Here’s a Thought: The State of the State Is Terrible

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Eric Galan, News and Opinion Editor

Eric Galan, Reporter

On Feb 19th, California Governor Gavin Newsom gave his second State of the State Address. And, as expected, it was full of ignorance, unthought out ideas, and general threats to the Central Valley’s conservative politics.

With his own practiced grandiosity Gov. Newsom opened with a joke about how past State of the States are full of practiced grandiosity. He praised job growth in the state claiming 1 out of every 7 jobs created in the US is created in California, and thanked the 400 million small businesses for calling California home. However, the California Governor also claimed many of these statistics are thanks to former President Obama, a man whose presidency saw significantly less job growth in the nation than Trump, particularly among minorities.

While Gov. Newsom’s California has seen the “best” wildfire program in California history, he failed to mention how his government has failed to stop the root cause of wildfires, being dried brush and dead or dying trees building up over time nor his government’s efforts to stop the spread of the bark beetles which have spread from state forests to the national forests and parks.

Newsom touted the attention his administration gave to the Central Valley. But his two statements sure were filled with lots of crap. For all the financial attention Newsom championed he didn’t mention all the money taken away from small valley cities, like Tulare’s Highway 99 fund, to help fund his high speed rail project that can only bring little to no help more than the original projects would’ve done for Valley Cities.

Another, albeit less important, matter was Newsom’s failure to mention the recent Porterville Library fire and give respect to the families of the two fallen Porterville Firefighters even though Donald Trump had mentioned the two in his speech while the building was still smoldering. But he has given lots of attention to stopping water from flowing to Valley Farms so I guess that counts as financial attention.

But the biggest topic of Gov. Newsom’s speech was about the homeless crisis, and boy was this a problem. The California Governor spent a long, long time on the problem of homelessness. Each time he was met with thunderous applause and cheers. But for all the talk of accountability he sure did blame the state’s problem completely on Donald Trump’s administration. Newsom’s plans to combat the homeless crisis weren’t any better than his accountability rant. He plans to raise affordable housing, create more emergency actions, and give little to unused city land to homeless people for shelter.

However, many of these plans are part of the same system that bolstered the homeless crisis in CA. Affordable housing is a temporary fix once gentrification enters a situation. Emergency actions work up until the next governor decides to undo them. And giving city land to the homeless only works for cities that can afford to build shelters and houses. What’s worse is the pressure Newsom announced he would put on cities to use their reserves and funding to fight homelessness or suffer funding being removed. While this isn’t a problem in theory it seems less like a threat for the greater good but one to bully and cut funding from red cities. Which wouldn’t be a problem, except we’ve seen enough cut funding and lost water in the Central Valley for one term.

The entire speech wasn’t completely bad. Newsom also praised the state’s expansion of paid family leave, tax free diapers or tampons, free community college, and being responsible for ¼ of the decrease of poverty in the US all of which came from good morals and do help pull the state ahead. However overall the state of Newsom’s state is anything but great. It’s a shame that in a time where world poverty is down, minorities are more free and richer than ever, and the Youth of America has more opportunities than ever to succeed the 5th largest economy on Earth is still struggling to take responsibility and help the ones who need it most.