Over the last two days, Lieutenant Governor and now Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom has been busy flexing his political muscles serving as Acting Governor and giving us a glimpse into how he’ll govern as the new California CEO.
Yesterday, in response to the Thousand Oaks shooting, Newsom ordered flags at all state buildings to be flown at half-staff and made the following statement: “Jennifer and I extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Helus, and to the friends and families of the many who lost their lives in yet another horrific act of gun violence. We join the Thousand Oaks community in its grief and, together with all Californians, recognize the bravery and heroism of our nation’s peace officers and first responders. This atrocious act and the many mass shootings that came before are beyond heartbreaking – they are societal failures. Simply saying ‘enough is enough’ isn’t enough. We must address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.”
At a press conference yesterday, Newsom was scheduled to outline his transition plans as incoming Governor, but instead focused on the mass shooting where 12 victims were killed. A strong proponent of gun control, Newsom criticized both politicians for not offering solutions just “hot air and rhetoric” and condemned gun advocates’ “gun culture” for normalizing mass shootings, stating that “This is America. It’s gotta change. This doesn’t happen anywhere else on planet Earth, and we can’t let folks forget that. We can’t lose sight of that…We can’t allow this to be normalized.” He didn’t shy away from blaming the NRA, “The response is not just prayers. The response cannot be excuses. The response sure as hell cannot be more guns…The National Rifle Association, I’ll say this, is bankrupt morally, and they need to be held to account for their rhetoric and for their actions.” He also promised to “raise the bar” on gun control when he takes office in January.
In addition to the shootings, massive fires escalated across California in both the northern and southern parts of the state. Yesterday, Newsom wrote a letter to the President and to the Federal Emergency Management Agency requesting a Presidential Emergency Declaration for Direct Federal Assistance to support the communities impacted by the fires. The Acting Governor stated that “These statewide weather conditions are predicted to remain in California for several days…As such, these fires will continue to grow and pose further threat to the health and safety of residents throughout California.” Earlier in the day, Newsom had issued an Emergency Proclamation for the Camp Fire in northern California and then today, he issued an additional Emergency Proclamation for the Hill and Woolsey Fires in the southern California counties of Los Angeles and Ventura.
Newsom announced today that he secured federal assistance in response to his request to support the communities impacted by the fires stating, “California is appreciative for the timely response, which will help emergency responders in their heroic efforts to protect Californians and their communities.” The federal assistance will include “air assets to mitigate the impacts of the fires, shelter supplies and water for evacuated residents. It also provides support for mass care, ambulatory transport and the evacuation of individuals with access and functional needs. This aid will help save lives and protect property and public health and safety.”
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