Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Gov. Gavin Newsom (Photo by Leroy Hamilton)

Governor Gavin Newsom organized labor, community, and elected leaders across South Los Angeles to recognize Black worker contributions to the American Labor Movement on Labor Day at the headquarters of the African American Voter Registration, Education, and Participation Project (AAVREP).

Dr. Melina Abdulla from the California Faculty Association, Kendrick Roberson of the American Federation of Government Employees, Doug Moore of the United Domestic Workers/AFSCME, Sheryl Lee Ralph of SAG-AFTRA, April Verret of SEIU Local 2015, Simboa Wright of SEIU 721, and Gerald Durant of the Stentorians were among the labor luminaries who joined Governor Newsom to mobilize opposition to the September 14 Recall.

Senator Sydney Kamlager and Assemblymember Mike Gipson have co-led African Americans Against the Right Wing Recall at AAVREP for the past month. The effort has opened six offices across the Golden State to walk, talk, and mobilize Black voters to vote against the Recall in large numbers.

Congresswoman Karen Bass, Assemblymen Chris Holden, Isaac Bryan, Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Senator Steve Bradford, Mayors Tasha Cerda, Emma Sharif, Robert Pullen-Miles, Councilmen Curren Price, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Rex Richardson, Al Austin, Jawane Hilton, and College Trustee Uduak-Joe Ntuk walked precincts across Greater South Los Angeles with volunteers to ensure the last days of the Recall campaign were focused on the interests of Black voters.

Read Related: Note to Hollywood, Beverly Hills: Your Vote Matters in California’s Recall Election

Governor Gavin Newsom (Photo by Leroy Hamilton)
At the Black Labor Day celebration at AAVREP, Governor Newsom focused on what was accomplished despite the headwinds of COVID-19 and anti-civil rights forces. He pledged he would remain committed to a more inclusive California as envisioned in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “beloved community.” Other speakers were clear-eyed about the choices in this election: either voting no or going backwards as a state. Elected and labor leaders stressed that Black voters cannot afford Right Wing attacks on democracy in California.

Those gathered stressed healthcare, education, childcare, living wages, and a secure retirement as areas that the Labor Movement, Governor Newsom, and African Americans in California have fought for decades to expand. Recall supporters have not committed to or have actively attempted to undermine the gains of Black Californians.

Read Related: Resisting the Republican Recall: Not Confusing Need with Anger at Newsom

Congressmember Karen Bass (Photo by Leroy Hamilton)

With so much at stake for Black voters, AAVREP, Governor Newsom, community and labor leaders have pledged to continue communicating with voters until 8 p.m. on September 14. Vote Centers formally opened September 4 and have expanded as of September 6. All registered California voters have had ballots mailed to their home and can either mail in through regular post (postage is prepaid by the Secretary of State’s office), drop off at a drop box, or walk in their completed ballots at any Vote Center in Los Angeles County.

The Recall campaign has a relatively short window under California’s constitution. A small number of voters are allowed to initiate a recall of any state or local official for any reason. This process starts a Special Election, in the case of the Gubernatorial Recall on September 14. There are two questions voted on simultaneously: firstly, should an official be recalled and secondly, who should replace the official.

Read Related: Five Ways to Make Sure Our Votes Count in the Upcoming Recall Election

(Courtesy photo)

In a regular even-year election, there is no question that an overwhelming majority of voters would reject a Recall election of a governor only elected in 2018 who has consistently enjoyed high favorability among voters across California. Recall elections are unique in that they do not draw the same level of participation as regularly scheduled elections. Recalls are confusing in that they do not allow the candidate under threat of recall to be a candidate to potentially succeed themselves. These factors are what those trying to recall Governor Newsom believe will be misunderstood by voters.

To keep election information correct and remain focused on California’s economic, public health, and social justice recoveries, Democrats, civil rights groups, community leaders, and the Black press have uniformly rejected ousting Governor Newsom and no candidate suitable to lead California is on the ballot. Serious leaders are clear that Governor Newsom should remain in office and keep California on the road to recovery from the pandemic and equity for all its residents.

AAVREP, the Democratic Party, the California Federation of Labor, and various people-powered groups across the state are leading the work of communicating directly with voters and strongly encouraging them to vote. For more information visit: