Gavin Newsom: The New Leader of California

Gavin Newsom: The New Leader of California

Written by Michelle Lee, Editor, Journalist

It has only been a few weeks since his inauguration, but the 40th governor of California–and former Mayor of San Francisco and Lieutenant Governor–Gavin Newsom has already started to carry out his ambitious agenda.

One issue the new governor has wanted to tackle is the rising homeless population and lack of affordable housing. Just a few days ago, Newsom announced that Attorney General Xavier Becerra would sue Huntington Beach, a wealthy coastal city situated in Orange County. Newsom claimed that the city wasn’t allowing enough low-income housing to accommodate for population growth, which was required by state law. Even though the city isn’t the most affordable to live in (its median home value is around $834,000, according to Zillow and L.A. Times), Newsom argued that while many cities were taking great measures to fight the homelessness crisis, cities that would refuse to do so would be held accountable (The Inertia).

Another focus of his agenda is education. Newsom wants to achieve universal preschool, which could cost more than $2 billion. Complementing the cradle-to-career idea, Newsom has promised to cover two full years of community college tuition. In his recent budget proposal, Newsom also allocated funds to the California State University and University of California systems to help with mental health services, homelessness and student hunger, and operation costs (The Daily Californian). Additionally, giving more money to low-income and minority students will help them with housing and other living costs.

The new governor has set forth an ambitious and expensive agenda, but claims that it will pay off in the end. In the introduction to his budget proposal, Newsom stated that “the California Dream” should be accessible to everyone, “not just a privileged few” and that his budget would bring California closer to that “important” goal (The Daily Cal).