We don’t need new, we need New-som

Casey Braff

On the first day of school, I read an article about the recall of Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom in my government class. I expected to learn about why some people wanted him recalled and how he would sweep the subsequent election. However, to my surprise, I discovered that Newsom is predicted to win by only a 3 percent margin. Furthermore, the election doesn’t just decide if Newsom loses his position — it also determines California’s next governor. If Newsom were to be recalled, all of the progress he’s made would be lost. Redwood students and parents should vote against the recall, because even though Newsom has taken some missteps, he has still managed a great deal of adversity during his administration and is the best possible option. 

Governor Newsom has created and implemented countless beneficial policies for the state of California. He placed a moratorium on executions, made it more difficult for police officers to legally justify killing innocent civilians and helped protect LGBTQ+ rights. Additionally, he passed the biggest economic stimulus bill ever, banned evictions during COVID-19 and set up hotels across the state for people experiencing homelessness. 

Our country’s leaders recognize Newsom’s efforts for California. Newsom is endorsed by US President Joe Biden, who said in a statement on Aug. 12, “Governor Newsom is leading California through an unprecedented crisis. He is a key partner in fighting the pandemic and delivering economic relief to working families and helping us build our economy back better than ever. He’s taking on the climate crisis and standing up for the rights of women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community…. Registered California voters should vote no…and keep California moving forward.” 

Additionally, the editorial boards of many of California’s most prominent newspapers have endorsed Newsom. The Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee all say that the recall is pointless and a waste of money.

Even more important than Newsom’s successes and endorsements are the potential repercussions of his recall. This recall is truly a bipartisan issue; those running to replace him are not qualified to be governor. The current leading candidate is Larry Elder, a libertarian and radio talk-show host. He is running on promises to help end homelessness and fund public schools, but he does not believe in climate change, and he wants to take away womens’ right to abortion and eliminate the minimum wage. Elder would undermine climate change efforts, which could lead to more droughts and wildfires and eradicate the minimum wage, destroying the economy and people’s livelihoods. If Elder is elected as governor, Californians will lose vital rights and reforms.

Despite the significance of this election, many California voters still do not realize that, in addition to deciding Newsom’s fate, they would also elect his replacement. Many are choosing not to vote because they do not understand what is at stake. Only 25 percent of Californians are registered Republicans, yet a predicted 47 percent of California voters will be voting in favor of the recall.

Illustration by Calla McBride

Those who want Newsom recalled may have legitimate concerns. Newsom placed California under a strict and long-lasting lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, shutting down businesses and keeping many students out of in-person school for almost a year, while his children were fully in person at their private school. California’s economy also took a huge hit due to the pandemic, which many argue could have been avoided by lifting restrictions earlier. Unemployment reached an all-time high, and thousands lost their jobs or ended up homeless. One of the biggest controversies was when Newsom was caught in December dining unmasked and indoors at a restaurant in Napa. This hypocritical incident was controversial while Newsom was urging Californians to practice COVID-19 safety procedures. While this controversy should not be taken lightly, Newsom has done more to help than harm during the pandemic. Newsom saved thousands of lives by implementing the lockdowns. Additionally, Newsom is not responsible for California’s economic downturn, as the entire country faced the greatest economic crisis in a century. Most importantly, the benefits of Newsom’s governance, like getting California to be the 13th most vaccinated state per capita and passing the largest economic relief bill in California history, would not have happened under any other governor. Not only has he successfully fought COVID-19, but he has made massive progress in regard to the environment and social justice, advances with which his competitors would interfere. 

It is incredibly important to vote in this election. Every vote matters. Even if you don’t support Newsom, he is a far better option than his opponents. 18 year-olds can register to vote, and both 16 and 17-year-olds can pre-register at https://registertovote.ca.gov. Use your voice in this landmark election on Sep. 14.