MONTEREY – Governor Gavin Newsom hit the stage at the 2021 California Economic Summit on Tuesday at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey putting to rest speculation on why he has not made a public appearance in about two weeks.
“It’s been a hell of a couple of years for all of us … particularly parents,” said Newsom.
Californians have not only experienced going from crisis to crisis with Newsom, such as the recall election, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and many wildfires, but he pointed to what many parents have faced, balancing the responsibilities at work and at home.
He said he was ready to go to Scotland for the climate summit that was to start Nov. 1 and end Nov. 12, but over dinner, his kids had what he called “a sort of intervention,” chiding him for missing Halloween along with his wife.
“I woke up that next morning with something that’s probably familiar to a lot of parents, that knot in your stomach, and I had no damn choice, I had to cancel that trip,” said Newsom.
He said he got a pirate costume, went trick-or-treating with his children, attended a soccer tournament, and took them to work with him where they took selfies with the bear in the Capitol rotunda.
Since then, he said he has been diving deep into the California port issues, along with his biggest anxiety, the coming COVID-19 winter surge, vaccines for 5-11 year olds and having a budget in the next few weeks. Newsom described having probably one of his most productive weeks.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been speculation on social media about his whereabouts, with some saying he may have had a bad reaction to his COVID-19 booster shot.
“We would all do well taking some time away from social media,” said Newsom.
After putting that topic to rest, the Governor touted the state’s many economic accomplishments of late.
“California has no peers … continues to have no peers. We are world-beating in terms of our economic growth. In the last five years, no other western democracy has outperformed the state of California,” said Newsom. “The United States has not … Germany, Japan, the UK … no other western democracy has outperformed this state in your economic output of 21% GDP over the last five years.”
Newsom governor said the state is first in innovation, business startups and the fastest-growing companies, and dominating in terms of economic recovery.
“No state in America has created more jobs since January than the state of California … 812,000 jobs,” said Newsom, “We’re the tent pole of the American economic recovery … 44% of America’s jobs in August came out in the state of California.”
Newsom pointed to record-breaking venture capital that is double the next three states combined. He said the state is tops in household income, first in factory jobs, and with a 13% GDP growth, is better than the next 10 manufacturing states in the past five years.
“No state is creating more factory jobs than the state of California,” said Newsom.
He said the state is first in two-way trade, direct foreign investment, and dominant in exports and imports, with 43% of the world’s imports coming through the state and 31% of the exports.
Annualized household income growth is at 8.9% per capita.
But he acknowledged that along with these accomplishments there are other areas where the state struggles including affordability, which he says is the number one issue that connects more problems than any other issue. Newsom said the state got 44,000 people into housing last year, and though it does not feel like much, it is unprecedented in California. He signed 30 housing bills this year and invested $22 billion in affordable housing and homeless solutions.
“This has been a hard year-and-a-half for all of you, but winter is coming,” Newsom told the audience at the 10th California Economic Summit. “COVID is not taking the winter off.”
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