need. There will be a lot of work to do to carry on his legacy. He will be missed.

Ganong is State Director of the Working Families Party