Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom kicks off CAHCC convention with call for optimism, plan of action

150 150 John Guenther

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom kicked off the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce convention in San Jose this morning at an awards breakfast where he delivered a plea to dispel with pessimism and a call to action from both citizens and government officials. The 8 a.m. breakfast crowd was excited and alert (some of them had participated in 6 a.m. Zumba dance/cardio classes!) and open to hearing the Lt. Governor’s inspirational words.

California Forward has a heavy presence at the event and we were able to capture a very detailed, paraphrased summary of Newsom’s speech so that everyone can grasp where Sacramento’s head is at with respect to economic recovery:

I come from a real, small micro business background (Plumpjack Wines) and because of that, come into politics with that entrepreneurial spirit. I believe in best practices. Between 1950 and 1980, the California economy grew on a job creation basis. From 1980 to 2010 – we flatlined. We are no longer the economic engine of our nation. We are not generating the jobs. This is a structural challenge. The old adage – continue to do what we have done, elect the same politicians, shame on you and me – you shouldn’t have to listen to the arguments about how we can fail more efficiently. The debate is not about our greatness. We need to start building on what is right instead of focusing exponentially on what is wrong. Maybe it is beacyse I live in Northern California, but I believe that, “You are nothing but a mirror of your consistent thoughts”. Pessimism has taken over in this state, we have given up. lt is so corrosive. People hold on to their patch, to their piece of a declining game. I am part of the problem – can’t just blame the govs.

We decided to figure out where we were. We don’t even have a plan. I don’t think money is the problem, I think coming up with new ideas is our big challenge. i think that because I know you know that. it was your big ideas, pen to paper that convinced uncles, parent to loan you money to start your own businesses. The government needs to act accordingly. Money is our excuse, not our problem. If there are no plans, who is responsible for putting a plan together? Currently, 36 agenices are reponsible, but as of yet, there is no plan and no delivery system or thoughts on how to implement a plan. When you look back at your original business plans, you smile because the business you have today doesn’t look like the one you planned.

We went to six states here in the US and also looked internationally a Singapore, China, and India. It is not just Rick Perry in Texas we are competing with. There are good things happening around the world and we took the best of what we observed put them into a plan that netted 38 action items.

Procurement strategies need to support our diverse business opportunities. We must move away from perks and paper and focus on people and products. We always out-educated, (now a challenge in the face of budget cuts), so as a result, we out-innovated. A vibrant middle class was created based on these fundamental principles: trade, exchange, forging partnerships (not just public/private, but public/public as well). Right now there is a bill on Governor Brown’s desk to deal with creating new jobs and restoring California’s competitiveness.

It is all about leadership. Forceful leadership. We need to match the entrepreneurship of our state with our leadership.

Interested people find excuses. Committed people find ways of getting things done. It’s time the people you elect match that spirit so we can once again be the model for the rest of the world.

Let us know if the Lt. Governor’s words inspired you in any way.


John Guenther

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