When someone asked me recently if I was supporting Das Williams’ reelection as F1st District Supervisor, my answer was: “Of course! I worked with him.”
Das was very young when he first joined the Santa Barbara City Council — but he brought unusual expertise, boundless energy, and passion for the work of making good policy. Did he rub some people wrong along the way? Yes, some. Having been in public office myself, I know that, if you don’t make some people unhappy, you probably aren’t doing much of value.
Das’s work in the nine years since leaving the council has been remarkable. While in the State Assembly, he led on a range of issues — education, the environment, and public safety, to name a few. In his three years on the Board of Supervisors, he has worked tirelessly for the county, and in particular for hard-hit Montecito during unprecedented double disasters. He knows the issues, and he looks for partnerships to find workable solutions to a range of problems.
To those who object to campaign donations from cannabis businesses: When you run for public office, you take campaign donations from a range of sources. If you are ethical, you don’t accept donations from sources that are actively against what you believe in. Das has never taken oil or gas money, for example. An ethical elected official like Das knows that campaign dollars are never a promise to vote in any particular way.
Marty Blum served as mayor of the City of Santa Barbara from 2002 to 2010.