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Post News Group Exclusive Interview with California Governor Gavin Newsom

Newsom toured Beastmode Barbershop and Graffiti Pizza, both Black-owned businesses and held a press gaggle with the business owners, local politicians and community business leaders.

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  Editor-in-Chief Kiki and Governor Gavin Newsom/ Photo Credit: Kiki

Editor’s note: This article was edited for brevity and clarity.

On Thursday, June 18, Gov. Gavin Newsom came to Oakland to talk about small businesses and the “largest small business relief program in the nation.” Dubbed California Roars Back, it’s the governor’s $100 billion “comeback plan”.

Newsom toured Beastmode Barbershop and Graffiti Pizza, both Black-owned businesses and held a press gaggle with the business owners, local politicians and community business leaders.

The Post News Group was granted an exclusive one-on-one sit down interview with Newsom. 

Post:  “Thank you for your time. Why was it important for you to come to Oakland to talk about the comeback plan?”

Newsom: “ Oakland has been described by some of my  San Francisco friends as what San Francisco used to be. It’s a compliment(since) many aspects of San Francisco have been lost to sort of a universal same-ism in certain neighborhoods where you see the same eight nine chains, and the neighborhoods begin to lose their sense of community.

“You come to Oakland, and you see this thriving small business network, just remarkable diverse creative artists who happen to be entrepreneurs, literally in some cases, not just figuratively. 

“And so for me it’s really .. the manifestation of a vibrant small business community. It’s also a manifestation of what we want to highlight, which is, while the economy in the macro is recovering from a GDP perspective in the aggregate, we don’t live in the aggregate. There are people who have been disproportionately impacted.

“I want to make a point that we have your back, we want to be there for you when the lights turn off (and) the cameras go away. When we turn the page (on the pandemic), we want to make sure we’re there for the medium- and long-term so everyone’s back on their feet.”

Post: “ I heard you speak earlier about not only helping the businesses that have been struggling, but what about the businesses that have gone out of business. What are your plans for them now that we have reopened?”

Newsom:  “We’re working on the final proposal of a billion dollars in grants that allow people to utilize the training dollars to make entrepreneurial investments, meaning to actually use the money in a way where they can start up their business again. 

“We’re trying to be very creative. . ..  I read this case study about a model, … tripartite agreements of labor, business, and the Singapore government, and there’s these portable accounts that they created, tax free accounts that can be used across the spectrum. 

“They also have partnerships with business and small business loans and credit enhancements, and people are able to leverage (them) on the basis of their own skills and where they are in terms of their own workforce development. 

“We took a version of that idea. And that’s now currently in the final phases of negotiation with the Legislature. In addition, we’re waiving fees for new startups. We are providing opportunities in terms of loans and grants and credits.

“We have a new credit capacity of close to a billion dollars…. We’re doing micro loans, not grants, for those that have no access to credit or traditional banking institutions. We call it the California Dream fund, emphasis on ‘dream,’ because it also doesn’t regard your immigration status. 

“We’re writing these micro loans and grants across the spectrum for that subset of our entrepreneur population. We’re trying across all these spectrums to create more support.

“We have all these regional Small Business Centers, 86 of them that are fully staffed, fully functional, more engaged, more dynamic than ever. . .  and supporting a lot of the Black chambers.”

Post:  “I understand why (you picked) Oakland. Thank you for taking time to speak exclusively with the Black press. But why was that important to you to specifically speak to the Black press and reach out to Black businesses in particular?”

Newsom:  “I think, one of the things that kind of ticked me off a little bit –  I don’t know if that’s not gubernatorial language, but it’s more personal – I’m sick of the picture that’s painted on some of the networks around the BLM Movement, around the Black community generally, the exploitation, and it doesn’t tell any story. It’s not even interested in telling a story. It connects to manufactured reality.

“And so for me, this is also an opportunity to counter that (artificial) reality and talk about the entrepreneurial spirit. Yes. talk about creativity, talk about just the culture identity and the competency. What makes life worth living is that diversity of expression, output and insight and meeting needs that you didn’t even know existed. 

“I think it’s just incredibly important we talk about Black entrepreneurs.  Democrats need to do that. I say, I’m a small business guy. We have such a divided country It’s not just do the right thing for Black-owned businesses in Oakland because, you know, we have a disproportionate number of Black-owned businesses in the Bay Area, but it’s also part of a larger national trust.

“I’m just sick and tired of what I’m watching on the national news. And I want to highlight what I think is really one of the most under-expressed and under-communicated stories in America, like innovation, like entrepreneurship. 

“Black excellence (exists) across all spectrums, it’s not just about criminal justice reform, it’s not just about police.  There are other things we need to include in that conversation without neglecting our responsibilities to solve those issues. “

Post: “And what importance does the Black press have in all that?”

Newsom:  “I’ve been so inspired by how Black press perseveres. Talk about resiliency. We have gone to great lengths in the pandemic to support Black press in terms of our COVID efforts, testing efforts or vaccination efforts. 

“(We have) partnerships in terms of trusted messengers and outreach. But we can always do more. I know right now, particularly in the Black  press, there’s some anxiety that we’re moving from the investments we made in partnership with the federal government, CDC, because of the pandemic. And how are we going to be there now post-pandemic, and so we’re trying to work that through as well.”

Bay Area

Sept. 11, 2001, 20 years later: ‘Remembrance’ held aboard the USS Hornet Sea, Space & Air Museum

The USS Hornet Sea, Space & Air Museum, moored at the City of Alameda, hosted a “Remembrance” ceremony of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, on board the ship on the 20th anniversary, Sept. 11, 2021.

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U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard, 23rd Marine Regiment: Sgt. Tristan Garivay, Sgt. Michael Her, Cpl. Adrian Chavez and Cpl. Quentavious Leeks. Photo by Russell Moore, USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum, Community Events & Outreach

Quintin Jones, Colonel, USMC, Commanding Officer, 23rd Marine Regiment. Photo by Russell Moore, USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum, Community Events & Outreach

The USS Hornet Sea, Space & Air Museum, moored at the City of Alameda, hosted a “Remembrance” ceremony of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, on board the ship on the 20th anniversary, Sept. 11, 2021.

The ceremony recognized the impact and consequences of the series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed on 2001 by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Queda against targets in New York City and Wash., D.C. Nearly 3,000 people died that day and 6,000 were injured.  This was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in U.S. history. 

The ceremony aboard the USS Hornet began with the presentation of the colors by the U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard, 23rd Marine Regiment. (Pictured above.)

Leon Watkins, co-founder of The Walking Ghosts of Black History, was the Master of Ceremonies. He spoke about the extensive death and destruction which triggered the enormous U.S. effort to combat terrorism.

Daniel Costin, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spoke of the lasting impact of 9/11 terrorists attack on first responders. He recounted incidents where first responders rushed into the scenes of the attacks, many at the sacrifice of their own lives. More than 400 police officers and firefighters were killed that day: 343 members of the New York City Fire Department and 71 members of their law enforcement agencies.

Quintin Jones, Colonel, USMC, commanding officer of the 23rd Marine Regiment, spoke about the recovery efforts at the Pentagon following the terrorists’ attack where 125 people perished. He reflected on the actions of three first responders who recovered the U.S. Marine Corps flag from the commandant of the Marine Corps’ office at the Pentagon. This flag was still standing after the attack. It was a symbol of America’s resolve.

At the end of the formal presentations, the Marine Corps Wreath Bearers went to the fantail of the Hornet. After the playing of ‘Taps,’ they tossed a wreath into the San Francisco Bay to give final honors.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Bay Area

Castlemont High Coach Launches “Books Before Balls” Project

Tamikia McCoy, an Oakland Athletic League phenomena in 1991 – 1993, dominated girls’ basketball, becoming a walk-on at Grambling to win the Southern Western Conference of 1993-1994.  

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Tamikia McCoy/Photo Courtesy of Tanya Dennis

 

Michael Franklin

Tamikia McCoy, an Oakland Athletic League phenomena in 1991 – 1993, dominated girls’ basketball, becoming a walk-on at Grambling to win the Southern Western Conference of 1993-1994.  

For two years, she played with the Running Rebels, an Oakland all-star basketball team.  After earning many degrees, McCoy returned to her beloved Castlemont as Coach in 2019, and quickly realized a responsibility to her students beyond winning games and created Books Before Balls.

Another Castlemont alumni of that same year was not as fortunate as McCoy.  Like McCoy, Michael Franklin was a basketball beast.  He was awarded first team All-City for the Oakland Athletic League 1993-1994 and was Northern California’s All American that same year. 

Franklin continues to hold the record for scoring 43 points in one quarter in a game against McClymonds. Tragically, he was killed Dec. 14, 2016, at a gas station at 98th and Edes in Oakland.

Coach McCoy’s concerns about violence inspired her to create the Books Before Balls Project to address academic and social gaps that are working against student success. 

“For violence and bullying to cease, the underlying reasons have to be addressed,” said McCoy, “Food scarcity may seem unrelated to violence, but it’s a signal that economic opportunities are lacking, which leads to trauma and desperation.”  

McCoy is also concerned that Castlemont’s library was closed and is spearheading a campaign to reopen and revitalize the library.  

She has joined with Oakland Frontline Healers and Adamika Village#stopkillingourkids movement to address issues of food scarcity, lack of economic opportunity, lack of resources and lack of support for students entering college.  

Together, they are creating a model that is duplicatable and hopefully will be adopted at other OUSD schools. Oakland Frontline Healers are a collaborative of 30 nonprofits and doctors offering services, food, and resources to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.  

Players and families will be tested weekly by Umoja Health before games, and the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for those that wish to take it.

With a grant from the Department of Violence Prevention, Building Opportunity for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) and Adamika Village#stopkillingourkidsmovement, are honoring Michael Franklin’s life by hosting a series of “Mike’s Knights” Basketball Tournaments at Castlemont High School beginning the last Friday in November.  

Participants will be paid stipends to participate in the league or cheer squad and will be tutored and mentored during the tournaments, which will include family forums to discuss ending violence in East Oakland.

Books Before Balls invites the community to donate to the organization to support the Lady Knights’ basketball team, the success program that funds first year college students, or join their initiative to reopen the library. 

 For more information contact:  Ladyknights2019@yahoo.com For youth interested in joining the eight-week tournament contact Adamika Village at adamikaadamika@gmail.com 

Together with school leaders and administrators, and with the support of Oakland Frontline Healers, Books Before Balls is staging a “Student’s Against Bullying” event Friday, Sept. 17 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Youth Uprising, 8711 MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Activism

Bay Area Officials Condemn Texas Abortion Restrictions, U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

Bay Area and state officials lambasted both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas state government after the high court declined to approve an emergency petition to stop a Texas law banning abortions six weeks or more after conception.

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Law Books/Clarisse Meyer Via Unsplash

Bay Area and state officials lambasted both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas state government after the high court declined to approve an emergency petition to stop a Texas law banning abortions six weeks or more after conception.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the law, Senate Bill 8, in May, but it went into effect September 1 at 12:01 a.m. local time.
Late that night, the court issued a 5-4 ruling, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s three liberal justices in the minority, declining to rule on the petition, which was filed by Texas abortion clinics.
The court could still strike the law down in the coming days as unconstitutional, but abortion rights activists expressed skepticism that the court would do so after letting the law go into effect in the first place.
The law effectively overwrites the precedent set in 1973 by the court’s ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade by preventing pregnant people from seeking an abortion after their sixth week of pregnancy, a time when many people are not yet even aware that they are pregnant.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, called SB 8 “one of the most severe attacks on reproductive rights” in U.S. history.
“SB 8 is an appalling violation of human rights and reproductive rights, and will put the health of millions of people in jeopardy, especially for low-income people and people of color,” Lee said in a statement.
SB 8 does not make exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest and allows people to sue doctors, medical staff and even a patient’s ride to a medical clinic if they suspect the patient has had an abortion after six weeks.
Plaintiffs also are not required to show damages or have a connection to the patient to file a lawsuit under SB 8, and are entitled to $10,000 and their legal fees if a judge rules in their favor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, said the law constructed a “vigilante bounty system” that could keep people from seeking reproductive health care of any kind.
“This provision is a cynical, backdoor attempt by partisan lawmakers to evade the Constitution and the law to destroy not only a woman’s right to health care but potentially any right or protection that partisan lawmakers target,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Vice President Kamala Harris echoed that sentiment.
“This decision is not the last word on Roe v. Wade, and we will not stand by and allow our nation to go back to the days of back-alley abortions,” Harris said in a statement. “We will not abide by cash incentives for virtual vigilantes and intimidation for patients.”
Jodi Hicks, the CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, argued in a statement that the Supreme Court’s decision will inevitably lead to other states passing their own abortion restrictions.
Nearly a dozen states have already passed so-called “abortion trigger laws” that would fully outlaw the practice in the first and second trimesters as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“The inaction by the Supreme Court on a blatantly unconstitutional ban has taken away a crucial right to millions of people in Texas and without a doubt threatens their ability to make decisions about their body, their lives, and their futures,” Hicks said.
On September 2, Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will formally take up legislation to codify abortion rights in federal law instead of relying on the court decision alone.
However, that bill, the Women’s Health Protection Act, is unlikely to find enough support in the U.S. Senate to reach President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature.
Biden said in a statement on September 1 that SB 8 “blatantly violates” the decision in Roe v. Wade and pledged to defend abortion rights across the country, but did not elaborate on what that might entail.
California Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, argued in a Twitter post that the purpose of SB 8 is clear: “to intimidate women (and) providers.”
“It cannot stand,” she said.

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