On September 14, 2021, Californians are going to have a special election to vote if Governor Gavin Newsom should be recalled. A recall is a way the public can attempt to remove an elected public official from office before the end of their term of office. California is one of 20 states that allow voters to recall their governor. It is very important for us to understand the magnitude of this situation. Many of us hear about the recall and we do not take it seriously or feel it is just politics once again rearing its ugly head. The truth is if we do not take it seriously, life as we know it could change, especially for people of color.
This recall election will only be the fourth gubernatorial recall election ever held in the United States. I can remember in 2003 when people were not happy with some of the decisions then-Democratic Governor Gray Davis had made, especially concerning gun legislation and the state’s handling of the electricity industry. Many governors are often threatened with possible recall, but the Davis recall was the first successful recall of a California Governor and only the second recall of a state governor in American history. Just in case you forgot that recall gave us Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was elected from a total of 135 candidates on the 2003 recall ballot, which included child actor Gary Coleman and Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt.
Before you cast your ballot, and by the way, every voter should have received by now a ballot at their address for the option to vote by mail, which began August 16, 2021, you must ask yourself what are the facts concerning this recall, who is behind it and who has the most to gain from a successful recall. Many of us thought the main impetus of the recall was Governor Newsom’s handling of the pandemic but in fact, the recall petition was put into motion in February of 2020 before the virus created a new “normal.” The list of grievances is numerous, but here are a few: laws he endorsed favoring foreign nationals who are in the country illegally, people in the state of California suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, he has imposed sanctuary state status, he fails to enforce immigration laws and he unilaterally over-ruled the will of the people regarding the death sentence. Now of course the positive advances that have been made during his time in office are not mentioned.
Many people believe this is a political battle orchestrated by Trump Republicans, to try and take California back and out of the control of Democrats. If you believe this to be true then you must vote “no” on the recall and not let this shameless power grab be successful. To put a gubernatorial recall on the ballot, organizers must collect signatures equal to 12% of votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election- which meant they needed at least 1,495,709 signatures from registered voters and they delivered 2.1 million signatures, even though 400,000 were deemed invalid and tossed out. What these so-called concerned citizens do not mention is the cost of the recall, which is estimated to cost taxpayers $276 million. That would be you and me.
I would never tell you who or what to vote for, but I will strongly encourage you to vote! Do your homework and make sure you are truly informed before you cast your ballot. #recall
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