Esther Blankinship Williams, a civil rights activist and grass-roots leader in the Democratic Party, died Oct. 4. She was 93.

Her political efforts and community work helped elect many of Houston’s most prominent elected officials, her colleagues said, including Sen. Rodney Ellis, Congresswomen Barbara Jordan and Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Al Green.

“She has been loyal to her party. She has been loyal to her neighborhood and she has been loyal to her country,” said Green. “She was the kind of American that helped change America for the good. She was born in era when she was discriminated against, but she lived long enough to see the change.”