Transcript: CA Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s remarks at the 2014 state of the state address

Partial transcript of remarks by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (D-California) at the state of the state address on Jan. 22, 2014:

…I want to say, having done this the last three years, I understand my stead. You know, being Lieutenant Governor at the state of the state is a lot like being Seattle Seahawk’s Richard Sherman. Nobody – and I mean, nobody – wants to hear me run my mouth. [Laughter]

So, with that in mind, let me try to be as brief as possible although there are two things that I want to say.

One, most importantly, thank you. Thank you to all of you – the governor. Thank you to the members of the legislature. Thank you to the people in the state of California for defying all the detractors, for stepping up and stepping in, and defying the critics, for getting California’s fiscal house back in order, for bringing us back on a path of stability and solvency and strength.

Thank you for your outstanding leadership last year on gun safety. Thank you for the extraordinary work you did on clean energy. Thank you for the work you did on immigrant rights. Thank you for what you did on civil rights, for students in our schools, transgender rights in the state. And thank you for the work you did to make right a wrong that has existed too long and that is to get our minimum wage back closer to a living wage in California.

So, you all know this…now is not the time to be timid. That’s obvious to all of you. Now’s the time to have the courage of our convictions and to step up and step in on some of our long-term challenges.

Deal with the issues of debt and entitlement and challenges associated with the issues of energy and climate change, not least of which addressing the vexing challenge that will define, I think, a lot of what we’ll hear from the governor today – the issues of climate disruption in all their forms and manifestation, not least of which the severe drought that we’re all experiencing.

And hopefully, we’ll take the time to reflect on perhaps the most profound challenge we face in this state – and I would argue, this country – and that’s the merger of IT and globalization. That’s changing every job, every industry, every market, and every government. And it is significantly contributing to stagnant wages and lethargic job creation, not here in the state only but across this country.

With that in mind, I think it’s important to remind everybody we’re moving now in a world where we’re no longer connected but hyper-connected, no longer interconnected but truly inter-dependent.

Tom Friedman summed it up brilliantly, so succinctly by saying, “Just imagine, 7 years ago, Facebook didn’t even exist. Twitter, 7 years ago, was a sound. The cloud was in the sky. 4G was a parking space. LinkedIn – prison. Big data was a rap star. Apps were things you filled out to get into college. And Skype, for most of us, was a typo. None of those things existed, and now they’re ubiquitous in our lives. The rate in change in this world is unimaginable compare to where it was just a few years ago. We’re going from something old to something completely new. The tech genie is now out of the bottle.”

And with the white waters of change – with all of these white waters of change – I think it is absolutely incumbent upon all of us to recommit ourselves to what we’re doing better than ever and that is organic job creation.

One thing I know is you cannot be pro-job and anti-business. I was so enthusiastic when someone forwarded me a wonderful quote, and I’ll close, from Winston Chuchill who said, “Some people see private enterprise as a tiger – a predatory tiger – that needs to be shot. Others as a cow that needs to be milked. Not enough people see it for what it is – a health horse pulling a sturdy wagon.”

Let us re-commit ourselves to the number one priority in this state, and that’s – once again – to re-establish California as the tent pole for job creation in the American economy.

With that, it’s my honor to introduce to you a leader who’s kept his promise to the people of California to tell the truth, to get California’s fiscal house in order, and to continue to make the case each and every day – as he will again today – that the best is yet to come…


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