Representing the 37th District
Meet Assemblymember Das Williams And Discuss The Issues That Matter To You
WHAT: DAS WILLIAMS, ASSEMBLYMEMBER, 37th DISTRICT, OPEN HOUSE
WHEN: WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
WHERE: 89 S. CALIFORNIA STREET, SUITE F
Williams welcomes the public and the media to an open house for the new Ventura District Office. The public is invited to attend and talk about legislative issues, learn about state resources and share ideas for the 2014 legislative session
“I am really looking forward to meeting everyone at the Open House,” said Assemblymember Williams. “My favorite work as a legislator is to talk with constituents one-on-one. I know the people of Ventura County are bursting with ideas that I will take with me to Sacramento.”
The public is also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the December Holiday food drive.
(Santa Barbara) – Access to a college education can mean a number of things. According to Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara), access is affordability as well as availability of open spots at California’s public universities and community colleges. This why Assemblymember Williams, chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, convened a hearing at UC Santa Barbara to discuss how California can do a better job of making a college education an attainable goal. Assemblymember Williams, along with his colleagues, Assemblymembers Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) and Steve Fox (D-Antelope Valley) are all working toward removing barriers so qualified students can achieve their college dreams. Learn more in this Assembly Access Video.
Assembly Higher Education Committee To Discuss Transfer Programs
Experts will talk about ways to streamline higher education transfer process
FULLERTON — The California Assembly Higher Education Committee will hold a special oversight hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 12. to discuss ways to improve transfer rates from community colleges to universities.
The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fullerton Community College, College Center, Room 224, 321 E. Chapman Ave, Fullerton, co-hosted by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton.
By Das Williams
I am a proud bus rider.
For as long as I can remember I have hopped on Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District buses to get everywhere around town. Sometimes it was a choice. Most times it was a necessity.
As a kid and teenager, MTD buses were my main set of wheels, whether it was to get to work, friends' homes or the beach. As I got older, after I was elected to the Santa Barbara City Council, I chose to ride the bus to reduce pollution and help the environment and keep another vehicle off the road.
MTD buses are the core of our community. Our Santa Barbara and Goleta area could not survive properly without MTD buses.
We need to band together to help MTD and avoid the need for the proposed 30 percent reduction in service.
MTD management has proposed a 30 percent reduction in MTD service starting this January. The reduction comes as a result of the California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), which changed the structure and funding of public employee pensions. The retirement system that covers the drivers, mechanics and utility workers of MTD is structured differently than CalPERS or CalSTRS, which are the pension plans that cover most public employees in California. Unlike CalPERS and CalSTRS, these workers are covered by a private trust plan that has rules in its charter that are in conflict with what PEPRA requires.
Because of this conflict, federal transit funds are being withheld from MTD. The U.S. Department of Labor is attempting to sort everything out, but in the meantime, transit agencies throughout the state could lose $1.2 billion and MTD's share would be $4.6 million for next year.
The union representing the workers and MTD management have both asked the Department of Labor to release 2.3 million of those funds immediately to ensure that MTD can maintain service for the rest of the calendar year. I have also sent a letter asking them to do the same.
More than 26,000 people ride MTD buses every week. MTD provides service from Winchester Canyon to Carpinteria. The buses are always there for people from all age groups and demographics.
Seniors depend on the bus to get to medical appointments, to places that serve meals and for recreation. Students ride the bus to get to UCSB and Santa Barbara City College. We already know that most school routes are already impacted. Families ride the bus to get to work, drop and pick their children up at daycare and preschool. Our working class community rides the bus to get to their jobs.
Think a slash in MTD bus service doesn't affect you because you don't ride the bus? Think again. We all share the roads. For every person who rides the bus it potentially means one less car on the road. If you like your car and like getting to work on time, you will be affected by a cut in bus service. Imagine that every time you see that MTD bus pass you on the road that instead of the bus there are suddenly 20 more cars on road next to you. That's what would happen if you took MTD buses away.
There are a couple of things we can do. We can write letters to our state and federal representatives, urging a resolution. I am doing my best to help facilitate a positive outcome. We can urge the U.S. Department of Labor to release the $2.3 million immediately so that MTD can continue to function fully while this issue is resolved. We can also ask Governor Jerry Brown to broker a solution so that our transit workers and riders don't become an unintended casualty of pension reform.
And we can also ride the bus today. The more people who ride, the better the service we receive. Santa Barbara and Goleta have one of the highest rates of bus ridership per capita in the state of California because we are fortunate enough to have only 15 minute to 30 minute gaps between buses on most lines. If you are a bus rider, you already know and appreciate MTD's bus service. If you are not a bus rider, you will know, understand and appreciate how vital buses are to our community as soon as buses stop rolling.
Assemblyman, 37th District
SACRAMENTO - For the third year in a row, Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) has received a perfect rating from the California Congress of Seniors on its annual legislative report card.
Williams received a 100 percent score for supporting bills important to seniors and their families. Each year the state's leading senior citizens group reports the voting records of California Legislators on bills affecting the lives of millions of senior citizens throughout California.
AB 955 Allows Extension Courses As Part Of Pilot Program
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill today that allows six community college campuses to voluntarily launch a pilot program that offers summer and winter intersession courses for high-demand classes.
Brown signed Das Williams’ AB 955, which aims to increase the number of students transferring to CSU and UC schools. The six colleges included in the bill are: College of the Canyons, Crafton Hills College, Long Beach City College, Oxnard College, Pasadena City College and Solano Community College. Each community college in the pilot program has the option to participate.
New law will reduce the use of drift-prone harmful pesticides
SACRAMENTO —Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 304, a bill designed to protect people from harmful pesticides identified as Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs).
The bill will require the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to develop mitigation measures for the use of harmful pesticides.
“This is a victory for everyone who cares about the health and safety of the people in our community,” said Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.
“These toxic pesticides don’t stay in one place. They drift and can cause serious health problems. Now we can begin to identify ways to remove these toxins from our environment.”
Panel of experts to discuss affordability, access at public universities
SANTA BARBARA — Members of the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee will hear testimony from a panel of education experts on Monday to discuss ways to make college more affordable.
The meeting will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at the Loma Pelona Center at UCSB.
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed two important bills that give students at California State Universities a greater voice in the decisions that affect their campuses.
AB 447, introduced by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, allows a student trustee to vote at every Board of Trustees meeting. SB 325, authored by Senator Marty Block, allows sophomores to serve as trustees.
Learn Life-Saving Techniques Along With A Special Appearance by “Preparedy Cat”
SANTA BARBARA — Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) will join more than 20 agencies and community organizations for an important regional event designed to help prepare yourself, your family and your pets in case of an emergency or disaster.
The Emergency Preparedness Resource Fair and Workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Santa Barbara City College, West Campus, 721 Cliff Drive.
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Friday, January 18 2013
Das Williams Introduces Streamlined Voter Registration Bill
AB 131 Would Create Uniform Rules, Save Counties Money SANTA BARBARA – Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) introduced a bill this week that would create a uniform set of rules for elections officials to process signed voter registration cards of U.S. citizens, even if the place of birth box is left blank. California is just one of 10 states that requires the place of birth box to be filled out. Currently, if the U.S. citizen box is checked, but the place of birth box is left blank, some county officials set aside the card in a “pending” file, and then…Continue reading...
Friday, January 11 2013
California Business Leaders Honor Das Williams
Assemblyman Das Williams Recognized For Commitment to Small Businesses SANTA BARBARA — The California Small Business Association and California Small Business Roundtable announced today that Assemblyman Das Williams has made the 2012 Honor Roll. Williams was recognized in the Summa Cum Laude category, the highest honor given by the groups. "Small businesses are the unsung heroes of our community," Assemblyman Williams said. "They provide jobs and opportunities. The success of small businesses will play an essential role in growing our economy as we look to return California to strong financial footing." Williams in 2012 held a Green Jobs Summit featuring…Continue reading...
Thursday, January 10 2013
Das Williams Backs Budget That Re-Invests in Education
Assembly Higher Education Chairman Wants Focus on Access, Completion Rates SANTA BARBARA — California Assembly Higher Education Chairman Das Williams announced support today for most aspects of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal, which invests significantly in education and promises a balanced budget for years to come. Just two years after the state faced a $26 billion shortfall, California is now poised for balanced budgets, while restoring some of the major cuts over the last decade. Williams said he is focused on working with the governor, the state Legislature and the people of California to implement the budget requests, while maintaining…Continue reading...
Monday, December 03 2012
Das Williams Bill Would Fund Colleges, Universities
State would create revolving loan fund for clean energy projects SANTA BARBARA — Assemblyman Das Williams introduced a bill, AB 29, today which would assist colleges and universities with energy efficiency retrofits and clean energy projects. The bill establishes three revolving loan funds for California Community Colleges, California State University and the University of California, funded primarily with revenue created by Prop 39. The recently passed California Clean Energy Jobs Act, Prop 39, fixed a tax loophole that previously allowed out-of-state businesses to choose the method for determining their state taxable income. Prop 39 dedicates $550 million annually for five…Continue reading...
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0037
Tel: (916) 319-2037
Fax: (916) 319-2137
Santa Barbara County
101 W. Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Tel: (805) 564-1649
Fax: (805) 564-1651
89 South California Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Tel: (805) 641-3700
Fax: (805) 641-3708