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When you work for someone, you get a good sense of who they are and what they care about. I worked for Das Williams for four years as his district director when he represented our region in the State Assembly. What I saw then, and remains clear now, is Das’s deep commitment to supporting all members of our community, including women and people of color.
Das has consistently received a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood for his support of abortion rights and women’s reproductive health. In the Assembly, he authored AB 2441, which taxed strip clubs, distributing funds toward services at rape crisis centers. His bill reforming the 9-1-1 cell phone system was critical to helping anyone at risk of attack, a need faced often by women threatened with rape or domestic violence. In 2015 he was a sponsor of California’s Equality Act. These are just some reasons that the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee (WPC) endorsed his reelection.
It’s no accident that, when the WPC members spoke in support of candidates for the 1st District seat, many who spoke for Das were women of color. In my years working for him, he also had an all-female staff from diverse backgrounds. An ardent environmentalist, he balances social justice with environmental protection: In 2016, he received a 100 percent rating from the California Environmental Justice Alliance, which promotes policies that alleviate both poverty and pollution.
Das Williams is well positioned to continue representing the diverse residents of the 1st District.