As congressional, statewide, and local candidates across California were making their final push to voters going into GOTV weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he is fed up with the state’s lack of progress in addressing the homeless issue and is laying the blame at the doorsteps of local governments. As a result of his frustration, Newsom is rejecting every homeless action plan in the state. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the result of his announcement means a delay in local governments and service providers’ ability to receive roughly $1 billion in grant money until they come up with more ambitious plans. According to Newsom, the plans would collectively result in only 2% of homeless individuals throughout the state being housed over the next few years. “Deliver damn results,” Newsom said. He continued in his interview with the Los Angeles Times to say “It’s a crisis. Act like it. Everybody step up. I’m not the mayor. You want me to come in? I’ll do the job. I’ll do it. Happily.”
Newsom’s decision to hold funding wasn’t well received by local leaders, with some pushing back. Shared in CalMatters“What Matters” newsletter, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo responded by saying that “we need to put down the megaphones and pick up the shovels. …Let’s bring all the solutions in, but it’s not going to happen at a photo op,” while San Francisco Mayor London Breed said that Newsom is creating more hoops for local governments to jump through.
Although Newsom has been clear that he’s not running for President (wink wink), those of us at the water cooler question his true intentions and if rejecting the plans were less about his frustration and more about distancing himself from an issue that not only aggravates California voters, but could also tarnish his reputation for future endeavors (wink wink).