Facing an imminent recall, California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his annual State of the State Address Tuesday, attempting to paint an encouraging picture for citizens weary of a year of lockdowns, economic devastation, sickness, and isolation.
The governor began by claiming credit for having saved many lives by making tough decisions.
"People are alive today because of the public health decisions we made — lives saved because of your sacrifice," Newsom said Tuesday. "Even so, I acknowledge that it's made life hard, it's made life unpredictable, and you're exhausted by all of it."
Newsom delivered the speech in an empty Dodger Stadium, taking the opportunity to warn those who are seeking to recall him from power.
"To the California critics out there who are promoting partisan political power grabs with outdated prejudices, rejecting everything that makes California truly great, we say this: We will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy booming again," Newsom said.
The progressive governor also stressed that his administration was looking to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to initiating long-lasting change in the state.
"When this pandemic ends—and it will end soon—we're not going back to normal. Normal was never good enough. Normal accepts inequity," he said, striking the same chord as progressives around the country who have focused on "equity" over "equality."
Noting that he has enjoyed "almost unlimited emergency powers for a year," Republican leaders like Kevin Faulconer argued the lack of vision and wisdom in Newsom's speech made the case precisely why he should be recalled.