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  • State government
  • California Democrats
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and his family attend an Inauguration Family Event at the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento on Jan. 6.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and his family attend an Inauguration Family Event at the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento on Jan. 6. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Building on the theme of California exceptionalism that defined his campaign, Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will depict the state as a guardian of progressive values and a counterweight to President Trump in his inaugural address Monday, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks.

“What we do today is even more consequential, because of what’s happening in our country,” read the excerpts obtained by The Times. “People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance. The country is watching us. The world is waiting on us. The future depends on us. And we will seize this moment.”

The speech casts California’s political stakes in a decidedly national scope, promising an agenda that will unify and be an example to the rest of the country. It contrasts the governing goals of Newsom, a Democrat, with that of Trump, the incoming governor’s perennial foil.

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Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom speaks at a concert to benefit wildfire victims at the Golden 1 Arena in Sacramento on Jan. 6.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom speaks at a concert to benefit wildfire victims at the Golden 1 Arena in Sacramento on Jan. 6. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

On the eve of the gubernatorial inauguration, California’s political class rubbed elbows in Sacramento for a benefit concert hosted by Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and headlined by the rapper Pitbull.

Newsom told the crowd gathered at the Golden 1 Center on Sunday evening that the fundraiser brought in nearly $5 million for the California Wildfire Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that supports the families of fallen firefighters and communities affected by wildfires. 

“You know, a lot of folks feel anxious about not just politics, but government,” Newsom said on stage before introducing the rapper and activist Common. “But those firefighters, they are the antidote to the fear and cynicism; they are the manifestation of why government matters and why you should care.”

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Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom holds his son, Dutch, as he and his family attend an inaugural event at the at the state Railroad Museum Sunday.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom holds his son, Dutch, as he and his family attend an inaugural event at the at the state Railroad Museum Sunday. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t officially take the oath of office until Monday, but the parties celebrating his inauguration were in full swing all day Sunday.

Newsom and his family were mobbed by well-wishers at the California State Railroad Museum at the Old Sacramento Waterfront in the afternoon, where his inaugural committee hosted a free party for families.

“He just has charisma. He’s able to really connect with people,” said Rosielyn Pulmano, an attorney from Elk Grove who came to see Newsom with her husband, two sons and her niece. “I think he cares about working Californians and a lot of their issues.”

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, seen here last April, will propose new state budget efforts on paid family leave and education subsidies.
Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, seen here last April, will propose new state budget efforts on paid family leave and education subsidies. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

California’s incoming governor, who must send his first state budget plan to the Legislature this week, has already signaled a significant new focus on programs to help families and children from infancy to college.

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom campaigned on a platform that included a number of child-focused efforts specifically aimed at helping lower-income families. The price tag for the initial efforts is expected to approach $2 billion — a cost paid out of an unrestricted tax revenue windfall that could be one of the largest in state history.

Newsom may also seek help for families through new subsidies paid by California employers. The governor-elect is expected to propose a dramatic expansion of paid parental leave — from six weeks to six months — according to an internal document provided by a source close to the Newsom transition team, first reported on Sunday by the New York Times.

  • State government
The Old Governor's Mansion State Historic Park in Sacramento. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will move his family into the mansion.
The Old Governor's Mansion State Historic Park in Sacramento. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom will move his family into the mansion. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom and his family will give up the Marin County life and move to the Victorian-style governor's mansion in Sacramento after he takes the oath of office Monday.

Newsom and his wife, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, had debated whether or when to relocate to the state capital since his election in November.

The couple have four young children and expressed reservations about moving in the middle of a school year.

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  • State government
Julie Su will be secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency for Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom.
Julie Su will be secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency for Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom on Friday named two advisors on issues related to the California economy, each recognized for their expertise on business and labor.

The incoming governor will appoint Julie Su as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and Lenny Mendonca as chief economic and business advisor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Su, 49, has served as state labor commissioner under Gov. Jerry Brown since 2011 and has led an office tasked with the enforcement of California’s labor laws. She won a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” in 2001 and previously worked as a civil rights attorney representing low-wage workers. In her new position, Su will be tasked with coordinating the work of several workforce departments in state government, including those that administer unemployment benefits and oversee the relationship between agriculture workers and employers.

  • California Democrats
California Supreme Court Justice Joshua Groban gives remarks after he is sworn into the court by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday.
California Supreme Court Justice Joshua Groban gives remarks after he is sworn into the court by Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday. (Taryn Luna)

California Supreme Court Justice Joshua Groban, a lawyer and longtime aide to Gov. Jerry Brown, was sworn into the state’s highest court Thursday in Sacramento.

“We live in a highly chaotic, ever-changing and ever-confusing world,” Groban said in prepared remarks at the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building. “But I’m happy to report that I’m joining an institution whose fundamental purpose, at core, is to provide stability and consistency amidst this chaotic place we live. I look forward to doing that with a sense of reflection, respect, fidelity to the law and compassion.”

Former state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia).
Former state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia). (Steve Yeater / Associated Press)

Elected officials accused of harassment or discrimination would be barred from using political contributions to cover their legal defense costs under legislation proposed by California’s campaign watchdog agency.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission has agreed to pursue a law change to clear up confusion after an attorney for one former state lawmaker argued political funds could be used in such legal defenses.

Commission Chairwoman Alice Germond said putting a prohibition into the law would “provide some much needed clarity.”

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California Supreme Court building
California Supreme Court building (Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

A new state law allowing the public disclosure of internal police shooting investigations has gone into effect after the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a bid by a police union to block it.

The law opens to the public for the first time internal investigations of officer shootings and other major uses of force, along with confirmed cases of sexual assault and lying while on duty.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Assn. challenged the law last month, asking state Supreme Court justices to decide that the law only apply to incidents that occur in 2019 or later. The court rejected that request Wednesday, allowing members of the public to seek all applicable records held by police departments. Union president Grant Ward said in a statement that his organization was disappointed with the decision and is now seeking other legal options.

CHP Officer J. Nelson stands outside the office of Gov. Jerry Brown as activists in 2015 support requiring the tracking of police stops.
CHP Officer J. Nelson stands outside the office of Gov. Jerry Brown as activists in 2015 support requiring the tracking of police stops. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Law enforcement agencies in California sustain few citizen complaints of racial or identity profiling, according to a report Wednesday by a state panel set up to help reduce bias in policing.

The state’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board recommended in its annual report that law enforcement agencies improve training and adopt clear guidelines for tracking and reporting data on who is stopped by officers.

The panel said that 453 law enforcement agencies in the state received 9,459 civilian complaints in 2017, including 865 complaints alleging racial or identity profiling.