Gavin Newsom was born in San Francisco, California and faced an extremely difficult upbringing. He transferred from school to school because of severe dyslexia that still affects him to this today. His condition made it difficult for him to write, spell, read, and work with numbers. Gavin’s dyslexia led to him being pushed downwards in the education system by being placed in remedial classes with little attention. Rather than giving up, Gavin pushed through his dyslexia and attended Santa Clara University on student loans, where he received a bachelor’s in political science.
After schooling, Gavin and his investors opened up PlumpJack Associates, which grew to an enterprise with over five-hundred employees. His successful business career as the supervisor of PlumpJack led him to a role in public service and politics.
In 1997, then-Mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown appointed Gavin to a position on the city’s board of supervisors, where he was described as a social liberal. Through his appointment, Gavin became the youngest member of the board and was hailed as the future of San Francisco’s leadership. He pledged to bring his enormous business experience to the board of supervisors. In 1998, he was elected to a full four-year term on the board. His work impressed California officials who pressed him to run for public office. Gavin’s overarching focus on the board of supervisors was reforming the public transportation sector, which had fallen into critical state. He advocated for a reform of the city’s municipal railway system, while ensuring similar city departments detail customer service plans. However, his business interests would often conflict with labor leaders.
His overall time as supervisor was a pinnacle success. Gavin promoted public-private sector relationships in the housing industry to increase home ownership, proposed a state-supported homeless care program titled ‘Care Not Cash,’ and pushed a pro-tech economic plan. These wild successes and innovations led to Gavin becoming the leading mayoral candidate for San Francisco in 2003. Gavin ran as a business-friendly centrist Democrat in the mayoral election of 2003, and beat Matt Gonzalez in a tight run-off with fifty-three percent of the vote. National Democratic figures such as Bill Clinton and Al Gore campaigned for Gavin in the highly contested mayoral election.
His first stint as Mayor led to a number of bold actions that made national headlines. In 2004, he directed the San Francisco city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples despite such an action being in violation to state law. Despite the law opposing his stance on same-gender marriage, he continued his fight for marriage equality in San Francisco showing his commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. His bold move brought national attention to the issue of marriage equality.
Gavin also signed Health Choices Plan in 2007 to provide a universal healthcare system to his city residents.
His Care Not Cash homeless assistance plan also went into effect, allowing 5,000 homeless individuals to receive permanent shelter. Throughout his mayoral career, the homeless rate dropped by twenty-eight percent.
This visionary and bold work led to a second mayoral term, where his work on homeless assistance and healthcare programs continued. Public health perspectives were fully integrated into urban planning processes through his Better Streets program, and his Urban-Rural Roundtable explored ways to promote regional food development and increased access to healthy, affordable food.
This will not be the first time that Gavin has launched himself into a gubernatorial race for California. In 2009, he announced his intention to run for the Governor of California, but after low poll numbers, he immediately dropped out of the race. Instead, he ran for the position of Lieutenant Governor of California, which he handily won with Democratic Party support.
Shortly after being elected Lt. Gov. in 2010, Newsom gathered the ideas of stakeholders around the state to develop an economic growth and job creation strategy. Such a blueprint ensured that California remained one of the top ten economies across the globe.
He subsequently won his re-election bid in 2014 for the same seat.
During his time at Lt. Gov, Gavin supported legislation that decriminalized nonviolent drug offenses and legalized cannabis in a regulatory fashion. He has also attempted to repeal the death penalty in California, citing its hefty expenses.
Gavin is once again running for Governor of California, but is now part of a different story. Rather than coming into the gubernatorial election with low poll numbers, Gavin is leading the Democratic pact.
His campaign is focusing on economic growth, infrastructure and housing expansion, and social change. Gavin is pushing for a job-training educational system that gives people relevant skills to thrive in the global economy while increasing affordable access to quality schools. He believes early childhood education and college education should be accessible to all Californians, no matter their race or income. Similarly, he believes all residents of California should have accessible and affordable healthcare through a universal program, much like what he pushed for while Mayor of San Francisco.
California is a place of unparalleled economic opportunity and high-tech growth. Gavin, undoubtedly, has the bold leadership and vision to push California’s global economy and diverse society forward.