Newsom Delivers Campaign-Like State of the State; Mass Vaccinations for Farmworkers

COVID Vaccination Record

 

Gov. Newsom Delivers State of the State Address

In a break from tradition, Governor Newsom delivered his State of the State address this week from an empty Dodger Stadium, where he noted that the 56,000 – seat capacity of the facility reflected the approximate number of Californians who have died of COVID-19 over the last year.

 The Governor also recognized essential workers as he focused on the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, spoke about education and bridging student learning and achievement gaps from this school year, connected the state’s wildfires with climate change, which he holds responsible for last year’s record wildfire season.

Newsom touted parts of California’s COVID-19 response, including being the first state to issue stay-at-home orders, building the most comprehensive testing system in the nation, establishing the first-of-its-kind state-run testing lab, and being the first to launch federally sponsored mass vaccination sites, which is now a model now for the other 49 states. He also highlighted the 11 million vaccines the state has already administered, more than any other state.

Delivering the address under the spotlight of a looming recall campaign, the Governor also owned that mistakes have been made during the state’s response.

“For all that we have done well, we have made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes, but we learn from them, I’ve learned from them. Since the pandemic began, uncertainty is about the only thing we were certain of,” he said.

The Governor also talked about his administration’s continued plan to battle homelessness via Projects Room Key and Home Key, which have now housed 35,000 homeless Californians. Last year, Newsom spent his entire State of the State address outlining the state’s plan to combat homelessness.

Education also took center stage in the governor’s address, reiterating his view that now is the time to re-open schools. He spoke of the state’s objective to prioritize education and highlighted the $6.6 billion state funding package that is targeted to address learning loss, provide tutoring, mental health help, and the possibility and flexibility to extend the school year and/or the school day.

Governor Newsom also discussed the issue of climate change and California’s response to the issue. According to Newsom, last’s year’s summer heat dome that settled over the entire West Coast led to historically high temperatures and contributed to the record-setting wildfires the state experienced. In one 24-hour period in August, he shared, 12,000 lightning strikes led to 560 wildfires.

“This year, the state is committing $1 billion dollars to combat climate change’s effects on our forests, including by addressing fire prevention, fire breaks and home hardening,” Newsom said. He also added the state is ramping up its partnership with the Forest Service to meet these goals.

 

USCCB Issues Pastoral Message on Anniversary of COVID-19 Pandemic

As we embark on the one-year mark of COVID-19 altering life as we knew it, the CCC asks for prayer for those souls who have been lost, their grieving family and friends, for essential workers, and for those who have suffered loss and hardship as a result of the pandemic. 

The USCCB issued a statement marking one-year of “sickness, death, mourning, a lack of food, unstable housing, loss of work and income, struggles with education, separation, abuse, isolation, depression, and anxiety. We witnessed racial injustices, the diminishment of the poor and the elderly, and painful divisions in our political life. Yet we know, as the Psalms remind us, that we find comfort in God’s promise that gives us life (Ps 119:50).”

Read the Statement at USCCB.org

 

Catholics Schools Successfully Navigate COVID-19 While Open

While much of the public school system has remained in remote learning platforms this school year, Catholic schools have provided a model for successfully navigating the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.

In this L.A. Times article, Jesuit High School in Sacramento is profiled for its ability to remain open with in-person learning without a significant COVID outbreak, while the number of infections climbed to record numbers this past fall and winter.

Congratulations to our Catholic schools for paving the way, and please pray for their continued success.

Read on LATimes.com.

 

Vulnerable but Essential Farmworkers’ Vaccine Clinics Taking Place