This is Essential Politics, our daily look at California political and government news. Here's what we're watching right now:
- Gov. Jerry Brown told the Times Wednesday that a decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Accord on climate change would be "tragic."
- Legislators at the state Capitol will winnow down the hundreds of bills pending by Friday afternoon, quietly killing some of them which have been sitting in what's called the "suspense file."
- African Americans in the California Democratic Party want an apology made to Rep. Maxine Water (D-Los Angeles) after her microphone was cut off at last weekend's convention.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told California Democrats on Saturday that they must be the resistance to President Trump and offer an alternative vision for the rest of the world.
“We are all Californians. Wear it with pride. This is our moment,” the gubernatorial candidate said to thousands of delegates and activists gathered at the state party’s annual convention in Sacramento. “California Democrats: Let’s show the world that Donald Trump is the last vestige of a darker, obsolete past and offer a bold, new vision for a progressive and prosperous future.”
Newsom laid out an agenda that he said he would adopt if elected governor next year. He said ending childhood poverty in the state would be his “north star.” He also called for the expansion of early-childhood education, creating full-service community schools, making community college free for all of the state’s students, creating 500,000 apprenticeships by 2027, implementing universal healthcare and reforming the state’s justice system, including repealing the death penalty.
He said Trump’s policies were at odds with California on issues such as immigration, the environment, healthcare and the treatment of the LGBTQ community.
“It’s time to reject timidity, set ambitious sights and take real chances,” he said, pointing to his fight with President George W. Bush’s administration when he issued same-sex marriage licenses when he was mayor of San Francisco.
The move was controversial even among some Democrats at the time, but it is among the reasons Newsom is popular with party activists today.
“I believed then, as I do now, that it’s never the wrong time to do the right thing, and it’s always better to change the polls than to chase them,” Newsom said.