Newsom touts full education funding, closing prisons, new equity office in successful campaign against recall

Pastors help rally landslide against California recall

Pastor Lee A. Kissee of Bethany Baptist Church in West Los Angeles ended an hour-long conversation with Gov. Gavin Newsom Saturday with a simple conclusion: “We want to continue the course this administration is on.”

With dozens of ministers from across the Golden State, the group prioritized Souls to the Polls on Sunday, Sept. 12 as part of an unexpected landslide victory against the recall.

Newsom, travelling by bus to Southern California, told the group, “I can say something no governor of California has ever said: We’ve closed two state prisons and our prison population is at a 30-year low.” Newsom said Valley State Prison is being turned into a world-class rehabilitation center.

“I can also say for the first time that we are fully funding pre-K and after school,” added Newsom, touting a $124 billion education budget being directed by Supt. Tony Thurmond and the first Black woman chair of the State Board of Education, Dr. Linda Darling Hammond.

The governor also pointed to the first equity office in the Government Operations Agency, under Secretary Yolanda Richardson. Host Dr. Amos C. Brown said the low level of state contracts to Black businesses is a continuing problem. Newsom also appointed the first Black director of Caltrans, Toks Omishaikin, a critical position with new infrastructure spending on the horizon.