There really is no contest in this race. Lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom is miles ahead of his opponent, Republican businessman John Cox, in terms of experience, leadership and knowledge of the issues that grip California.
As mayor, Newsom had a knack for grand gestures and bold promises that captured the imagination of voters, even if they did not always immediately pan out. The “Care Not Cash” slogan and anti-panhandling policies that carried him into the mayor’s office capitalized on voter frustration with homelessness even as they antagonized advocates and left a great deal of work undone. His campaign to adopt electric vehicles and renewable energy sources drew favorable headlines but was slow to gain speed. And his famous move to legalize gay marriage was nullified by the courts —but helped to kickstart a movement that is still underway across the nation.
There is a lot to like in Newsom’s policies. As lieutenant governor he worked to promote gun control laws and create a regulatory framework for legalized recreational cannabis — more than many holders of that title can brag about. As a candidate he has made promises including universal preschool and healthcare and improvements to the educational system.
In addition, he has served as a strong critic of the Trump administration in an era when California has repeatedly come under attack by those on the right who would see the world’s fifth largest economy weakened.
As mayor, Newsom sometimes struggled to work with the Board of Supervisors, follow through on promises and keep his personal drama out of the public eye.
In endorsing him, we are expressing our hope and belief that he has matured as a politician since then and can effectively focus and shepherd his ambitious agenda through the state’s often unwieldy legislature and government. In these troubled times, California urgently needs him to rise to the challenge.
U. S. Senate
Kevin de Leon
First of all, thank you to Dianne Feinstein for her long years of public service representing California in the U.S. Senate. She has served The City and state well in many ways. However, 26 years is a long time to hold the same office, and we believe it is time for a fresh face and new ideas. That is why we are declining to endorse her for another term, and supporting California State Senator Kevin de Leon.
While the two agree on many of the issues that matter to California voters, in his dress rehearsal for national office as a member of the California assembly for four years, and as a California state senator since 2010, we like what we see. As the president pro tem of the senate since 2014, he shows he has what it takes to get meaningful legislation passed, something that is obviously wanting in today’s U.S. Congress.
In 2016, California lawmakers approved a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour under his leadership, and the state is now a leader in renewable energy, with ambitious goals that de Leon promises to fight for in the national arena. He supports an automatic weapons ban, and Medicare for all.
The son of an immigrant, single mother, and a first generation college graduate, he penned California’s California Values Act, known more widely as the ‘sanctuary state” law. Passed in 2017, it curtails the use of local resources from engaging in deportations of immigrants.
We are putting our faith in him, and hope that, given a chance, he can play a role taking on the fight toward much-needed comprehensive, national immigration reform so that immigrants can ultimately get onto the path of citizenship instead of being blocked at every juncture as they are now under the Trump administration.
Jay Curran, Publisher of San Francisco Media Company