Although the list of grievances contains Governor Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority consist of complaints of his policies that pre-date the pandemic, causing a mixture of reasons people support his recall.
By Annika Henthorn
Although many believe the recall effort against Governor Newsom sprung from his management of COVID-19, it truly began in February 2020. ABC has revealed that the grievances held against Newsom include: "laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens. People in this state suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result.”
In addition to these claims against Newsom, after the pandemic struck California, many argued he did not do enough to prevent its spread. Others argued he was too slow to reopen businesses despite California conquering the curve in spring 2020. His precautions to stay at home and remain socially distanced backfired when he was caught at a large gathering in an enclosed area in November 2020. This compilation of events urged many Americans to sign a petition to recall Governor Newsom.
In order to do so, 12% of all California’s population would have to sign, or 1,495,709 people by March 17. Additionally, these signatures would have to be validated. Typically, recall efforts have 160 days to retrieve the necessary amount of signatures; however, due to the pandemic, Newsom’s recall campaign was given an additional four months. The Los Angeles Times has revealed that over 1.1 million signatures have been submitted, but only 668,000 were deemed valid. They have predicted that due to the extremely high validity rate of signatures needed to qualify for the recall, signatures should reach 1.5 million by March 17, thus beginning a new election later this year for another Governor.
If the recall is successful, the election should take place between August and December, according to The Los Angeles Times. Voters should be expected to answer two questions. One, should Newsom be recalled, and who is his replacement? It has also been said by The Los Angeles Times that Newsom’s approval rate has dropped 18 points in four months, resulting in only a 46% approval rating.
Former Mayor of San Diego, John Cox, who lost in 2018 to Newsom, has said if the recall is successful, he would run for Governor. However, Newsom, if recalled, is prohibited from running to replace himself, so the Democratic party will have to find a replacement candidate to run.
Victoria Vidales '21,