Governor Gavin Newsom Appoints California Business, Labor, Health Care and Community Leaders for New Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery

20 Apr

Governor Gavin Newsom, according to a press release of Friday, April 17, appointed California business, labor, health care and community leaders for new task force on business and jobs recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

The governor appointed business and civic leader Tom Steyer to be the Chief Advisor to the Governor on business and jobs recovery.  Steyer, who will not be paid in his new role, and the Governor’s Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary will co-chair the task force. 

Other notables the governor appointed are former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union) President Willie Adams, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation Antonia Hernandez, former head of the Small Business Administration Aida Álvarez and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The task force includes Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove, Assembly Minority Leader Marie Waldron; it also includes previous California Governors: Edmund G. Brown Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis and Pete Wilson.

According to the press release, Newsom said, “This pandemic has forced millions of Californians out of jobs – with the most vulnerable hit the hardest.”

“While we have made significant progress in flattening the curve and increased preparedness of our health care delivery system, the actions taken have also impacted the economy, poverty and overall health care in California. We will use a gradual, science-based and data-driven framework to guide our re-opening timing while planning our economic recovery.”

The task force will work to develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover from the COVID-19 induced recession; it will meet twice a month throughout 2020, according to the press release.

Steyer said, “In the coming weeks and months, we will… develop recommendations for a recovery plan…. “(The task force’s) goal is to present Governor Newsom with tangible actions that leverage the task force’s expertise to rebuild California,” also according to the press release.

The press release said that the task force will craft ideas for short, medium and long-term solutions; it will build on work of other groups, such as the Future of Work Commission, whose co-chairs are President of the Service Employees International Union Mary Kay Henry and Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company James Manyika; Henry and Manyika will also serve on the task force; Newsom formed the business and jobs recovery task force just days after he announced a multi-state task force with Oregon and Washington to coordinate the reopening of the regional economy. The governor outlined a road map to recovery with six indicators that should be met before California’s stay-at-home orders are modified.

California has seen more than 2.8 million unemployment claims since March 12, not including the undocumented and independent contractors; the impact has been devastating to the state’s small businesses, also according to the press release.

The press release may be read here:

The complete list of the task force may be found here:

An earlier story of mine on Newsom’s road map to recovery with the six indicators for reopening the California economy, may be read, by scrolling down the my April 15 story.

Barry Saks before retiring was a SEIU Local 660 (now 721) shop steward.

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