It has been just over a year since California’s newest Governor, Gavin Newsom, has taken office. On this episode of Inside the Issues, we take a look at all that has been accomplished what may have been missed.

How Newsom Got Here

Laurel Rosenhall, Political Reporter for CalMatters, walks us through Newsom’s history from businessperson to Mayor of San Francisco, we look at how the Governor paved his way into politics including paving the way for legalizing same-sex marriage in San Francisco, which eventually became legal in the state.


While campaigning, Newsom said he wanted to build 3.5 million housing units by 2025. That would be 500,000 homes per year, which, Liam Dillon, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, said that would be five times what the state currently produces.

The Governor has also proposed, in his most recent budget, an allocation of $1.4 billion to help with the housing crisis.

“This would be money that would go toward short-term rental assistance [and] things to help support mental health services and programs in that nature,” Dillon said in regards to where that money would go.

Environmental Policy

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the environment is one of the top four issues for voters in this election year. When it comes to how the Governor is handling California’s environmental issues, Kim Delfino, California Programs Director for Defenders of Wildlife, says she would grade Newsom with a B-, or even an incomplete.

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Delfino said one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed is the Bay Delta and how that water is managed for both the people nearest to it and the wildlife that use it.

When looking ahead to the environmental issues that Newsom should address Delfino said while he has taken some good steps on climate, a lot more needs to be done done in terms of helping California become more resilient to the impacts of climate and to get us on to a clean energy economy.

“He really has done some good work on public health in terms of banning a pesticide called chlorpyrifos, which impacts brains, and that was a big deal there,” she said. “He’s got his work cut out for him in terms of how we manage through the climate disaster, such as wildfire, and if we’re going to continue to properly manage our forests and then the water issue, is still an open question, where he’s going to land on that and how he’s going to balance the various interests and on the wildlife side we have a huge extinction crisis going on and California’s part of that.”

High-Speed Rail

Newsom pumped the brakes on California’s high-speed rail project, but how did we get here? Ralph Vartabedian, staff writer from the Los Angeles Times, talks about the history of the project, why it was set up to fail from the start, and how people reacted once Newsom floated the idea of focusing on a stretch between Bakersfield and Merced.

Let Inside the Issues know your thoughts and watch Monday through Friday at 8 and 11 p.m. on Spectrum News 1.