“We have a homeless epidemic that should keep each and every one of us up at night,” adds California’s new governor
Before an inauguration speech that included flowery language about the Golden State, a challenge to President Trump, and a surprise cameo by his two-year-old son, Dutch, former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom was sworn in as the 40th governor of California.
When it came to housing, he briefly but pointedly called for a Marshall Plan for affordable housing. “No one should live in constant fear of eviction or spend their whole paycheck to keep a roof overhead,” he added.
(A Marshall Plan—a plan conceived in 1947 by U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall for aiding the European nations in economic recovery after World War II—is informally used to describe sizable programs of federally supported economic assistance.)
State Sen. Scott Wiener, California’s most prominent voice when it comes to creating more housing stock, agreed with Newsom andtweeted his support.
As for the homeless crisis, Newsom said, “We have a homeless epidemic that should keep each and every one of us up at night.”
Newsom authored a controversial voter-approved program, “Care Not Cash,” during his mayoral tenure in San Francisco, which sought to provide services, rather than monetary assistance, to the city’s homeless residents. Care Not Cash dropped the city’s welfare assistance from $342-$422 a month to $78 a month plus housing and food, according to a 2008 audit.
Newsom went on to label California as one of the country’s few nation-states, noting the importance and effect the state has on the rest of the country and the world.
What we do today is even more consequential, because of what’s happening in our country,” said the new governor. “People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe, they all hang in the balance. The country is watching us. The world is waiting on us. And the future depends on us. And we will seize this moment.”