Mr. Governor: Here’s What Cali Youth Are Expecting From You

Jan. 25, 2019 / By

Editor’s Note: California recently ushered in the first term of Governor Gavin Newsom. Known for his trendsetting progressive policies, the New Yorker recently dubbed Newson “The Next Head of the California Resistance.” But those on both sides have voiced some criticisms of the new governor. With that being said, what do the youth of California expect and want of the 40th governor of their state?

Julia Sidley, 16, Sacramento

I have high hopes for Gavin Newsom’s poverty plan, his first budget plan allocated millions to early ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and these screenings would be used to take trauma into account so they would not fall into poverty. Newsom also has big plans to reform California’s drug policies, and has harshly criticized the criminal justice system, soaring drug arrests and how people are being views as numbers once they are in the prison system. My ideal vision for the Newsom’s governorship is his focus on young people in education, the justice system and his healthcare plan which entails expanding the age for which a child can stay on their parents medical coverage from 19-26 years. This would help the expansion for healthcare of undocumented folks in California. Newsom recognizes the healthcare expansions as the morally just thing to do, and hopes to move California towards a universal healthcare system.

A Student at Cabrillo High School, 18, Long Beach

As a California youth, I have a good feeling that the new governor, Gavin Newsom, will do great things to help California out. But in order to do so he will need to take action in what he has promised. The topic on immigration is very delicate. Having a Democrat governor like Gavin Newsom gives the people hope. I’m counting on the governor to help take action for the many Dreamers who are out there trying to continue on their education with the help of DACA. I also hope he persists to find any way to open a new window for Dreamers like me to apply.

Gabriela Morales, 19, Merced

California is home and I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. As a youth who is looking forward to much more learning and experiences, I want California to stay a place that is prosperous. I hope that Governor Gavin Newsom will make California an amazing home for everyone. Immigration is something that is seen as a problem but if society could look past where someone comes from and realizes why they are fleeing than California can become home to many more people. Governor Gavin Newsom is a person who allegedly wants to see past that and give assistance to people who need it. We all need help from time to time and I like to say that California is a place that has citizens who help each other. I hope for our Governor to be able to accomplish helping low income citizens even if they are immigrants. We are all people who want better lives and days, to make that happen we have to help others with kindness. We can go far with kindness and respect for every other person. I hope that Governor Newsom will make California a prosperous home for all.

Arabesque Lynaolu, 18, Sacramento

The main thing I want Governor Newsom to tackle is what he said in one of his speeches; I want to see him end private prison systems like he has said he will. With that, I want to see him end cash bail in the state because its discriminatory against poor and minority communities. I would also like to see him achieve his goal to have 3.5 million new housing units in 6 years built. Finally, I want to see how he deals with the L.A. school strike, since it’s been affecting thousands of students in that area. I really like what Gavin Newsom’s been saying and doing, but as a poor kid of color from Del Paso Heights, I’m still really on edge because at the end of the day, he is a white man with power, and we’ve all seen what white men with power have done when they abuse it.



Rachel Livinal, 17, Merced

I hope for a realistic and diverse approach from the new governor Gavin Newsom, I believe that the new rail project would create an extremely positive impact towards the people of California, particularly the youth, and would cause economic growth as much as environmental salvation. Although Newsom has gone back and forth on the issue, I would expect for him to try to fulfill in the most beneficial way possible, but to also think about the future profit towards the state when it comes to the costs. I really like the governor’s idea to extend healthcare to age 26, instead of the previous 19 because 25 is the scientifically proven age of the brain full development in logic and reasoning. Also, due to the inflation in all drug prices, I do expect the governor to continue with his plan to lower the costs. I believe that the governor should refrain from giving a pivotal stance on a topic until he knows for certain what he wishes to fulfill, because he has been shown to be influential in the mind’s of many Californian’s, but he is also in a very high-power stance, so changing a stance could cause more difficulty than needed. I think the governor is very forward-thinking and has a lot of good ideas planned. As long as he can follow through with these decisions, I support governor Newsom.

Eli Meza, 17, Sacramento

I do have high hopes for his governorship, specifically for a few things, like how he plans to fix housing in California. He says he wants to build 3.5 million new housing units by 2025, and he feels as if he can reach that goal, while others feel that he can’t. The fact he has a plan is exciting to me, as well as Assemblyman David Chiu. So, that is something I do look forward to, seeing him keep his promise. Not only do I want to see him meet these goals on housing, but I also want him to accomplish what many of Californian’s find to be pressing issues, such as affordability in general, teacher wages and rights for LGBTQIA+ identifying youth and students. To quote a recent tweet from Gavin Newsom’s Twitter account:

‘Outrageous. Trans-Americans who have put their lives on the line to defend our country will be restricted from military service by this administration. There is no basis for this other than ignorance and cruelty.’

This is one of our most pressing issues as Californians and as Americans. Not only am I excited for him to keep his promises, but I fully expect him to and will not allow anything but. Especially as a queer, person of color, I need this white man to do what he claims he will do. Gavin Newsom, I expect the best you can do.

Abel Avalos, 20, Long Beach

The youth of California particularly those from oppressed minority groups are watching closely. We demand that you take real tangible action against those that belittle and continue to hurt our already disenfranchised communities. To stand up for the homeless, the poor, people of color, and who are under attack from those who are to ignorant and bigoted to see that we deserve to be treated as people and not as “others.” You ran on a platform of change and justice, now prove it.

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VoiceWaves is a Long Beach youth-led journalism and media-training project. The youth, ages 16-24, are learning to report, write, and create digital journalism content. Their reports will raise awareness of community health issues and activate change.