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Newsom shares vision for California in inauguration speech

‘A place where anything is possible’

Manny Otiko California Black Media | 1/11/2019, midnight

Former Mayor of San Francisco and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was sworn in on Monday as California’s 40th governor to the backdrop of serene gospel music provided by Compton-based choir Voice of Destiny. Newsom’s first speech as governor touched on his vision for California and his plans to keep the Golden State in the national spotlight.

“This is a place where anything is possible,” said Newsom who was joined on stage by his wife and four children. During the speech, Newsom said that while California had many successes, such as Silicon Valley and Hollywood, there was also startling signs of wealth inequality.

“We … face a homeless epidemic that should keep each and every one of us up at night,” he said.

Newsom thanked his predecessor, outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown, for eliminating the state’s deficit and leaving a surplus.

“Back then, we were $27 billion in debt. Unemployment above 12 percent. The worst credit rating of any state in our nation. Today, our economy is larger than all but four nations in the world. We’ve created nearly 3 million jobs and put away billions for a rainy day,” he said.

According to Newsom, he wanted his policies to bring the state together.

“We will not have one house for the rich and one for the poor, or one for the native-born and one for the rest. We will build one house for one California,” said Newsom.

Newsom also touched on some of the areas that he planned to focus on such as supporting organized labor.

“Working people deserve fair pay, the right to join a union, and the chance at a middle-class life for themselves and their families,” he said.

Newsom also compared the success of California with the political chaos in Washington, D.C.

“At a time when so much of America is divided, we are united. Our people are big-hearted and fair-minded, when those qualities are more vital than ever. I’ve seen that again in just the past few weeks,” said Newsom. (He recently visited Paradise, a community that was devastated by wildfires.)

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said he was impressed by Newsom’s inclusive message. Ridley-Thomas also liked some of the topics Newsom touched on such as affordable housing, reducing child poverty and jobs.  Newsom also quoted an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”

“He talked about things that were relevant to African Americans statewide,” said Ridley-Thomas. “African Americans want to know what’s going to enhance their lives.”

Ridley-Thomas also gave a pointed message to Democrats who want to win the African American vote. Newsom’s message was more than just being “anti-Trump,” he said.

Another African American political insider also liked the speech.

“Gavin Newsom is going to be a great governor. Today he showed his commitment to inclusion and highlighted the diversity of California through his inaugural ceremony. His speech was all-encompassing and set the tone that we are moving towards being one California,” said Taisha Brown, vice president of the African American Caucus, California Democratic Party.