Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor running to succeed Jerry Brown, was nearly an hour into his town hall meeting late Wednesday when someone asked about protecting the planet.
“I was the guy who brought you the plastic bag ban in San Francisco,” the former mayor told the graying Roseville audience gathered in a community center 100 miles outside his progressive city.
“You thought gay marriage was controversial,” Newsom added to sustained laughter, “we required composting in San Francisco. That was controversial. They had garbage police out there checking in my cans to make sure the egg shells were in the appropriate bin.”
In the foothills of the Sierra, and at a stop last week in Salida, just outside of Modesto, the Democratic frontrunner whose national profile was born out of his decision to distribute the marriage licenses to same-sex couples offered the clearest indication yet that the tenets of his gubernatorial campaign are rooted in his liberal record.
Newsom said he gets a kick out of watching Republicans – and some Democrats – contorting themselves “like pretzels” over health care. He favors a government-run program covering everyone.
“At the end of the day, with all due respect, the only way we are going to have high-quality, universal healthcare that’s affordable, or at least approximates affordability, is Medicare for all,” he said. “Don’t people get this? The deeper question, though, is can we do it in California? And, legitimately, that’s an open-ended question. It just is.”
Both Salida and Roseville are considerably redder than the monied and population-rich parts of the state candidates generally mine for votes and campaign contributions. Republicans outnumber Democrats by 9,371 in Roseville; a suburb that Donald Trump carried over Hillary Clinton by nearly 7 percentage points. Modesto has 5,288 more Democrats than Republicans, and Clinton managed to beat Trump by 7.5 points, but the city’s elected representatives are overwhelmingly Republican.
In Salida, Newsom took repeated swipes at Trump while stressing his support for “sanctuary” cities that shield unauthorized immigrants. The city’s sanctuary policy he inherited went back decades, but Newsom reminded the crowd that as mayor he went out of his way to promote it, arguing it was a way to build trust between law enforcement and the community. San Francisco was the first to distribute municipal identification cards to undocumented residents.
Read the rest at: Mandatory Composting