Governor Gavin Newsom announced more state support and initiatives in both the Central Valley and the Inland Empire during the California Economic Summit in Fresno on Friday.
Both the Central Valley and the Inland Empire will be receiving new governmental field offices to serve those areas, with Fresno being announced as the location in Central Valley.
Schools in Fresno also received additional support with $13.1 million going to AmeriCorps programs in the Central Valley, $10 million to the Fresno school system, and the start of of the Integrated K-16 Collaborative, which will help guide students in Fresno from high school to college to better careers after graduation.
The announcement also went into his speeches theme of growth in places across the state that were not getting enough attention.
“By many measures, California’s economy is booming,” said Governor Newsom on Friday. “We are the fifth largest economy in the world. We are leaders in everything from manufacturing to technology to trade. We see more businesses start here than anywhere else in America – including many that go on to become industry leaders thanks to our innovative spirit, world-class colleges and universities, state-of-the-art labs, and a truly diverse workforce.”
“But this growth is not shared across the entire state – it’s heavily concentrated along our coast. Growth must mean inclusion and inclusion means ensuring that the Central Valley and Inland Empire get the resources and attention from state leaders necessary to strengthen economic opportunity. That’s why I’m here today.”
Governor Newsom also acknowledged how the state was divided and what to do about it.
“I care deeply about this damn Valley because I care about this state,” stated Governor Newsom. “I’m so sick and tired of this notion that somehow we’re living in two different worlds in the state, coastal economy and inland economy. It is the spirit of regions rising together and it’s a template for this state. It really is. And so my commitment to you is to make it real.”
Critics have said that solely focusing on the Central Valley and the Inland Empire is a ploy for votes in swing areas of the state. The Inland Empire narrowly voted for Republican John Cox over Newsom in the 2018 Governor race 53% to 47%. And the Central Valley was split, with urban areas in the Valley leaning Democrat and rural areas leaning Republican during recent elections. By visiting and giving tens of millions of dollars, as well as new jobs, into the respective parts of the state, many experts think that Newsom is influencing the areas for Democrats in the 2020 and 2022 elections.
The new programs will take effect soon, with news state offices and funding expected to go to the areas beginning next year.