SANTA BARABARA, CA – State Assemblymember Das Williams today announced his candidacy for Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors First District in 2016. Assemblymember Williams’ announcement comes on the heels of current First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal’s announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2016 and instead run to fill the seat being vacated by retiring Congresswoman Lois Capps in California’s 24th Congressional District.
Williams, a Carpinteria resident, has represented the 1st District for nearly five years in the State Assembly and represented significant portions for seven years during his tenure on the Santa Barbara City Council.
In announcing his candidacy, Assemblymember Williams stated:
“I’ve spent a lot of time being very thoughtful about how to best continue to serve this community after my Assembly term ends in 2016 and how to coordinate that with honoring my family, which is about to grow when my wife Jonnie and I welcome our first child in September. County Supervisor stands out as a clear choice to continue the work we’ve done over the years on the City Council and in the State Assembly.
“The issues that most directly affect my constituents at home have always been at the heart of the work we do together.
“Serving as a County Supervisor would be a great honor and unique opportunity to continue creating positive solutions to many of the important challenges we face such as the drought, protection of the environment and coastline, wildfire preparedness, and continued expansion of the green economy.”
Assemblymember Das Williams currently represents over half of Santa Barbara County and a quarter of Ventura County in the California State Assembly, a position to which he was elected in 2010. Prior to his service in the Assembly, Williams served 7 years on the Santa Barbara City Council from 2003-2010 and also served as a trustee for Peabody Charter School in Santa Barbara.
During his extensive public service, Williams has earned a reputation for being an effective advocate for the issues that matter most to the residents of Santa Barbara County. While on the City Council, Williams led the successful efforts to expand alternative energy produced by the city to ensure that 34% of the city’s energy came from renewable sources by 2012. Once in the Assembly, Williams successfully advocated for a similar policy to be applied statewide with 33% renewable energy by 2020. With the state on track to hit that goal, Williams has authored legislation to increase the renewable energy goal to 50% by 2030.
A lifelong advocate for our coast, Williams also authored language to require testing groundwater before, during, and after hydraulic fracturing, which was included in California’s regulation on fracking. He is currently authoring a bill to expand groundwater monitoring to other types of injection wells to protect underground sources of drinking water from oil and gas wastewater disposal.
Williams also took leadership to ensure statewide resources would be spent locally to provide relief from the drought, including securing funds for the Lake Cachuma pump project and supporting funding for water recycling and desalination efforts. He’s also been a leader on emergency preparedness, hosting an emergency preparedness fair every year since he took office and working to ensure 911 calls are correct routed to cut down on response time.
Williams grew up in Santa Barbara County and attended local schools. In addition to his service in elected office, he taught at Antioch University in Santa Barbara, worked as a junior high school teacher, as well as a legislative aid to California State Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson. Williams holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science & Management, with a focus on water pollution, planning processes, and land-use law at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science.