• Home
  • Uncategorized

Ground Broken On 5.5 Mile Bike Path from South L.A. To Inglewood

Brandon Collins
South L.A.’s landscape is rapidly changing and new housing coupled with projects like Destination Crenshaw, the Metro Rail Line and South Los Angeles Rising—which received a $5 million grant last month to reduce litter and beautify neighborhood in South Los Angeles—are just part of the reason why.
This week, Los Angeles city and county officials broke ground on the another such transformation effort—The Rail to Rail Active Transportation Project, a 5.5 mile bike and pedestrian path that will stretch from the Metro A (Blue) Line station at Slauson Avenue to the Fairview Heights station located near the intersection of Florence Ave and West Boulevard.
“Today, decades of work are made real as we invest and transform these old rail tracks into a corridor that the Slauson community can be proud of,” said L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell of the $140 million dollar project. “And to all of our neighbors, our work won’t stop here. We are focused on strategies to preserve the fabric of communities who live here today.”
“The Rail to Rail project will improve on a well-worn path thousands of people in the community used every day, improving access to transit and adding beautiful amenities to the community in the process”, Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins stated.
Officials on hand for the groundbreaking included L.A. City Councilmen Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti who described the planned bike and pedestrian path as “world class”.
Officials hope that the project will attract new business investments into the area.
“This is where the train ran, and when the train didn’t run anymore, it was just ignored,” Butts said. “When this active transportation project is completed, people will be able to use the path to access jobs, businesses, sports and entertainment.”
Adorned with trees, shrubs, lights, security cameras and bench seating, the project is expected to be completed in 2024 and is the initial phase of what will be a longer Rail-to-River bike route that will connect South LA to the LA River.

California Boosts Efforts to Fight Surging Hate Crimes

Kisha Smith

Hate crimes in California increased an alarming 32.6% from 2020 to 2021 and are at their highest reported level since 2001 according to a report recently released from California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

The 2021 Hate Crime in California Report found that hate crimes targeting Blacks remained most prevalent, increasing 12.5% from 456 in 2020 to 513 in 2021, while reported anti-Asian hate crime events rose 177.5% from 2020 to 2021. Crimes involving a sexual orientation bias also increased significantly, rising 47.8% from 2020 to 2021.

“Today’s report undeniably shows that the epidemic of hate we saw spurred on during the pandemic remains a clear and present threat,” said Attorney General Bonta. “In fact, reported hate crime has reached a level we haven’t seen in California since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11.

“As our state’s top law enforcement officer, I will continue to use the full authority of my office to fight back. We will keep working with our local law enforcement partners and community organizations to make sure every Californian feels seen, heard, and protected. While there is no single solution, it’s up to all of us to heed the call, because when our communities feel empowered, they come forward. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we stand united — there is no place for hate in California.”

Ahead of the release of last year’s report, Attorney General Bonta launched the Racial Justice Bureau, which, among other things, supports the California Department of Justice’s broader mandate to advance the civil rights of all Californians by assisting with new and ongoing efforts to combat hate and bias. Since last year, the Attorney General has also engaged with local leaders through roundtables in San FranciscoOaklandSacramentoSan DiegoRiversideLong BeachSanta Ana, and San Jose.

Bonta has also formally announced the creation of a statewide hate crime coordinator position within the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Law Division in order to further assist state and local law enforcement efforts to combat hate crime.

The California Department of Justice has collected and reported statewide data on hate crimes since 1995. Under California law, a hate crime is a criminal act committed in whole or in part because of a victim’s actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with someone with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

While hate crime data has generally been underreported, the total number of hate crime events reported in 2021 is the sixth highest ever recorded and the highest since hate crime events skyrocketed in 2001 in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11.

Blacks Lag Behind in Early Voting in L.A. Races

As of Tuesday, May 24, 5% of the mail-in ballots for the City of Los Angeles had been returned and according to the tracking, African Americans are returning ballots at a much lower rate than other groups.

“In fact”, said public policy expert Kerman Maddox, “people need to understand the election is happening now, it ends on June 7th, but people can mail in their ballots or drop them off at a location that’s convenient for them now.

“At this stage other groups are returning their ballots at a higher rate and thus outperforming African American Voters, but there is time to reverse this trend, particularly for African Americans seeking office in this election cycle.”

Maddox isn’t the only one concerned.

Pastor Norman Johnson, who works with the South Los Angeles Clergy for Public Accountability, a coalition of some of the city’s leading African American pastors, is working with other pastors to encourage early voting.

“One of the things that we did was to send a message out to members of our coalition that this Sunday and the next, that they stress the importance of having their congregants mail their ballots in early.  Secondly, we’re organizing to get some boots on the ground and have some of our people canvassing neighborhoods to encourage people to get their ballots in.”

Johnson noted that with the demographics shifting and Blacks moving out of the city that it was more important than ever to have Black voters turn out in higher numbers.

“In past elections we had the benefit of African American Voter Registration, Education, and Participation Project (AAVREP) and it made a huge difference in helping to turn out the Black vote.”

Founded in 2002 by Mark Ridley-Thomas, the African American Voter Registration, Education, and Participation (AAVREP)’s mission was to increase African American and urban voter registration, education, and civic participation, and served to train more than 2,500 community-based team members in voter registration and mobilization while registering upwards of 200,000 voters. Additionally, the group conducted extensive focus groups and polling of African American voters in state and local elections and strategically deployed volunteers to hundreds of precincts and polling places to help educate, persuade and turn out African American voters in local and state elections.

In its absence, groups like SCLC have tried to fill the void.

“Here in L.A.—and around the country, there are critical issues and races we—as Black people—need to be on top of and because of it we are doing all we can to encourage early voting from social media messaging to actually getting out into the community,” said Rev. William Smart, president of SCLC’s L.A. chapter.

“The early numbers aren’t good insofar as turnout,” Smart continued. “What normally motivates us is someone running or a policy instigated against us, but we have to make that transition for our people to not wait until election day and instead to vote now. The urgency for voting has begun. Doubling the black vote would transform the attention we get at City Hall and at the state house.”

On the ballot are candidates for U.S. Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate and Assembly, as well as candidates for local elected positions like the much publicized L.A. Mayor’s race.

Mail-in ballot voting has been underway since the second week in May with the election concluding on June 7.

Weber Shares Thoughts on Framework for Reparations Eligibility


Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌ ‌|‌ ‌California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media‌

California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber shared her thoughts on who should be compensated for the injustices of slavery during the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americans’ sixth meeting.

To open the first discussion of 2022, Weber testified virtually in front of the nine-member panel. She said eligibility should be based on “the impact of slavery” on enslaved Black people and their descendants as opposed to “those who were never slaves.”

“Reparations is designed to repair and heal the damages done to Africans for 400 years and (suffered) through Jim Crow (laws),” Weber said. “Recent immigrants do not share our common oppression at the same level. Reparations are for those of descendants of slavery. Their ties are permanently severed from their homeland and their ability to return to Africa is almost impossible. We are truly Americans.”

Weber (D-San Diego) authored Assembly Bill (AB) 3120which established the task force while serving in the Assembly before her appointment to be the state’s first African American Secretary of State in January 2021. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state’s historic reparations bill into law in September 2020.

The great-granddaughter, granddaughter, and daughter of Black sharecroppers, Weber’s 20-minute testimony set the stage for the reparations meeting held on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28.

The sixth of 10-planned meetings, the agenda covered topics, including public health, mental health, technology, and physical health.

In order to gain a better perspective on the issue of eligibility, Weber suggested that task force members listen to recordings made in the 1930s of former slaves. The slave narratives were recorded as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writer’s Project. 

“When slavery ended, when slavery was no longer legal, they (the formerly enslaved) literally had nothing, nothing but the scalps on their backs,” Weber said. “They did not own any property, any equipment, they owned no land, they had no sense of direction, no place to sleep, or no place to stay. They had nothing.”

Weber explained that the call for reparations is based on the fact that Black people provided free labor for over two centuries. When they were freed in 1865, an estimated 3.9 million formerly enslaved people had no shelter, workforce skills, education, or financial means to function in society.

A small portion of the enslaved that were working in the cotton and tobacco fields and in the “Big House” of the enslavers had options, but it kept them tied to slavery in one form or another.

“As a result (of freedom), most of them only had the skills of farming, which became the foundation for the sharecropping system,” Weber said. “A few Africans who lived in the ‘Big House’ knew how to serve, iron clothes, and wait on individuals. They sat in the house and listened to those plans of sharecropping and knew it was another wave of slavery … a different kind of slavery. Those who had skills left. They went north (for better opportunities).”

Task Force member Lisa Holder, a Los Angeles civil rights trial attorney, said Weber basically set the “framework” in terms of settling the eligibility issue. She pointed out that slavery was factually a “Western hemispheric economy” where Black people were also traded in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean islands.

“Don’t get me wrong, the impact of slavery was universal around the world,” Weber responded. “But many of those places have intact much more cultural relevance than we have. I’m dealing with what the United States’ responsibility is. If we decided to solve all the problems around the world, we’d probably get 50 cents each and that would be the end of it.”

Weber continued, “I think those in other countries should also be dealing with the countries that they come from (where) they put their labor in. We looked at the fact that we worked for free (in the U.S.) for over 100 years and built this nation. I am not in favor of opening this up to all folks. It gets too complicated.”

Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) asked Weber for her perspective on a comment Andrew Young, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. protégée, former Congressman, mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, made to him.  Young said some White people were enslaved and may be entitled to reparations, too.

“There were various levels of servitude that existed in this country but none as pervasive or upheld by law as it was for Africans in this country,” Weber said. “We were visible. If there was a White person who remained in slavery they’ve must have wanted to stay because they could have run away. I appreciate Andrew Young and his desire to be compassionate to the world but oftentimes our compassion has not served us well.”

AB 3121 charges the task force with studying the institution of slavery and its lingering effects on African Americans who are descendants of persons enslaved in the United States.

In addition, the task force will suggest appropriate compensation, rehabilitation, and restitution for African Americans.

By statute, the task force will issue its first report to the California legislature by June 1 of this year, which will be available to the public.

The Numbers Are In: Bass Smokes Her Mayoral Rivals in Fundraising


The numbers are in, making it official that Congresswoman Karen Bass has far surpassed her rivals in the 2022 L.A. Mayoral race with the most money raised. Bass’ campaign took in upwards of $1.982 million since the veteran legislator entered the race in late September, according to campaign filings submitted to the Los Angeles Ethics Commission.

That’s over $700,000 more than her nearest competitor, L.A. City Councilmember Kevin de Leon, who raised $1.226 million.

L.A. City Councilmember Joe Buscaino—who entered the race nearly a year ago— came in third, reporting $1.182 million in campaign donations. 

City Attorney Mike Feuer—who has been in the race the longest having announced his mayoral bid in March of 2020— has raised $968,000.

Rounding out the field of candidates is Jessica Lall, president and chief executive of the downtown L.A.-based Central City Association with $404,000, Tech entrepreneur Ramit Varma ($182,356) and former Metro board member Mel Hall ($141,000)

Donors to Bass’ campaign include former Disney chair Jeffrey Katzenberg, Felicity Huffman, Tiffany Haddish, Donald Glover, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ridley-Thomas, while her list of endorsements boasts Senator Cory Booker, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Labor and Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, Los Angeles County Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell, State Senators Steven Bradford and Sydney Kamlager, and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“Karen Bass is the leader that this city is calling for and the support she is receiving from every part of this city is proof,” said Jamarah Hayner, campaign manager for Karen Bass for Mayor. “They are rallying behind the decisive leadership Karen Bass has always demonstrated. That’s why we’re seeing this momentum and it’s only going to grow.”

As the February 12 filing deadline for people seeking to run for mayor approaches, many are wondering if billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso will enter the race as rumored. The primary is scheduled for June 7 with the general election set for November 8.

Stacey Abrams’ Gubernatorial Run Provides a Jolt for the 2022 Midterms

Stacy M. Brown/NNPA Newswire 

In an announcement that has provided a jolt to the 2022 midterm elections, Stacey Abrams said she’s running for governor of the Peach State.

The race, which could mean a second dual between Abrams and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, promises to catapult Democrats into the position of favorites.

A Democrat and noted voting rights advocate, Abrams lost to Kemp by just over one percentage point in their controversial 2018 battle.

Her activism helped Democrats claim the majority in the U.S. Senate when Georgia Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeated Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in the January 2021 runoff election.

“I’m running because opportunity in our state shouldn’t be determined by zip code, background, or access to power,” Abrams declared.

“That’s the job of the governor – to fight for one Georgia, our Georgia,” Abrams exclaimed. “And now, it is time to get the job done.”

Abrams’s work since her 2018 loss to Kemp has received praise across the political spectrum. In 2019, she launched Fair Count and Fair Fight Action to encourage voter participation in elections and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.

The PAC brings awareness to the public on election reform, advocates for election reform at all levels, and engages in other voter education programs and communications.

“Voter suppression, particularly of voters of color and young voters, is a scourge our country faces in states across the nation,” Abrams noted on her website.

She said Georgia’s 2018 elections “shone a bright light on the issue with elections that were rife with mismanagement, irregularities, unbelievably long lines and more, exposing both recent and also decades-long actions and inactions by the state to thwart the right to vote.”

“Fair Fight Action was founded to organize collective efforts to expose, mitigate, and reverse voter suppression. We engage in voter mobilization and education activities and advocate for progressive issues,” Abrams continued.

Fair Fight PAC has initiated programs to support voter protection programs at state parties around the country and is engaging in partnerships to support and elect pro-voting rights progressive leaders.

After serving for eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Democratic Leader, in 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, winning more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history.

She broke the glass ceiling as the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States and as the first Black woman and first Georgian to deliver a Response to the State of the Union.

“It’s a very humbling experience to know that if I win this election, I would have achieved something that Black women as far back as Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm has fought about, not necessarily the same job, but transforming how we think about leadership in America and physically claiming that mantle of leadership and holding it signals that anything is possible, and we can re-define what leadership looks like and who we can lift up,” Abrams said in a 2018 interview with the Black Press of America.

Kendrick Johnson Documentary Re-Ignites Calls for Justice

Tina Samepay

Kendrick Johnson’s mother and family recently joined actress Jennifer Lewis and Director Jason Pollock at the Los Angeles premiere of Finding Kendrick Johnson. The screening was held at the Leammle Theatre in North Hollywood during the documentary’s seven night L.A run. 

Lewis, who is co-producer and narrator of the film, held a small rally outside the theatre before the screening. The 64-year-old actress has called the documentary ‘some of the most important work she has done in Hollywood.’ 

She says she was moved to help tell Johnson’s story due to the fact his organs were removed, and his family received little answers into his cause of death. 

“Do you know how hard it is, to come this far in this country and then have to watch them just, kill our kids?” Lewis said outside the Leammle Theatre. 

“We are going to get justice for the Johnson family.”

In March, Valdosta Sheriff Ashley Paulk reopened Johnson’s case–a silver-lining for his family who have been fighting over 8 years to receive justice and answers.

Lewis’ powerful voice guides us through the nearly 4-year private investigation into the mysterious death of 17-year-old Johnson. Johnson was found rolled inside a mat in Valdosta High School’s gym Jan 2017, the day after he was reported missing by his parents. His death was ruled accidental by school and police officials. 

Kendrick’s parents hired their own forensic pathologist, whose findings contradicted the original autopsy report that Johnson died due to accidental positional asphyxiation. 

The independent autopsy report determined instead that Johnson died by blunt force trauma.

“I care about them killing our children so I will be in the streets. I will be doing whatever I can do for the Johnson family. Are we clear?” Lewis said during the rally. 

Jaqueline Johnson, Kendrick Johnson’s mother, says she stands on the grounds that her son was murdered, and no one can change her mind. 

“No matter how hard they try, you know your child. I raised him for the 17 good years that God gave him to me, so I am going to stand up for that child because I am his voice now,” Jaqueline Johnson shared.

Johnson’s mother is particularly focused on elements of the documentary that really grasp what she refers to as a cover-up in her son’s death. This includes unredacted police files and video frames, which were cut out of school surveillance videos in the gym where Johnson was found. 

These videos and frame notes show Johnson walking almost side-by-side with a Valdosta High School student, who initially claimed to be in class or away from campus that day on a sports trip. 

The Johnson’s have continued to name this student as a top suspect in their son’s death, because he was involved in a fight with Johnson prior to him being found inside the school’s gym. 

These frames and files were kept hidden from homicide detective Mitch Credle, who investigated Johnson’s case for the U.S. Attorney’s office. The documentary shows Credle at a loss for words when presented with the information. 

“You’re one of the lead investigators on the case. so that lets you know right there, that if they want to cover something up, they can hide it from their own people,” Mrs. Johnson said.

Pollock says although they have received considerable media coverage, there are still Georgia outlets that continue to suppress evidence, due to their refusal to cover new details in Johnson’s case.

“Our film shows Johnson’s case was completely misreported. This is evidence that anyone could have found. Not only did they not look into it, now that the information is out–they are ignoring it,” Pollock shared.

The documentary is distributed by Gravitas Ventures and names Girls Trip Malcolm D. Lee along with Hill Harper, Elizabeth Hurwitz and Dia Sokol among producers. Finding Kendrick Johnson is also available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

“Run Karen Run”: The Campaign to Make Congresswoman Karen Bass L.A.’s Next Mayor

As the California recall race reaches fever pitch in the countdown to September 14, there is yet another political campaign that is gathering steam as what began as a behind-the-scenes move to enlist Congresswoman Karen Bass in the 2022 mayoral race has gained momentum both in L.A. political circles and the media.

Leading the charge are several women’s democratic clubs that have launched online campaigns to draft the Congresswoman into the race, including the California Black Women’s Democratic Club which posted: “We believe the residents of Los Angeles would like to have a progressive option in the field of candidates. We also know that Bass is a solution-focused candidate who has a track record of solving complex problems. Like many of us, she got her start in community organizing, problem-solving as the founder of the Community Coalition.”

They were the same black women who rallied around Bass when she was eyed as a possible replacement for the senate seat vacated by Kamala Harris in a “keep the seat” campaign that included black leaders and women’s groups across the state and nation, but ultimately ended when— in a move characterized as a snub against black women—Governor Gavin Newsom instead chose California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Yet another campaign dubbed “Run Karen Run” by veteran political strategist Kerman Maddox of Dakota Communications and others is asking business and community members to sign letters encouraging the Congresswoman to return home and run while also gaging support on behalf of the 67-year old legislator who was said to be seriously considering a mayoral bid.

“The arc of her journey has been really impressive and I’m excited about the groundswell of support she is receiving, which is unusual for someone who is just rumored to be a candidate,” Maddox said.

“The possible entrance of Bass, who has been one of the few politicians I can say didn’t do a Jekyll and Hyde after being sworn into office, has been the most welcomed news since President Biden announced he’s sending Mayor Eric Garcetti to India”, Democratic political strategist Jasmyne Cannick wrote in a recent op-ed for the California Black Media. “Who we elected is who we got with Bass — a compassionate, thoughtful and bold leader on important issues”.

City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas is also among the many urging Congresswoman Karen Bass to run having made the decision that he would not seek the post.

“I take the position that if Karen Bass were to launch a campaign, she would be formidable, because of her experience at the federal level; because of her experience at the state level; because of her experience as a health care professional [former nurse]; and because of gender. Those factors are really going to be important,” Ridley-Thomas said of the field of likely candidates include City Attorney Mike Feuer, Councilmember Joe Buscaino and Kevin de Leon, City Council President Nury Martinez and billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso.

“She has not yet made that determination, but she would be a force with which to reckon and the current field knows and appreciates that very point.”

A recent poll bears witness to just how formidable a force Bass would be. Conducted by FM3 Research from July 29-August 5, the survey of 803 people put Bass in the lead with 22% of the respondents indicating that they would vote for her. 

The poll also indicated that Bass had the advantage of being the best known among the candidates and led with Black Angelenos and people on the Westside and South Los Angeles.

Fact is, Bass’ name had surfaced relative to the mayoral race even before Ridley-Thomas bowed out the race. Back in April, a spokesman remarked that though people had asked her to consider running, “she was not considering running for mayor at this time”.

Bass, who had been mum on the issue, was recently quoted in an interview with KPCC/LAist, that she was “overwhelmed and humbled by people pushing me to do this, and I will say that I am seriously considering it.” 

She is expected to announce her intentions later this month and if the answer is affirmative, will have nine months to fundraise and put together an effective campaign.

No one questions the qualifications of the L.A. native whose national profile rose with her chairmanship of the Congressional Black Caucus, her consideration as a vice presidential candidate by Joe Biden and her current leadership in the legislative reckoning over race and police violence. 

Observed Maddox, “Karen Bass is a uniquely talented elected official who has the ability to work with and connect with supporters and critics to get things done because everybody respects her and people really like her and in electoral politics likeability is priceless.

“As she was being vetted to be on the ticket as Joe Biden’s Vice Presidential running mate,” Maddox continued, “people talked about her integrity, her legislative accomplishments, her leadership skills and her career trajectory but the thing I heard more than anything throughout that process was her ability to bring people together because people trusted her and genuinely liked her.”

The six-term lawmaker, who founded the social justice non-profit, the Community Coalition—has since 2011—represented California’s 37th Congressional district, which stretches from Inglewood to Century City and includes Leimert Park, Culver City, Mid-City, West Adams, Mar Vista, Westwood, Ladera Heights and University Park.

If elected, Bass would make history as the first woman to serve as L.A. mayor. It wouldn’t be the first time Bass has made history. In 2008, she was elected to serve as the 67th Speaker of the California State Assembly, becoming the first African American woman in United States history to serve as a Speaker of a state legislative body.

Election watchers will be looking to see if the early buzz and name identification pay off at the polls. To avoid a November runoff, Bass would have to get more than 50% of the vote. The primary election is set for June 7, 2021.

Commentary: $215 M Cal Recall Election is Baseless, Trump-Backed Power Grab

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Just as it seemed we as a country were coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves faced with another challenge as the Delta variant of the virus spreads more rapidly throughout our communities. On top of the pandemic, we are also heading into another fire season while many of our neighbors remain unhoused. We know that low-income Californians, people of color and women who take care of their families while also providing essential care for others are feeling a disproportionate share of these burdens.

It is during this time that Republicans have chosen to once again return to the Donald Trump playbook of political games by attempting to recall Governor Gavin Newsom and overturn his election without any merit or standing.

This recall effort -_ in addition to being completely baseless and a blatantly political power grab — is completely inappropriate during this period where we need to allow our elected leaders to handle very significant challenges. This recall election of the governorship alone will cost Californians $215 million in taxpayer money, money that could have been spent battling wildfires, developing housing, or combatting a pandemic that continues to threaten our health and public safety.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I know how much Californians — and African American Californians in particular — have to lose from this Republican ploy. We know that recall supporters from the Trump camp understand they cannot win in a normal election, they are yet again using underhanded tactics to undermine our democratic elections. As we fight against voter suppression in Congress and in states like Georgia, we must realize that the recall election is the California version of that same Republican agenda.

Governor Newsom won his position in 2018 and has since set an example to the nation for what strong leadership can do in the face of crisis. Since the very beginning of this pandemic, we remember California was and continues to be looked upon as a gold standard for testing, vaccination, and virus protocols.

Governor Newsom has proven his ability to lead California through the pandemic, and his resume ensures he is more than up to the task of controlling the Delta Variant.

Now, the Trump-backed recall is setting its sights on dismantling all the work we as a state have done to keep this virus under control, and for no more than a political ploy to steal a governorship from the voters who put Governor Newsom in office. The good news is that we have faced these challenges before, we know the good work we are capable of doing.

Although it will take time and a continued effort from our leaders to get through these crises, we will return to a sense of normalcy once again with strong leadership and good decision making as Governor Newsom and his team have already shown capable of executing. Ignoring these problems and instead being forced to deal with a completely unsuitable recall for Californians by Trump-backed groups is a recipe for disaster.

The ploy to recall the governor is one of several democratically elected positions that Trump-backed groups have targeted to recall. From progressive district attorneys to city council members and from California delegates to local school board members, these recall groups insist upon wasting taxpayer dollars, costing Californians hundreds of millions of dollars, just to win political games.

These recalls are a waste of our money and are completely detrimental to overcoming the challenges we have at hand. Simply put, the recall effort of Governor Newsom and every Trump-backed recall effort will hurt Californians–not just our recovery from Covid but reproductive freedom, education funding, civil rights and other longtime conservative targets.

We have come a long way since the beginning of the pandemic, the early helplessness we all felt is finally transitioning to hopefulness. We cannot afford to forfeit all that we have worked for over petty political stunts. It is time to fight these recall efforts and ensure our leaders can focus on the issues that matter for the health, safety, and welfare of every Californian.

Women and people of color stand firmly behind Governor Newsom. We know that the health of our families, our neighborhoods and our rights depend on defeating the recall. We invite all readers to join us on September 14 — or as soon as you get your mail-in ballot — in voting NO on the recall.

Rep. Barbara Lee represents California’s 13th Congressional District including portions of Alameda and San Francisco counties in the United States House of Representatives.


© Copyright 2021 - LA Focus Newspaper