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.
California Democrats said farewell to chairman John Burton on Saturday, and John Burton said farewell to Democrats, in his usual fashion.
Most of it cannot be printed.
Burton, a fixture in state Democratic politics for half a century even before he took the party’s top position eight years ago, offered up an expletive-speckled thank you to party members that was characteristic of his tenure. After a crowd of Democrats, one after another, lauded him in speeches and a video shown to delegates in Sacramento’s convention center, Burton came to the microphone.
California's junior U.S. senator told California Democrats on Saturday that they should focus on defeating Republicans in the state's congressional delegation who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
"Let's go to San Diego and Orange County and the Central Valley," said Sen. Kamala Harris of the districts represented by some of those Republicans. "If you vote for people to lose their healthcare, then you need to lose your job."
Harris' speech to the California Democratic Party convention was a broadside critique of most of the agenda promoted by Republican leaders in Congress and President Trump. She called the president's Cabinet a "billionaire boys' club" and said he had put a "target on California's back" on issues ranging from immigration to the environment.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Saturday that Republicans in Washington are blocking efforts to investigate allegations of Russian influence in the election of President Trump.
"Trump and the Republicans in Congress must stop stonewalling our quest for the facts," Pelosi told delegates to the California Democratic Party convention in Sacramento.
On Wednesday, a special counsel was appointed to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Russian agents and associates of President Trump. The president later called the effort a "witch hunt" and said there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian officials.
The California Democratic Party convention started with a bang Friday night, with protesters disrupting speeches at the official kickoff and state party Chairman John Burton unleashing a series of F-bombs aimed at the demonstrators.
The chanting began when Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Burton stepped up to the podium in a cavernous hall at the state capital's convention center, with protesters shouting demands that the party reject corporate donations and work to implement a single-payer healthcare system.
Burton, known for his salty language, lashed out quickly. He told protesters that the Democratic Party had been fighting for single-payer healthcare “since before you were born.”
Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer was one of several declared and potential candidates for governor seen roaming the halls of the Sacramento Convention Center on Friday, the opening day of the California Democrats' three-day convention.
But, like many others, he remained coy about his plans, saying, "We are considering our options."
He rushed off after answering a couple questions from reporters, but stopped when he was approached by political activist Basil Kimbrew, who asked for Steyer's help in tackling veteran homelessness.
The California Democratic Party on Friday came closer to adopting a new policy that would require party leaders to fully disclose any compensation they receive to advocate for a statewide ballot initiative or candidate for state office.
The push for transparency comes after Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and a candidate for state party chair, faced criticism after his political consulting firm was paid by opponents of Proposition 61, which voters rejected on Nov. 8.
The contract has become a pivotal issue in the party's contentious race for party chair between Bauman and Kimberly Ellis, a Democratic organizer who has become the favored candidate among many Bernie Sanders supporters.