Assembly candidate Das Williams announced Friday that his campaign has received the endorsement of the University Professional and Technical Employees, Communications Workers of America, Local 9119-4 (UPTE-CWA 9119-4).

The endorsement comes on the heals of Williams’ participation in UCSB’s teach-in on Wednesday, which focused on the impact state budget cuts have had on the UC system and creating new innovative solutions to the ongoing fiscal crisis.

“Das Williams is by far the best, most well-rounded candidate in this race,” said Rodney Orr, vice president of UPTE-CWA 9119-4, which represents employees at UCSB. “He understands the challenges facing working people not only in our UC system, but everywhere. After looking at all the candidates in this race, it was clear to us that Das’ experience and proven track record for getting results makes him the best person to represent this district in the years to come.”

Williams said: “As somebody who was educated by our UC system, I know firsthand that it is one of best university systems in the world. I am so proud to have earned the endorsement of an organization that represents so many of the employees that make our UCs so great.”

At the teach-in, Williams said the Assembly must reprioritize investing in education, and that a strong higher-education system is the centerpiece of economic recovery and the key to making California competitive in a 21st century.

Williams also emphasized the importance of working to find new funding sources in order to avoid “unfair and shortsighted” student fee increases and cuts to vital student services and university staff.

“In the state Assembly, I’ll fight to ensure that education at every level is protected,” Williams said. “Now is not the time to be slashing funds to our colleges and universities, and we need leaders who recognize that our path out of this fiscal crisis begins by investing in students, teachers and the rest of the employees serving in our education system.”

Williams is running to succeed termed-out Assemblyman Pedro Nava in 2010.

— Christopher Patterson represents the Das Williams campaign for Assembly District 35.