Issue Position: California Values

Issue Position

Date: Jan. 1, 2018

California's values aren't just a point of pride - they are the very fabric of the state's history, identity, and future. At a time when actions by the Trump Administration are further disenfranchising the poor, women, and people of color, California must step up and defend its residents -- advancing policies grounded in both compassion and innovation.

California is the fifth largest economy in the world, and continues to show the world that an economy can thrive when it protects workers' rights, environmental protections, civil rights, and vulnerable communities. Gavin understands that California remains an engine of economic growth when we stick up for our values.

Gavin has boldly led the charge for major social change campaigns his whole life. He has fought for what's right and won results that are making a real difference in people's lives. He believes that the state government ought to reflect the values of its people, not the other way around. More than ever, America needs California's example, to prove that old fears and prejudices need not be the new normal, and to match resistance with results.

As Governor, Gavin will:
Defend California's Immigrant Communities

California is home to more immigrants than any other state, and half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent. Immigrants are an integral part of California's economy, culture, and workforce. Gavin believes we have an economic and moral imperative to protect our state's immigrants and help them thrive, particularly our students, who are the future of our state's workforce and economic growth. That's why he has defended California's status as a Sanctuary State, called for the state's public colleges and universities to be sanctuary campuses, and added his voice calling on Congress to pass a clean DREAM Act. Communities across California are coming together to alert immigrants of ICE activity and ensure that their neighbors' civil rights are protected. As Governor, Gavin will support these efforts and ensure the government is doing its part with funding for immigrant legal defense. Our commitment must also include building protections for immigrants in the workplace. By one estimate, undocumented immigrants make up 10% of the state's workforce, and too often fall victim to wage theft, safety violations, and other predatory abuses. Gavin has consistently supported legislative efforts to stem underground economy abuses such as preventing wage theft, and protecting immigrant workers' rights, personal privacy and safety. As Governor, he will ensure that the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Department of Justice, and other relevant agencies are fully resourced and trained to prioritize our immigrant communities in particular.
Fight for Women's Empowerment

The Trump Administration is working overtime to erode decades of progress, from reversing the birth control mandate and removing Obama-era protections for equal pay, to fostering the worst representation of women in positions of leadership in years. The wage gap is persistent, the wealth gap is staggering, and the disparities are even worse for women of color. Gavin is committed to closing that gap. We'll do it by increasing workplace protections for women that address discrimination and wage transparency; expanding access to STEM and other fields, building a pipeline for women to high-paying jobs while simultaneously lifting up women in low-wage and service industry jobs; and by empowering women in California by implementing policies that support working families: universal preschool, high-quality, affordable child care, and expanded family and sick leave because a parent should never be forced to choose between a job and taking care of a newborn. Gavin will create a healthcare system that supports women's reproductive rights - where being a woman is not considered a pre-existing condition - and will continue to be a fierce advocate for Planned Parenthood funding and a woman's legal right to make her own healthcare decisions.
Support for the #MeToo Movement and Women's Workplace Rights

Gavin believes that the #MeToo movement is an important cultural moment, and he applauds the courage of women who have come forward to share their stories. The behavior they have reported and described is beyond disgusting and repugnant -- sexual harassment and violence is criminal and inexcusable. We must do more to ensure that women are treated equally across industries, and we need everyone, not just women, to speak out and continue to challenge the culture that has allowed, enabled and encouraged this behavior. Everyday, Gavin seeks to be a model - not just for his two daughters - but also for his two sons. There is a crisis of toxic masculinity among our men and boys in this country, and we must tackle it head on. As Governor, he will institute accountability measures across state government, and support strengthening workplace protections such as creating hotlines for victims, transparent, independent, swift investigations, and real consequences for abusers and harassers. And as he did as Mayor, he'll lead by example by appointing an administration that achieves gender parity, with women in positions of real influence, the number one predictor of a safe working environment for women.
Support California's LGBT Community

The Supreme Court's historic decision to enshrine marriage equality as the law of the land was a milestone for the LGBT community but new threats are emerging from Washington D.C.: a President intent on rolling back protections, a Vice President who believes in conversion therapy, and a Congress using "bathroom bills" as a wedge issue to divide us. As Governor, Gavin will continue to be a national voice for the LGBT community, urging Congress to protect Ryan White Care Act, Planned Parenthood and Medicare funding, and to once and for all pass the Equality Act.

Recent reports have indicated a rising level of hate crimes targeted towards the LGBT community and an alarming rate of LGBT youth suicides. We must establish a zero-tolerance policy against hate in our schools, strengthen hate crime protections for victims, and punish perpetrators of these heinous crimes. As part of our commitment to tackling the housing and homelessness crisis, we will hone in on the unique needs of LGBT youth experiencing homelessness and the challenges facing LGBT seniors in securing affordable housing. Gavin will expand training and employment services for all Californians, but particularly for the transgender community, which too often faces workplace discrimination.

As Governor, Gavin will launch a statewide Getting to Zero initiative, fighting to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) epidemics. This plan, which will align new and existing resources to prevent, treat, and end the stigma associated with these conditions, would be the first state in the nation to address both HIV and HCV simultaneously.
Reform our Broken Criminal Justice System

Over-incarceration has failed us in America. The United States has 5 percent of the global population yet 25 percent of the world's prisoners. In 2013, there were more African Americans incarcerated, on probation, or on parole in the U.S. than were enslaved in 1850. Everyone agrees that punishment for violent offenders should be severe. One of the core functions of government is to ensure safety on our streets - but when individuals who are caught up in the criminal justice system, who pose no threat to public safety, get caught up in the revolving door, that leaves society with enormous costs. As Governor, Gavin will support prevention programs that help at-risk youth stay out of the criminal justice system, and rehabilitation and diversion programs to help non-violent criminals rebuild their lives and contribute to our society. Gavin understands that supporting criminal justice reform not only benefits our economy and provides cost savings to our state - it keeps our communities safe.

There are gross racial and socioeconomic inequities in our criminal justice system, which is why Gavin is proud to be the only statewide official to endorse all five major criminal justice ballot initiatives including sentencing reform, three strikes reform and repeal of the death penalty. He led the coalition to decriminalize cannabis, taking a bold step forward towards ending the failed war on drugs. As Governor, Gavin will continue to step up and step in to this debate. Most people in American jails have not yet been to trial, and the vast majority remain locked up merely because they can't afford cash bail. That's why Gavin has called for an end to the cash bail system because freedom in California should not be conditional on a person's ATM balance. And he's committed to bringing about an end to for-profit prisons, which contribute to over-incarceration.
Advocate for Gun Safety in California and Nationally

Over the past 25 years, California has passed some of the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, including Gavin's "Safety for All" initiative, which keeps guns and ammunition out of the hands of violent, dangerous, hateful people. Despite our progress, on average 32,000 Americans are killed every year as a result of senseless gun violence. This is a public health crisis and an epidemic that has stolen far too many lives. As Governor, Gavin will ensure that California remains a national model of gun safety reform and will keep the pressure on Congress to once and for all, demonstrate some courage, and pass common-sense gun safety legislation.
Meet the Needs of California Veterans and Military Families

California is home to more veterans than any other state -- nearly two million strong. These heroes have provided a great service to our nation, and it's our responsibility to meet their needs when they come home. That begins with the fundamentals -- housing, education, medical care, and a good paying job -- for both veterans and their families. As Governor, Gavin will focus attention on ending veteran homelessness, ensure access to adequate housing, develop innovative transition programs to promote veteran hiring and create incentives for veteran-owned businesses, and crack down on predatory for-profit colleges who exploit the GI Bill benefits earned by veterans and their families. We must prioritize research, prevention, and treatment efforts related to mental health issues like post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, depression and suicide, physical injuries, and invest in CalVet Homes to ensure veterans are receiving the treatment and support they need. Gavin will protect California DACA recipients who join the active-duty military and will never use the National Guard as a tool for the Trump Administration's draconian immigration policies. He will protect transgender National Guard members by supporting state litigation against the Trump Administration's transgender military ban, and will work to prevent sexual assault in the National Guard by advocating for the federal Military Justice Improvement Act.
Ensure the Right to Healthcare for All

The Affordable Care Act represented a critical step forward in the long struggle to win affordable, quality healthcare for all, but much work remains to be done. Even with the expansion of Medi-Cal and the availability of significant subsidies to help low and middle income families purchase coverage through the state exchange, millions of working Californians will remain uninsured as the price of coverage remains prohibitive, especially for those living in high cost areas. Now the Trump Administration is threatening these gains. President Trump and congressional Republicans successfully repealed the individual mandate, a move that will yield major premium hikes and strip millions of Americans of their insurance. As Governor, Gavin will fight to protect the ACA -- but he understands that we can't wait for the federal government to act.

For Gavin, the phrase "health care is a human right" is more than a political cliché. It's a sacred promise we must keep, which is why he'll ensure California leads the way on a plan to guarantee quality healthcare for everyone financed through a single-payer model like Medicare. We can create a more efficient, effective, and comprehensive healthcare system that works for patients and providers alike, available regardless of one's ability to pay, pre-existing medical conditions, or immigration status, and including coverage not only for physical, but also mental and behavioral health issues. The status quo isn't working. A UCLA study determined that Californians are already spending $367.5 billion annually on healthcare - and that number continues to escalate. We must end the costly conveyor belt of paperwork and co-pays and allow providers to focus on patient care. As Mayor, Gavin created Healthy SF, which even today remains the only citywide and countywide universal health program in the nation. The program has paid for itself many times over in the form of preventative care and healthier outcomes. It's time to do the same for the state.
Expand Access to Mental Health Treatment

In any given year, one in four families in California deal with a mental health condition. Across the state, 134,000 people are living on the streets, a third of them suffering with progressed stages of mental illness. One-third of the people living behind bars also deal with a brain illness, making our jails de facto asylums. Students struggle in silence with depression and anxiety. As Governor, Gavin will pursue an aggressive agenda to lift California's approach to mental healthcare into a national model. His administration will work with top public policy and research groups to review our state's delivery system and draw on best practices across the globe to create a more effective leadership structure. He will prioritize prevention and early intervention, and pursue a system of care in which the goal is to identify and intervene in brain illness at Stage 1, just as we do for cancer or heart disease. Gavin will work to ensure every public and private college in the state adopts comprehensive strategies for raising awareness of symptoms of mental illness, identifying students at risk, and providing support services - and will call on every college to implement evidence-based suicide prevention policies. He will ensure our law enforcement officers and courts have the necessary training to provide treatment for mental illness, and will allocate important resources to combat the opioid epidemic. In addition to expanding access to care, Gavin will amplify efforts to eliminate the stigma that keeps too many people from reaching out for the care they need.
Protect California Consumers from Predatory Financial Practices

The Trump Administration is hard at work gutting the regulatory power and chipping away at the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Gavin believes there is a significant opportunity for California to lead the way and assume a robust role in safeguarding consumer financial rights, especially in the face of an administration that is choosing corporate interests over the well-being of families. Predatory lenders and predatory for-profit colleges are thriving at the expense of hardworking men, women, and students who are trying to create a better future for their families. While millions of Californians are dealing with crippling debt, predatory lending practices are exacerbating the plight of low and middle-income California households. Gavin will ensure accountability for financial institutions that charge exorbitant interest rates and engage in aggressive debt collection practices. As Governor, he will launch our own state bank to break Wall Street's chokehold on state finance and provide fair loans through low-interest public financing. Moreover, he will work to ensure that California's government retains oversight of lending in order to combat the same practices that caused the financial crisis.
Launch the California Emergency Council to Protect Californians from Natural and Man-Made Disasters

California boasts exquisite natural resources but is prone to damaging and deadly wildfires, floods, and earthquakes. We sit at the forefront of innovation as the fifth largest economy in the world but we're susceptible to cyber-attacks and acts of terrorism. As Governor, Gavin will reinstitute the California Emergency Council, bringing all stakeholders together around one table because disaster planning and recovery requires an integrated, coordinated response. He will ensure his administration is well positioned to react quickly and decisively in the face of natural and man-made disasters - with careful preparation, sufficient funding, and strong inter-governmental partnerships, Gavin will work to protect and defend all Californians from these threats.
Enfranchise California's Voters

Thanks to the hard work of elected leaders and voting rights advocates, California has been insulated from many of the egregious voter suppression practices at play in other states. We have advanced the major reforms that national voter registration advocates call for: online voter registration, automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and early voting. As Governor, he will form a close partnership with the Secretary of State to take the next steps in implementation, monitoring and strengthening these reforms. Meanwhile, California continues to face voter participation disparities particularly amongst communities of color and younger voters. Gavin will continue to knock down language, disability, and other barriers to voting and expand access to voter registration opportunities.
Support Communities of Color

Deep racial divides and injustices still exist in this country, and they are being made worse by the policies coming out of this White House. Gavin believes it is a moral imperative for California to lead in addressing these issues in a meaningful way.

If we are serious about closing achievement gaps and income gaps, we must get serious about closing the opportunity gap and that begins with doubling down on the readiness gap by emphasizing prenatal care and the first three years of a child's life. Gavin will work to address the inequities in our public education system, connect our early childhood, K-12 and higher education systems and develop incentives to attract highly qualified educators. He will build economic strength in all California communities by championing the small businesses that power them, including establishing innovative micro-lending programs to assist the growth of minority-owned firms in minority communities.

Communities of color often suffer a disproportionate burden from pollution. More than one million Californians live in homes with contaminated drinking water, and they tend to be poor, and predominantly Latino or African American. Gavin will fight for environmental justice and will always listen to impacted communities when making decisions.

Gavin is the only statewide official to have supported all five major criminal justice reform proposals that have been voted upon by California voters over the last decade. Now he's calling for bail reform and is committed to bringing about an end to for-profit prisons. Gavin will also form a close partnership with the California Secretary of State to monitor and strengthen the voting reforms we've already passed and continue to knock down language, disability, and other barriers to voting and expand access to voter registration opportunities.
Protect Animals and Wildlife

The Newsom family joins two-thirds of California's households with beloved animal companions that remind Gavin daily of the vast power we hold in our relationship with animals. Gavin is committed to California's progressive legislation that prevents the exploitation and abuse of animals.

As Governor, Gavin will ensure that all California communities have the resources they need to meet the state's goal that no healthy or treatable dog or cat is euthanized in an animal shelter. He knows that dog breed-specific laws are ineffective at enhancing public safety and jeopardize the welfare of dogs identified as belonging to specific breeds.

Gavin is troubled that California is the only state allowing mile-long drift gillnets that entangle iconic ocean marine life. He opposes trophy hunting of bears, bobcats, and endangered species, the recreational and largely unregulated killing of coyotes and foxes, and the use of super-toxic rodenticides that kill non-target wildlife. Gavin knows our state's fish, wildlife, and habitats are facing critical threats from climate change, expanded human development, and a lack of stable state funding. He is committed to addressing these threats head-on and finding solutions that work for the people and wild animals who call California home.

Concern for the welfare of animals is in Gavin's DNA. His father Bill Newsom served as president of the Mountain Lion Foundation, which spearheaded the campaign that ended sport hunting of mountain lions. Gavin supported the phase-out of toxic lead hunting ammunition, the ban on using dogs to harass bears and bobcats, the end of cruel bullhooks used with elephants in entertainment, the prohibition of trade in shark fins, elephant tusks, and rhinoceros horns, and ending the extreme confinement of egg-laying hens, veal calves and breeding pigs.