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California voters reject recall effort

Photo credit: Getty.
By Mila Myles ·

Yesterday, California voters decisively rejected the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, defeating an effort primarily led and funded by anti-worker special interests. Leading by a nearly 2-to-1 margin hours after the polls closed, Newsom’s victory made clear that the people of California know their state is on the right track. 

“I’m just so thrilled and relieved at the result,” said Jannine Rojo, AFSCME Local 1902 Executive Secretary and an Administrative Analyst for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. “We’ve fought for too many years to create strong labor laws in California, and I’m thankful that we get to keep Gov. Newsom in office, who has been such a longtime advocate and ally for us.”  

Dating back to his time as mayor of San Francisco, Gov. Newsom has been a vocal supporter of organized labor, fighting to raise wages, protect benefits, and defend our rights. When the pandemic struck, he ensured essential workers weren't left behind, working directly with AFSCME members to meet their needs. Under his leadership, California’s economy is re-opening, and people are getting back to work.  

In a statement celebrating Gov. Newsom’s victory, AFSCME President Lee Saunders said: “Californians have made their voices heard, convincingly rejecting the extremist recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom.” 

Saunders thanked AFSCME members who volunteered their time and energy over the last several weeks, knocking on thousands of doors and helping reach millions of voters.  

“From the beginning,” Saunders added, “this recall was nothing more than an attempt by billionaires and corporate special interests to steal a governorship. Their anti-worker agenda has been repudiated at every turn in California, and today was no different. AFSCME looks forward to continuing its partnership with Gov. Newsom to advance the rights and freedoms of California working families.” 

This recall election was the culmination of over a year of anti-worker special interests spending millions to recall the governor. They were intent on rolling back on-the-job protections, cutting wages, and attacking equal rights. They were part of a national network of extremist groups who regularly attack public education, union jobs, minimum wage laws, and voting rights across the country.  
 
With so much at stake in the first gubernatorial recall election in California since 2003, AFSCME members like Shavon Moore-Cage, Executive Assistant to the City Manager, Mayor, and Council for the city of Hawaiian Gardens, knew they couldn’t take victory for granted.  

“After the last recall, we lost years of progress on workers’ rights in this state, and the same thing could’ve happened this week,” said Moore-Cage, a member of Local 36 who made hundreds of phone calls herself in an effort to get voters to the polls. “And while we can all breathe a bit easier now, we must ensure the labor movement remains strong and we keep fighting to ensure all Californians have access to affordable health care, a good education and a well-paying job.”

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