Gov. Newsom taps all former California governors and other leaders for new Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force

Governor appoints business and civic leader, and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer Chief Advisor and as task force co-chair with governor’s Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary

All of California’s former governors and California’s legislative leaders across both political parties join the task force

Brings together Californian government, business, labor, health care and community leaders from across diverse range of the state’s economy to develop recommendations for a plan that works for all Californians, with a focus on the regions and communities hardest hit by the pandemic

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, ILWU President Willie Adams, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation Antonia Hernandez, former head of the Small Business Administration Aida Álvarez and Apple CEO Tim Cook will be part of the task force stepping up to help California pave the way toward a fast, safe recovery of jobs

SACRAMENTO (April 17, 2020) – Bringing together leaders across California’s diverse, innovative economic and social sectors to chart a path forward on recovery in the wake of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the formation of a state Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. The Task Force will be co-chaired by Governor Newsom’s Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary and philanthropist, environmentalist and businessman Tom Steyer, who was also appointed Chief Advisor to the Governor on Business and Jobs Recovery. He will receive no compensation for his service.

Members of the Task Force include Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove, Assembly Minority Leader Marie Waldron, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Walt Disney Company Executive Chairman Bob Iger, former head of the Small Business Administration Aida Álvarez and dozens of prominent leaders in business, labor, health care, academia and philanthropy.

Read the full list of Task Force members here.

“This pandemic has forced millions of Californians out of jobs – with the most vulnerable hit the hardest,” said Governor Newsom. “While we have made significant progress in flattening the curve and increased preparedness of our health care delivery system, the actions taken have also impacted the economy, poverty and overall health care in California. We will use a gradual, science-based and data-driven framework to guide our re-opening timing while planning our economic recovery. I am honored that dozens of leaders in business, labor, health and philanthropy are stepping up to meet this moment by committing their time and talent to lift up all Californians. Through their leadership, and the leadership of California’s 40 million residents, I have no doubt we will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

The Task Force will work to develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover as fast as safely possible from the COVID-19 induced recession and to shape a fair, green, and prosperous future. They will meet twice a month throughout 2020 to develop options that would work for all Californians, with a particular focus on those hardest hit by the pandemic.

“Governor Newsom has been a steady hand and shining example of how to lead during a crisis, and I am thrilled to help in this critical way,” said Tom Steyer. “In the coming weeks and months, we will bring together the public and private sectors, outside experts, organized labor, environmental groups, and activists to develop recommendations for a recovery plan that works for all Californians, with an emphasis on those communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Our goal is to present Governor Newsom with tangible actions that leverage the task force’s expertise to rebuild California, emphasize smart, green technologies and provide a model for just economic development for our country.”

The Task Force will craft ideas for short, medium, and long-term solutions that reflect communities across the state, and emphasize a fair and equitable recovery. There will be significant emphasis of the state’s strengths, including diversity and innovation. The Task Force will not only focus on our immediate recovery, but on actions to support a cleaner, more equitable and prosperous future for all Californians. It will build on the important work of other groups including the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Higher Education Council and the Commission on the Future of Work. Both co-chairs of the Future of Work Commission, President of SEIU Mary Kay Henry and Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company James Manyika, will serve on the new Task Force.

The governor formed the Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force just days after he announced a multi-state Task Force with Oregon and Washington to coordinate the reopening of our regional economy. Governor Newsom outlined a road map to recovery with six indicators that should be met before California’s stay-at-home orders are modified.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on California’s economy. The state has seen more than 2.8 million unemployment claims since March 12, 2020 – not including undocumented residents or independent contractors. The impact has been particularly devastating for California’s small businesses.

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