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I understand that Das Williams is getting grief for his TV ad, where I say that he “saved our lives” as if somehow I was asked to exaggerate about him.

That is just so wrong! I was the one who reached out to Das, to tell him that my husband, pets, and I would all be dead if it weren’t for him. And I meant it.

Who ever heard of a “debris flow” before January 9, 2018? I never had. But Das talked about “the dangers of a debris flow“! He was so insistent urging us to evacuate, that I looked it up. What I read was so chilling, that even though we lived in the “voluntary zone,” I lied and told my husband we had been moved to “mandatory” and had to get out. So we left — and that night, every house on our street except ours was destroyed or horribly damaged.

If Das hadn’t been out there, relentlessly beating the drum for his constituents, we would probably have been swept away as others were.

To me, that is Das. He’s built his entire life around public service. After the debris flow, he worked so hard to help people: having one of his staff at the Montecito Resource Center nearly full time; fighting for rules to let people rebuild quickly before their insurance ran out; partnering with local groups to prevent another disaster.

True public servants put self before others. To me, that is who he is in a nutshell. I believe Das Williams saved our lives! And I’ll say that on TV again if I get a chance!

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