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California Youth Voters Rally to Build on Progressive Gains Via a NO Vote on the Recall
The F*#K No to the Recall Rally highlighted Newsom’s achievements, what’s at stake if a Republican were to become governor
Sacramento, CA – Young California organizers made an impassioned case for voters to stand with California Governor Gavin Newsom by voting NO on the recall during the F#*K No the Recall Rally. The rally was MC’d by Drag Queen and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate Lil Miss Hot Mess and included guest speaker Assemblyman Alex Lee. Actor and comedian Tara Cox also joined with satirical renditions of famous California songs all about the recall. The young leaders spoke to the urgency of voting NO on the recall for the sake of climate and environmental action, workers’ rights, housing protections, COVID-19 and health justice, criminal justice reform, voting rights, and more.
Lil Miss Hot Mess, drag queen, author, and LGBTQ+ activist informed attendees on how to vote and reviewed the candidates vying to replace Governor Gavin Newsom (17:00). “There are 45 candidates running to replace the governor. And there is truly no candidate among them who is qualified and committed to equity and justice. These folks are anti-vax, they are climate change deniers, they are bigoted multi-millionaire reality tv stars, they are ultra-conservative corporate Republicans,” she said in rejection of the candidates running against Newsom.
Guest Speaker Assemblymember Alex Lee from the 25th assembly district, who is the youngest and first openly bisexual member of the state legislature, added that voters stand to lose too much if a Republican were to replace Newsom (13:30). “It’s not just about who is governor right now, it's about all of us. Protecting the progress that we have fought for and for which we have done so much to make sure we have housing as a human right and healthcare that is a human right.” He added that “a Republican would not provide California families with the support they need because they don’t share the same values,” said Assemblymember Lee.
Andrew Escamilla, Fresno resident and organizer for the CA League of Conservation Voters (22:00) discussed what California has done for climate action, which includes investing in clean energy that doesn't have adverse effects on public health and investing in frontline communities. Escamilla cautioned, “We do not want a climate denier who can potentially roll back Governor Newsom’s actions [such as banning fracking]. We can’t take climate action for granted, so that means vote NO on the recall.”
Josiah Edwards and Sara Hardyman from the Sunrise Movement in Los Angeles and Orange County, respectively, spoke together to rally environmental voters (27:00). “Youth believe that we deserve a liveable and breathable future,” opened Edwards while Hardyman recalled nights of protesting for our government officials to take action on climate change. Hardyman used the rally to explain that Newsom’s removal could open the doors for the Senate to flip from Democrat to Republican, if Senator Feinstein were to retire, which would leave voters with climate deniers controlling the Senate. “We don't have that many chances,” stated Edwards and urged attendees to vote "No" on the recall.
Veronica Alvarado, a workers rights activist in the Inland Empire explained what’s on the line for workers (30:30). Vero reminded, “It took a pandemic to help California see how we’re supposed to be protecting everyone.” While Vero discussed the need for greater safety nets and protections for workers, she acknowledged that California had a better response than other states. “I'm not here to defend Newsom, but under Newsom, some folks were able to shelter in place -- we see what happened in some of the states where there was denial about the impact of COVID,” she remarked. She urged viewers to vote NO on the recall and not to sacrifice our families' well-being by skipping the election, “Whether we like Newsom or not, what is our responsibility to each other? We are responsible for one another.”
Alejandra Mendoza, ACCE Action member and an election outreach worker in San Diego shared a personal story of being harassed by her family’s landlord and nearly evicted (36:00). Alejandra’s mother lost her job due to COVID and was saved from eviction by Governor Newsom’s policies. “Maybe he hasn't done everything perfectly, but I know he has been helping his people as much as he can and it shows. Thanks to him my family is not homeless -- we are still in our home -- and our rent is paid,” she revealed.
Tony Alexander from Black Women for Wellness Action Project reflected on the Black experience under Newsom (39:00). “When America catches a cold, Black folks get pneumonia and it only worsens for people in more marginalized communities,” he said before adding that while Newsom is not perfect, he has worked to support the health of Black neighborhoods and people of color. Alexander warned that a successful recall of Newsom would be hazardous for Black and other marginalized communities.
Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Chispa, and Inland Empire United also provided information on their get-out-the-vote volunteer opportunities.
The rally was planned in response to findings from a statewide youth poll conducted in partnership by Courage California, Communities for a New California, Inland Empire United, and Data for Social Good. Among youth voters, only 43% responded that they are interested in the recall, and 30% do not know if they are going to vote. Rally organizers urged Californians to get involved, mail back their ballots by September, and/or register to vote before the August 30 voter registration deadline.
Listen to music by Tara Cox here:
California Screamin: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRB8SsdG/
California Don't be dumb: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMR6jT8RV/
No to the Recall: Talking Heads edition: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMR66eUEc/
Baby got Ballot: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMR66Fo4d/
Take back your recall: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMR66dAh3/
Tried to make me recall Newsom: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMRB86QAW/
Communities for a New California Action Fund is building a new power in the San Joaquin, Central, and Imperial valleys by inspiring working-class Californians to engage, activate and fight for social change in their communities. With the help of staff and volunteers from the very communities we serve, CNC AF organizes and educates residents about policy issues that impact our rural families and organize to improve our neighborhoods.