STATE OF THE STATE
STATE CAPITOL, SACRAMENTO, CA
REMARKS FROM LT. GOVERNOR ELENI KOUNALAKIS AS PREPARED
FEBRUARY 19, 2020
Thank you, Madame President Pro Tem.
Last year we assembled in this historic chamber for Governor Newsom’s first State of the State address. By all accounts, 2019 was a busy year for California’s state government. Legislation introduced by this body, and signed into law by our governor is already at work addressing housing, homelessness, wildfires, education, discrimination and so much more.
With our economy still strong – and with many challenges still looming – it’s clear that 2020 will be another landmark year for California public policy.
Before I introduce the governor, I’d like to offer a word of personal gratitude. As a former Lieutenant Governor himself, he could see the underutilized capacity of this office. His support has strengthened our work in both public higher education and on environmental issues. And last year, just a few weeks after taking office, he signed an executive order designating me his representative for international affairs and trade.
Foreign trade, and international engagement, is important work. One out of every five California jobs depends on trade and tourism. California’s deep-water ports, our tourist attractions, and our 140-mile border with Mexico are among the busiest in the country.
With the governor’s leadership, and support from the legislature, we have helped train more small businesses to export their products to customers in foreign markets. We have delivered humanitarian aid to help asylum seekers, and we’ve increased cooperation with Mexico to finally move forward to clean up the Tijuana River Valley and the New River.
California’s voice on the world stage is so important. The world is looking to us, now more than ever, to lead on the climate agenda. And at a time when some in this country vilify immigrants, the world looks to California as we celebrate diversity. We know that our economic prosperity and innovative society comes hand in hand with being the number one destination for immigrants to the United States. Let’s hear it for immigrants!
Governor Newsom often says that California is America’s coming attraction. Governor, the vision that the rest of our country will eventually catch up with California is one that offers hope and optimism to millions of people in countries far and wide.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor and privilege to present to you the 40th Governor of the Great State of California. Please stand for Governor Gavin Newsom.