On October 23, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsome met with the African American Empowerment Committee, a coalition of African American businesses and civic leaders from Northern and Southern California for a second time at the offices of Gene Hale, President of G&C Equipment Corporation and Chairman of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) to discuss a range of issues impacting the African American community, including but not limited to criminal justice reform, homelessness, education, government appointments, and business process reforms for state agencies dealing with providing economic fairness to the African American community. The committee is chaired by Alice Huffman and Pastor Edgar Boyd. Gene Hale is the chair of the small business committee.
The Governor said he is serious about the items the coalition has submitted to him. He explained that his African American appointees include the director of Caltrans, his Judicial Secretary, Inspector General for Caltrans, Legislative Secretary, Legal Affairs Secretary, Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education, and other high-profile positions. He is still looking to fill middle managers positions because they are the ones that interact with the people on the ground and are more sensitive to the needs of the African American communities. “The coalition believes the governor is on the right track to making substantial changes and will meet with the coalition to discuss the progress at the next meeting in San Francisco,” said Ms. Huffman. Gene Hale, chair of the small business committee, said he agrees with the current progress, but there is still a long way to go.