California recall could increase Newsom’s weight for 2022
Photo by Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press
The recall election that once threatened to derail the political future of California Governor Gavin Newsom instead gave him new life, offering a rare mid-term vote of confidence that could fuel an ambitious legislative agenda that includes new terms. coronavirus vaccine, housing for the homeless and health insurance for people living illegally in the country.
Almost 64% of voters in the recall election voted to keep Newsom in power, early results show, giving him a greater margin of victory so far compared to his 2018 election.
On Wednesday, a day after surviving the reminder that he was sweating a few months ago, Newsom said he plans to go even further in 2022 as he heads into his re-election campaign.
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“When you face a recall… it sharpens your focus on time,” Newsom said. “Things that you might have looked at on the horizon and said, ‘You know, in the next two, three years, we want to get there,’ you start to look very differently and say, ‘What? is possible in the next two or three years? month?'”
Newsom was not afraid to take big swings in his first term, often avoiding the moderate tendencies of some of his predecessors. While it has not always satisfied the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party, it has reveled in governing what it calls a “nation state” given its status as the most populous in the country.
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During his first three years in office, Newsom signed a law allowing varsity athletes to be paid, offered a free lunch to every public school student, and issued executive orders to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars. ‘by 2035 and to end all oil extraction in the state by 2045.
This year, it has already issued orders requiring all of the state’s estimated 2.2 million healthcare workers to get vaccinated to keep their jobs. He also called on all state employees, teachers and staff in public schools to get vaccinated or undergo weekly tests.
President Joe Biden has already ordered large employers to demand that their workers be vaccinated. But some Democrats in the California legislature want to go further by applying this standard to companies with fewer than 100 employees and schoolchildren of age to be vaccinated.
State MK Buffy Wicks, an Oakland Democrat who is preparing to introduce vaccine verification legislation, said Newsom’s campaign did not refrain from saying “vaccine mandate” in campaign announcements.
“And the voters answered it. I see it, I think my fellow lawmakers see it, “she said.” We cannot be intimidated by a very small group who live in baseless conspiracy theories.
Some local communities are already doing this. San Francisco requires full proof of vaccination for a multitude of indoor activities, including indoor dining and visiting the gym. Los Angeles County will be implementing a similar policy for patrons and workers at bars and nightclubs starting next month. The Los Angeles Unified School District will soon require that all eligible students be immunized.
Newsom said on Wednesday he supported the decisions and urged other local governments to do the same, but is currently happy with local rules, although he said there were “conversations” about a mandate statewide vaccine for public school students.
The pandemic has also stepped up efforts to increase the number of people with health insurance in California for primary and preventive care. The UC Berkeley Labor Center estimates that nearly 3.2 million Californians will not have health insurance next year, the largest percentage of immigrants living illegally in the country.
This year’s Newsom budget offers government-funded health insurance to low-income adults 50 and older who live illegally in the country, but some Democrats want it to extend coverage to all low-income adults, regardless of their immigration status.
“I think this year has been a big down payment for us to work towards universal coverage,” said MP Joaquin Arambula, a Democrat from Fresno who chairs the budget subcommittee that oversees health spending.
Newsom said on Wednesday that he plans to focus on housing the homeless again. He devoted his entire 2020 State of the State speech to this issue, but the pandemic quickly struck and quickly shifted his focus to public health. Yet Newsom stressed that his administration had brought 6,000 homeless housing units online in just five and a half months, a remarkable pace made possible by the urgency of the pandemic.
He added: “This has now focused my energy on saying what more can we do in this space with that same sense of urgency on climate change, on housing affordability issues?”
Moving these issues forward will require building consensus among the Democrats who dominate the state legislature, a task that is not as easy as California’s progressive reputation suggests.
But Michael Bustamante, a Democratic consultant who worked for former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis during the recall campaign that led to his ouster in 2003, said Newsom shouldn’t hold back.
“When you have a near-death experience, it seems to me that people tend to appreciate the life they have a lot more,” he said. Newsom “has almost nothing to lose and everything to gain by thinking big, by being aggressive.”
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