California Assemblymember Das Williams held a politically-informative presentation on December 5 for Mr. Ohrn’s Law and Society class and Ms. Whaley’s Economics class. He generously shared the story of his career and discussed topics currently being debated in the California legislature.
Williams represents the 37th district, so he acts on behalf of Santa Barbara County and part of Ventura County. He grew up in Isla Vista and attended SBCC, Cal, and UCSB. On a daily basis, he works to better the Santa Barbara community and California as a whole.
His focuses include environmentalism and higher education, two subjects he is very passionate about. He was previously the chair of the higher education committee in the California state legislature. Currently, he is chair of the natural resources committee and serves on the banking and finance committee.
In the months leading up to the midterm elections he heavily supported the ‘Yes on Measure P’ campaign, which would ban fracking in Santa Barbara County. With his history in environmental science, Williams speaks out against the use of harmful chemicals used to drill oil. Even though this measure did not pass, Williams makes a constant effort to better the environment and encourages others to reduce their carbon footprint.
Williams also works to make higher education more accessible to anyone interested in a college degree. In the past ten years, the UC’s and CSU’s have lost a lot of funding. The UC attempted to resolve the problem by raising tuition costs for all students whereas the CSUs cut back on admissions. He believes that all students are entitled to higher education whether it’s through community college or universities or a combination of both.
Williams’s main point was that America’s youth, meaning all high school students in California, can have a huge affect in politics and the well-being of the County. He notes that if someone does not make a decision regarding politics, someone else will make it for them.
“Politics are not positive or negative, it is the exercise of your inherent power as a citizen,” explained Williams.
Williams encourages anyone 18 or older to vote, and those younger than 18 should make any difference they can whether it’s volunteering on a campaign or encouraging friends and family to vote.
“Anyone who will be 18 before the next election can register now,” said Williams. “If you don’t do anything in politics, things will still happen to you in politics. It is all about realizing that you have power and exercising that power so that other people don’t exercise it against your will.”