Breanna Reeves | 

With less than two weeks until the Newsom recall election on September 14, Black leaders across California spoke with Governor Gavin Newsom to discuss the consequences of a Republican candidate winning the governor’s seat in California.

Hosted by Representative Barbara Lee, the virtual press conference included several community leaders and Black representatives  among them Congresswoman Karen Bass, Reverend Dr. Amos Brown of the San Francisco NAACP, and Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, in conversation with Gov. Newsom.

The focus of the press conference was to emphasize the importance of voting “no” in the recall election and informing constituents of what’s at stake.

“The stakes here in California are just as high because Republicans have made California, mind you – California, their next target. We all know what that means for our communities: threat to all Californians, especially the African American community,” Rep. Lee said. 

“It’s too real and too unrealistic for anyone to sit out this election. And so we’re against this Republican-led recall because we know that the health of children, our neighbors and our communities depend on Governor Newsom’s leadership.”

Republican Frontrunner

Republican candidate Larry Elder has emerged as a frontrunner in the recall election. A new survey notes that among half of likely voters, Elder is the preferred Republican candidate at 26 percent, according to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

A new September 2021 survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) polled how voters are feeling about the recall election. (Image courtesy of the PPIC)

“We can’t get confused by Larry Elder. I don’t care what Larry Elder looks like. We know Larry Elder very well in Los Angeles and he has built his career on attacking Black leaders,” Rep. Bass explained. “We know that Black folks don’t support the recall, but we also know that sometimes our folks have problems getting to the polls. Well, you don’t need to go to the polls.”

The Convenience of Mail-in Ballots

Like the 2020 presidential election, mail-in ballots have gone out to registered voters throughout the state. Voters can complete their ballots and mail them in, drop them off at their local polling place, or drop it in an official ballot drop-off box.

Although the last day to register to vote was August 30, voters still have the opportunity to vote by registering and then casting a provisional ballot in the recall through Election Day on Sept. 14. 

“Just a no and done. Get it in the mailbox. Vote no and move on. One question, a simple answer: No,” Newsom said. “But as Barbara said, it’s not just the defeat of Trump that was consequential. We still have to defeat Trumpism which is still alive and well all across this country. You’ve seen that with all of these voter suppression bills that have gone to the floor all across the country.”

How Inland Empire voters feel about the Recall

Black Voice News surveyed a pool of residents in the Inland Empire on how they feel about the recall election. While the pool was small, residents who participated generally had the same consensus in regards to the recall.

Approximately 94 percent of those surveyed answered “no” when asked if they think Gov. Newsom should be removed from office.

Black Voice News conducted a survey for Inland Empire residents to get a sense of how they feel about the recall election. (Data generated by Google survey)

When asked a follow up question (“why or why not”), respondents were able to write in their response and express their opinions. 

“Governor Newsom does not merit this unwarranted recall. To date, he has done nothing egregious enough to be recalled from his fairly elected office. He has had to govern our large state during an unprecedented global Pandemic,” wrote one respondent who lives in Riverside. “Hard times required making difficult decisions. I don’t believe his distractors/opponents could have done a better job than Gavin Newsom during these unpredictable pandemic times.”

Another respondent, a resident of Moreno Valley, expressed that the recall election is a “waste of taxpayer dollars led by sour grape Republicans.”

Only one respondent answered yes in response to whether Newsom should be recalled, citing that “people won’t work.”

The recall election is the second time a sitting governor has the potential to be recalled, the first being the 2003 recall election of Gray Davis who was unseated by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Black Voice News conducted a survey asking Inland Empire residents questions about the recall, including if they experienced voting in a recall election before. (Data generated by Google survey)

In the Black Voice News survey, roughly 83 percent of respondents answered that they had previously voted in a recall election while approximately 16 percent said they had not. While some voters may be familiar with the recall voting process, California’s leaders are still campaigning to inform voters about the recall ballot.

There will be two questions on the ballot. The first question asks if the governor should be recalled. The second question asks: if the governor is recalled, who should replace him and then lists candidates. The list does not include Newsom.

Of the 46 certified recall candidates on the ballot, four are residents of the Inland Empire: Chauncey “Slim” Killens (Republican), a retired corrections officer; Jeff Hewitt (Libertarian), Riverside County Supervisor; Robert C. Newman II (Republican) of Redlands, listed as a farmer and psychologist; and Sarah Stephens, a pastor.

Header photo: Newsom (source: ca.gov)

Breanna Reeves

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America...

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