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California on the World Stage at Summit of the Americas

Governor Newsom meets with world leaders, highlights California’s diversity and nation-leading climate policies

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Governor Newsom meets with the President of Argentina, Alberto Ángel Fernández (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

LOS ANGELES – California’s global leadership on issues ranging from climate change to gun safety to economic resilience shared the world stage this week as leaders from across the Western Hemisphere gathered in Los Angeles for the ninth Summit of the Americas. 

Governor Gavin Newsom led a California delegation and represented the Golden State at several meetings and events with heads of state, foreign dignitaries and Biden Administration officials throughout the week.  

Wednesday, June 8: A Presidential Greeting and a Big California Welcome to the Western Hemisphere

Governor Newsom and his children welcome President Biden to California
(Official White House photo)

The Governor kicked off his Summit schedule at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday where he and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti greeted President Joe Biden on the tarmac. But it was not Governor Newsom or the President who stole the show – the Governor’s “toughest negotiators,” his kids, helped welcome President Biden to California.

Shortly after the tarmac greeting, the Governor joined Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and ministers across the Americas and outlined California’s nation-leading actions to cut methane pollution

Governor Newsom and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry at the Summit of the Americas
(Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

The Governor shared the Administration’s proposals to aggressively plug idle oil wells at risk of leaking methane and launch a network of satellites that would provide near real-time data on large scale methane leaks, leaks from oil and gas infrastructure, landfills, and other sources to track upwards of 40 percent of global methane emissions.

“California is proposing an all-of-the-above approach, from launching satellites that will track methane emissions throughout the world to plugging idle wells,” said Governor Newsom. “As we’ve seen right here in California, these oil wells present the risk of leaking at any moment. We’re encouraged by these global partnerships to tackle this problem together, for the benefit of all nations.”

Governor Gavin Newsom (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

In the evening, the Governor helped welcome leaders from across the Western Hemisphere to California at the Summit of the Americas Inaugural Ceremony, hosted by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden. In his remarks, he celebrated California’s diversity including the nearly 27 percent of Californians who are immigrants. 

“You are in one of the most diverse cities, L.A., in the most diverse region, in the most diverse state, California, in the world’s most diverse democracy,” Governor Newsom said. “And we’re proud of that. We don’t tolerate our diversity, we celebrate our diversity. That’s our strength.” 

Thursday, June 9: Announcing a California-Canada Climate Partnership and a Full Schedule with World Leaders

The Governor started the day at the California Science Center where he met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to announce a new partnership to advance bold climate action. California and Canada signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to fight climate change, reduce pollution, cut back on plastic waste, advance zero-emission vehicles, protect the environment and build climate resilience. 

Governor Newsom and Prime Minister Trudeau, along with their respective delegations, held a bilateral meeting to discuss California and Canada’s shared values, including world-leading climate action, protecting fundamental rights, adopting strong gun safety measures and building a vibrant economy that embraces diversity and inclusivity. 

“We can’t fight the climate crisis on our own – we need to work together with partners all across the globe to achieve humanity’s most important task: saving our planet,” said Governor Newsom.

“Today, as we launch a new partnership on climate action and nature protection, we’re teaming up to deliver the clean air, healthy environment, and good jobs our citizens deserve,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.

Governor Newsom meets with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to announce a new climate partnership between California and Canada (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

Following the MOC signing, the Governor returned to Downtown Los Angeles for several Summit meetings with world leaders, including meetings with Chile’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonia Urrejola Noguera and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. In the meetings, the Governor highlighted California’s cultural ties, shared challenges and opportunities to continue expanding collaboration of mutual interest with California.

The Governor also attended the plenary session and heard President Biden’s address to world leaders. 

Governor Newsom meets with foreign dignitaries at the Summit of the Americas
(Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

Governor Newsom capped his day by stopping by a reception at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which included foreign ministers, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, members of Congress and California’s own Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Alex Padilla, Congresswoman Karen Bass and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff. 

Friday, June 10: Wrapping the Summit With a Focus on Californians 

Governor Newsom wrapped up his Summit week with a final meeting with the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández. At the meeting, the two discussed expanding the relationship between California and Argentina, the importance of strengthening democracy throughout the Americas and shared values around abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.

Governor Newsom meets with the President of Argentina, Alberto Ángel Fernández
(Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

The Governor’s final stop of the Summit was not with a world leader, but with Californians at the heart of the conversation, Zacil Pech and Maria “Coco” Del Socorro Vazquez, the immigrant owners of Sazon Bar & Grill in Huntington Park. The restaurant received financial support from the state’s Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) initiative. SEED is a $30 million initiative supporting entrepreneurship and worker cooperatives as an opportunity pathway for Californians who face significant employment barriers due to limited English proficiency or immigration status.

Governor Newsom visits small business owners supported by state’s Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development initiative (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

“Zacil and Coco are proof that the Dream is alive and well in the State of California. We know that immigrants and their children are integral to California’s identity, and bring new talent and ideas to our economy. That’s why we’ve invested $30 million in our SEED initiative and are proposing more investments to support an economy with inclusive opportunity for all,” Governor Newsom said.

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California Politics

Abortion rights: California Constitutional Amendment heads to ballot

The state is expanding efforts to protect women seeking abortions or reproductive care as well as anyone assisting those women

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Capitol building in Sacramento (Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – In November, California voters will have an opportunity to amend the state’s constitution to include the right to an abortion and today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to further protect women coming to California from other states.

“California will not back down from the fight to protect abortion rights as more than half the states in this country, enabled by the Supreme Court, ban or severely restrict access,” said Newsom. “We are ensuring Californians will have the opportunity this November to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution. And we’re not waiting until November to take action, today’s executive order ensures that the state will not hand over patients who come here to receive care and will not extradite doctors who provide care to out-of-state patients here. In California, women will remain protected.”  

The order signed today prevents any information, including medical records and patient data, from being shared by state agencies or departments in response to inquiries or investigations brought by other states or individuals within those states looking to restrict access. The state is expanding efforts to protect women seeking abortions or reproductive care as well as anyone assisting those women.

SCA 10 was passed by the California State Assembly today and now heads to the November ballot.  

Within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last Friday, Governor Newsom signed legislation to help protect patients and providers in California from civil liability for providing, aiding, or receiving abortion care in the state. In addition, Governor Newsom and the governors of Oregon and Washington launched a new Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care and protect patients and providers.  

The budget agreement announced yesterday includes more than $200 million in additional funding for reproductive health care services. Governor Newsom recently signed legislation eliminating copays for abortion care services and has signed into law a legislative package to further strengthen access and protect patients and providers.  

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California Politics

Newsom, Senate & Assembly leaders announce budget agreement

23 million Californians will benefit from direct payments of up to $1,050 & additional funds to help people pay rent & utility bills

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Governor Newsom with some of the state's leadership Friday (Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – California Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) announced they had were able to reach an agreement on the framework for the 2022-23 state budget.

In a statement released Sunday evening, the state’s leadership said:

“California’s budget addresses the state’s most pressing needs, and prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians who are grappling with global inflation and rising prices of everything from gas to groceries.

“The centerpiece of the agreement, a $17 billion inflation relief package, will offer tax refunds to millions of working Californians. Twenty-three million Californians will benefit from direct payments of up to $1,050. The package will also include a suspension of the state sales tax on diesel, and additional funds to help people pay their rent and utility bills.

“In addition, California is doubling down in our response to the climate crisis – securing additional power-generating capacity for the summer, accelerating our clean energy future, expanding our ability to prepare for and respond to severe wildfires, extreme heat, and the continuing drought conditions that lie ahead.

“This budget builds on our unprecedented commitment to transform the resources available in our state, from a $47 billion multi-year infrastructure and transportation package to education and health care, showing the nation what a true pro-life agenda looks like. With these new investments, California will become the first state to achieve universal access to health care coverage.

Newsom and his legislative counterparts also highlighted that in the wake of Friday’s stunning U.S. Supreme Court decision, California is reaffirming its commitment to defending reproductive rights, providing more than $200 million in additional funding for reproductive health care services. The state will also be investing in key programs that help California families, from funding for homeownership programs and billions of dollars in additional ongoing funding for education, to universal preschool, children’s mental health, and free school meals.

“In the face of growing economic uncertainty, this budget invests in California’s values while further filling the state’s budget reserves and building in triggers for future state spending to ensure budget stability for years to come,” the statement read.

Yesterday the governor and the leadership agreed to the framework to offset the high cost of gas prices and the hit inflation has created on the wallets of taxpayers, particularly those who least able to bear the added cost burden. Under the budget compromise most California taxpayers would get hundreds of dollars in cash to help offset the high price of fuel and other goods.

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California Politics

Delayed repeal of loitering law targeting sex workers sent to Newsom

SB 357 repeals “loitering with intent to engage in prostitution” law, which results in harassment of transwomen & women of color sex workers

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Sex workers under arrest by the LASD (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) sent Senate Bill 357, the Safer Streets for All Act, to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for his action Monday. The Legislature passed SB 357 last year, but Senator Wiener held the bill at the Senate desk, delaying its transmittal to the Governor.

Governor Newsom will have 12 days to sign the bill after it is processed by the Senate. SB 357 repeals a provision of California law criminalizing “loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution.” This criminal provision — arrests for which are based on an officer’s subjective perception of whether a person is “acting like” or “looks like” they intend to engage in sex work — results in the disproportionate criminalization of trans, Black and Brown women, and perpetuates violence toward sex workers.

SB 357 is sponsored by a large coalition made up of former and current sex workers, LGTBQ groups like Equality California and Transgender Gender-variant and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), and civil rights groups like the ACLU. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST LA) is supporting the legislation.

SB 357 does not decriminalize soliciting or engaging in sex work. Rather, it simply eliminates an loitering offense that leads to harmful treatment of people for simply “appearing” to be a sex worker.

This crime is so subjective and inherently profiling that it allows a police officer to arrest someone purely based on how they are dressed, whether they’re wearing high heels and certain kinds of make-up, how they’re wearing their hair, and the like. This criminal provision is inherently discriminatory and targets people not for any action but simply based on how they look. People who engage in sex work deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Criminalizing sex work does not make sex workers or communities safer. Most criminal penalties for sex workers, loitering laws included, do nothing to stop sex crimes against sex workers and human trafficking. In fact, loitering laws make it harder to identify trafficking victims; trafficking victims are often afraid to come forward in fear of being arrested or incarcerated. 

In February of 2021, a similar piece of legislation to repeal this type of loitering ban became law in New York. SB 357 is part of the movement to end discrimination against and violence toward sex workers, especially the most targeted communities — trans, Black, and Brown people. SB 357 is co-sponsored by Positive Women’s Network – USA, St. James Infirmary, SWOP LA, Trans [email protected] Coalition, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Equality California and ACLU California Action. 

Under current law, it is a crime to loiter in a public place with the “intent” to commit a sex work-related offense. But this law can be broadly interpreted, and thus allows for discriminatory application against the LGBTQ community and people of color. Law enforcement can use a non-exhaustive list of circumstances to subjectively determine if someone “intends” to engage in sex work, including factors such as speaking with other pedestrians, being in an area where sex work has occurred before, wearing revealing clothing, or moving in a certain way.

Because current law regarding loitering is highly subjective and vague, law enforcement officers disproportionately profile and target Black and Brown transgender women by stopping and arresting people for discriminatory and inappropriate reasons. This is how Black and Brown transgender women get arrested and cited for simply walking on the street. It also gives law enforcement the ability to more easily target and arrest sex workers.

People in the LGBTQ, Black, and Brown communities report high rates of police misconduct throughout the United States and are disproportionately affected by police violence. Transgender people who have done street-based sex work are more than twice as likely to report physical assault by police officers and four times as likely to report sexual assault by police.

A Black person is 3.5 times more likely to be shot by police than a white person. These statistics are a daily reality that transgender, Black and Brown people face and lead to mistrust of law enforcement.

SB 357 will repeal a discriminatory law that makes it a crime to loiter with the intent to engage in sex work, given that it fails to prevent street-based sex work and disproportionately results in the criminalization of transgender people and communities of color.

“This Pride Month, as we see a surge in violence against and harassment of the LGTBQ community, it is more important than ever to get rid of a law that targets our community,” said Wiener. “Current law essentially allows law enforcement to target and arrest people if they are wearing tight clothes or a lot of make-up. Many of those impacted by this law are Black and Brown trans women. Pride isn’t just about rainbow flags and parades. It’s about protecting the most marginalized in our community. I urge Governor Newsom to sign SB 357.”

“SB 357 repeals a Jim Crow law that criminalized Black and trans people in public spaces,” said Fatima Shabazz of the DecrimSexWorkCA Coalition.

“We hope that the Safer Streets for All Act will help people understand how policing does not create public safety, and will immediately deprive police of one tool they use to harass and oppress folks based on race and gender,” said Ashley Madness of SWOP LA and the DecrimSexWorkCA Coalition.

“Ahora nosotros nos sentimos libre de caminar en la calle sin miedo que la policia nos vaya a arrestar,” (Now we can walk free on the streets without fear of the police arresting us,”) said Lisseth Sánchez of St. James Infirmary and the DecrimSexWorkCA

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