John Lewis’ successor in Congress is already used to making ‘good trouble’

Nikema Williams is the first woman to represent Georgia’s 5th district, taking the mantle from civil rights icon and her mentor, John Lewis. Before DC, she was a state senator from Georgia, the state Democratic Party chair and was famously arrested in 2018 over the state’s gubernatorial election.

We met up at Black Lives Matter Plaza, the place where Lewis made his final public appearance, for the interview. It was her first time being there and Lewis’ legacy was weighing heavily on her. “It was kind of like your reminder that you have to continue this when he’s not here. He set the blueprint.”

Like all new lawmakers, Williams’ third day was marred by violent and deadly insurrection. She had spent most of the day focused on the victories from the Georgia runoff and practicing and thinking of her first time speaking on the House floor — a chance that didn’t come.

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