That left two likely candidates for Governor, the announced candidate, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the presumptive front runner former Governor and current Attorney General Jerry Brown. However, around twenty minutes prior to the event, it was announced that Jerry Brown was a no-show and Yolo County Democratic Central Committee Chair Bob Schelen spoke briefly in his stead.
“I’ve been across the state and it’s the same exact issues that connect all of us across the state, and candidly are the issues that I’m most passionate about and connect all of us in this room here today. It shouldn’t surprise anybody that the issue of the economy is the one thing that connects all of us. People that have either lost their jobs or concerned about their existing jobs. People have seen either their homes foreclosed upon or more likely people that have all seen their home values drop significantly…
We are all concerned about whether we can afford to retire or have a friend or family member that can afford to retire. We’re obviously concerned about the issue of our health care. Even those with current health care that may not be able to afford the premiums or co-pays. Or those that have lost their job and cannot afford that cobra and are really concerned about getting that new job that provides health care because those small businesses can’t afford to pay it.”
Mayor Newsom said he was up in Placer County and that while there were protesters there, most people were more concerned with the issues and how he would address their concerns.
He spoke about the new media and the fact that he pressed send last week to officially declare his candidacy.
“Using social media not just to organize a campaign but to organize a governing philosophy and a principle. I don’t care who you elect as the next Governor of California, the fact is that he or she is not going to succeed without all of you…”
He continued that it was amazing that he could be on his way to his announcement event, hit one button and tell over a million people he was running for Governor using Twitter.
He told the crowd that
“Up and down the state, people are looking for a change but not rhetorically, but substantively. They want someone who can deliver on those problems, not just deliver another speech.”
Along those lines he highlighted the fact that while everyone has talked about universal health care, they have actually implemented it for two years in San Francisco.
He said he did the same thing on education.
“It’s time for more than just a slogan on education. Then we point the finger at “No Child Left Behind” that’s left behind billions of dollars… We know what’s happening in California. I remember the good ole days when we were only 46th in per pupil spending, now we’ve dropped to 47th, some would argue we’re already at 48, 49. When all the new numbers come out, who knows where we’ll ultimately be.”
He said, well what are we going to do?
“It’s time to do more than just talk about it.”
He went on to talk about programs that have been cut out.
“In San Francisco, we’re the only city in the state doing universal preschool. We value our kids education by realizing that we have to get serious about the achievement gap for African Americans and Latinos. We have to get serious about the likelihood that somebody is going to graduate and decreasing the likelihood that they’ll drop out or they’ll be truant–you have to be serious about early childhood education. So we’re fully funding it. We stopped talking about it. Rob Reiner’s initiative failed, we stepped up and stepped in. Let’s move this state in that same direction.”
He talked about a comprehensive arts education program that they have implemented in San Francisco and wants to do in the state. He talked about putting doctors and nurses in every school.
Wants to think of education in terms of K through 16 rather than K through 12, meaning that the state will push for all students to go to college.
Talked about climate change and global warming.
“I think some of you know about our work on the environment. We have a local global climate action plan to roll back our CO2 emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, twice as far as the Kyoto Protocols. And certainly a lot further than California. I love the bar, it’s certainly low enough that we can lay claim to leading the nation in terms of environmental stewardship. But the bar’s low, by 2020 we want to roll back our CO2 to 1990 levels?”
Said that already, and this has been certified so it’s not simply a “claim by a politician,” but the city of San Francisco has already reduced CO2 emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels.
“As our city population grew, as our economy grew, and it was easy. Let’s disenthrall ourselves that this was particularly complex. We have a lot of great plans but we haven’t implemented them in terms of environmental stewardship. The next governor needs to implement them.”
In San Francisco they already have the most aggressive solar program in American and the most aggressive green building initiative. He talked about plastic bags and plastic water bottles.
“Don’t forget Aquifina and Dasani is tap water from New York State, at least have some pride in your own state before you spend ten thousand times more than you would by turning on the tap. You’re buying a bottle not the water. And you’re buying a waste stream that includes a billion other bottles in California.”
He mentioned composting:
“You think gay marriage is controversial, try to require composting in the city. I can assure you that is even more complex.”
“We need to move from talking about ideas to manifesting ideas. You need someone who is willing to take risks, and I’ll conclude with this, you need someone to actually say publicly what they’re saying privately. Meaning you need someone who’s not compelled by the decision by what public opinion is of the day, but someone willing to stand on principles and fight for those principles. At least you know… where I stand on a lot of controversial issues and you know I’ll be a fighter for those things that I believe. And I think those things should unite all of us around the state.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting