Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis Delivers Introductory Remarks at 2021 State of the State Address

MARCH 9, 2021

Thank you, Madam President pro Tem and Speaker Rendon, and good evening to all our fellow Californians.

This year, as we know, has been one of unprecedented and historic challenges. The COVID-19 global pandemic has upended life as we know it and taken the lives of nearly 55,000 Californians. But as we enter into what we believe is the final stretch of this journey, there is a great deal to be hopeful about.

Governor Gavin Newsom – along with state and local officials, health care professionals, educators, scientists, essential workers, moms, dads, kids – all of us, bound together by common purpose, have risen up to meet the challenges of this extraordinary time.

Today, with over 18 percent of Californians already vaccinated, and more doses on the way, we can all breathe a little easier, knowing that the most vulnerable among us, especially in underserved communities, are safer and safer with each passing day. Meanwhile, businesses across our state are turning the lights back on and getting ready to open up. And our kids are getting ready to go safely back to the classroom!

Just seven weeks ago, President Joe Biden and California’s own daughter, America’s first female Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office, bringing new leadership to our beautiful country. As a former federal official myself, I can already see the impact of robust state and federal cooperation.

But for the first two years of the Newsom administration, the governor and our legislature pushed back hard against a federal government that played politics with American states. Governor Newsom never wavered in doing what was best for Californians, and he always used science, facts, and rational thinking as his guiding principles.

In so many ways, it truly is a new day in our Golden State. There is still much work to be done but we can all look ahead toward a brighter future, and toward building back better. And now, my fellow Californians, it is my honor to introduce our governor, the governor of the great state of California, Gavin Newsom.