Think Newsom should be recalled? People in Oakland weigh in.
on September 13, 2021
For the second time in 20 years, a California governor is facing recall. On Tuesday, the state will find out if Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will finish the last 15 months of his term or become the second governor — after Democrat Gray Davis in 2003 — to be recalled.
Voting started by mail in August, with two questions on the ballot: Shall Newsom be recalled? And, if so, who should replace him: one of the 46 candidates on the ballot or a write-in? A “yes” vote is for recall and a “no” vote is against it. If Newsom is ousted, the transition would happen quickly, a little more than a month after the election.
Last weekend, Oakland North reporters fanned out across the city, gauging opinions about the recall. Of the dozens of people interviewed, an overwhelming majority said they either already had or planned to vote no. Here are some of their responses:
“I think he did pretty good under the circumstances. Could have been better. He could’ve spent more time going to the facilities, just checking on people and see how they’re doing.”
-Mary M. Moore (No)
“I think that what happened in Texas is the perfect example of why we should not recall Gavin Newsom. Texas is a perfect kind of model of how Republicans want California to be. If that recent abortion change scared people, then I think that should sway their vote one way.”
–Avory Grays, 23 (No)
“I strongly feel the way it is, is so archaic and wrong. The way the recall has been set up is that a minority of only 12% could actually bring in the governor [for recall]. If you don’t want him, don’t vote for him next time. I think for the most part, he’s done a good job, but I am really frustrated with the way he has handled the homelessness crisis.”
-Belinda Reynolds, 53 (No)
There just really isn’t a credible alternative on the ballot. The people who are running to replace him are not remotely qualified. The policies that they are pushing would do a lot of harm to the state.”Jerett Yan, 35 (No)
“We’re shutting down and the companies are taking care of their employees. But Gavin Newsom did nothing to help support those companies that support them. … I was really disappointed in the Democratic Party that it doesn’t have a qualified candidate [to join the recall] as a lot of Californians are unhappy with Gavin Newsom. I think it goes to his ego.”
-Dawn Sweatt, 48 (Yes)
“I am a commercial real estate broker and I saw a lot of small businesses — mom and pop businesses, not even the big boys, but these mom and pop businesses — that really were affected by the restrictions. I get there’s got to be certain restrictions, but you get to a point where it’s too restrictive and it affects people’s livelihoods. If he had abided by the same rules, I think that I probably wouldn’t be voting for the recall. I mean, he didn’t change his life. His kids were still going to school. All our kids were online.”
-Kevin Sweatt, 49 (Yes)
“He’s the only governor that helps immigrants. This is the only state with that kind of governor. I’m going to be honest with you, I wish I could vote but I can’t because of my legal status. So I don’t pay attention.”Miguel Garcia (No)
“[Newsom] is trying to get to a sense of normalcy. He’s not always going to get it right. Nobody does. But if you see a man doing his best, you can’t get upset if he fails, because he tried to do his best.”
-Tony Lanzy, 31 (No)
“I don’t think it’s necessary. … I’m not a Gavin Newsom fan, I think he’s an opportunist. I just don’t care for him.
-Phyllis Stargell (No)
“I am a resident, but I never register for voting. This [election] is a kind of game, you know. Why should I enjoy playing the game? I’d rather sit at home and play with the computer. It doesn’t matter who’s sitting there, Democratic or Republican or Green Party or Tea Party. I don’t care.”
-Maria Chan (Ambivalent)
Ayla Burnett, Isaac Ceja, Chris Chang, Ruth Dusseault, Jesse Foley-Tapia, William Jenkins, MJ Johnson, Williamena Kwapo, Andrew Lopez, Semantha Norris, Lola Proctor, Michael Slaten, Kristie Song, Jiyun Tsai and Jennifer Wiley contributed to this report.
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