Image of CA Seal

As Californians enjoy the first official summer days and thousands of students celebrate their achievements in graduation ceremonies across the state, our office has been working hard. Just this month, I’ve visited the cities of Santa Barbara, Fresno, Humboldt, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Sacramento and beyond. Our work this month shines a light on the convergence of higher education and the future of clean energy. In my visits to three CSU and UC campuses, a decommissioned offshore oil platform, and the site that once held the last oil piers in California, it is clear that as we transition away from the fossil fuels of the past and towards a clean and renewable energy future, California’s public universities will serve as critical sources of research, innovation, and talent in our transition.

Pride takes center stage for the month as California and the rest of the nation celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and our historical milestones toward equity and inclusion. Despite it being a time for joy and celebration, we are also reminded of a crisis unique to Americans. June marks Gun Violence Awareness Month. As we remember the lives lost to senseless gun violence, California continues to lead the nation in common-sense gun control measures that save thousands of lives.

June also marks the 1st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision overturning Roe v. Wade and 50 years of precedent guaranteeing a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. Since the Dobbs decision, California has remained steadfast in defense of reproductive freedom, including historic budget investments to support reproductive access, passing the largest reproductive freedom package in history, enshrining access to abortion and contraception in our state constitution, and the list goes on. Abortion is and will continue to be legal in California. We will never back down from the fight to defend our reproductive rights.

June serves not only as a reminder of the significant strides we’ve made as a country but how far we still have to go. Let’s celebrate progress, embrace unity, and champion the causes that drive us toward a more inclusive, safer, and brighter California.

Eleni Kounalakis
Lieutenant Governor of California

Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis at SF Pride


Happy Pride! 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis celebrated Pride in the city of San Francisco throughout the month of June. To kick-start Pride Month, the Lt. Governor joined elected officials and community leaders at San Francisco City Hall to raise the Pride Flag. Raising the Pride Flag at San Francisco City Hall is a special chance to celebrate at the first building to issue a same-sex marriage license in the United States.

To close out Pride Month, Lt. Governor Kounalakis attended the 26th Annual Alice Pride Breakfast and joined members of her Transgender Advisory Council and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to march at the San Francisco Pride Parade.

Image of SF Pride Banner

Gun Violence Prevention Awareness Month 

On June 16th, the Lieutenant Governor attended a press conference hosted by the United Playaz and Congressman Mike Thompson for Gun Violence Prevention Awareness Month.

She was also joined by Speaker Pelosi, other members of Congress, and gun violence advocates to discuss how California is leading the way in gun safety and the need for federal action on gun violence prevention.

America’s Favorite Cinderella Team 

On June 12th, the Lieutenant Governor celebrated Aztec Day at the California State Capitol to honor San Diego State’s men’s basketball team’s NCAA Championship appearance. Though they didn’t win the title, this was the first time in history the Aztecs made the Final Four. California congratulated the Aztecs on an incredible season on the court and looks forward to cheering them on again this upcoming season.

Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis with UCSD Aztecs
Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis with UCSD Aztecs

Higher Education 

Image of Lt. Governor at UC Santa Barbara with students

Tour of UC Santa Barbara 

In June, Lt. Governor Kounalakis joined UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang on a campus tour. The visit included a tour of two state-funded projects: the newly launched Interactive Learning Pavilion and the expansion and renewal of the University’s main library. This tour concluded the Lt. Governor’s visit to all ten University of California Campuses. Hearing from students, staff, and faculty has shaped the priorities of the Lieutenant Governor and created a deepened sense of appreciation for the work being done for California’s students.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Pier  

During a month focused on clean and renewable energy, Lt. Governor Kounalakis toured the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Pier, which serves as an active research and teaching hub. During the visit, the Lt. Governor met with students using the Pier to conduct research on our oceans and the San Luis Obispo Bay. The Pier is part of a growing focus at the university and in the region on renewable energy. California recently set ambitious targets for the use of floating offshore wind off the central coast near Morro Bay, a few miles west of the City of San Luis Obispo. The university is in the process of securing a U.S. Department of Energy designation as a renewable energy test site, which will allow it to better research, test, and demonstrate offshore renewable energy systems, like offshore wind.

Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo students
Image of Lt. Gov with Cal Poly Humboldt students

Tour of the New Cal Poly Humboldt  

Concluding the month of campus visits, the Lt. Governor visited California’s newest Polytechnic Institute, Cal Poly Humboldt, the state’s third polytechnic institute. During her visit, she met with students and toured Schatz Energy Lab, a research center with a mission to promote clean and renewable energy use. Like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Humboldt will play an essential role in developing offshore wind off California. She also met with campus leadership to discuss progress in the exciting transition from a State University to a Cal Poly. This was the 16th CSU campus the Lt. Governor visited.


Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis at a press conference in the City of Goleta

Visits to Two Milestone Fossil Fuel Decommissioning Projects in the State’s Central Coast 

In early June, Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis wrapped up a 2-day visit to California’s central coast to highlight two milestone projects in the transition away from fossil fuel extraction near Santa Barbara.

The visit included a celebration of the removal of California’s last offshore oil production shore zone piers in the City of Goleta, which were built in the 1920s and remained operational until the 1990s. At one point, the shoreline was marked by 13 oil-producing piers. Now the final two piers and caissons are gone, restoring coastal access and eliminating public safety and environmental threats.

Image of Platform Holly
Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis on Platform Holly

During her visit in Goleta, Lt. Governor Kounalakis also surveyed the progress in the decommissioning of another former oil platform, Platform Holly, located two miles off the city’s shore. The platform stopped producing oil in 2015 following the Refugio Beach oil spill, which saw over 140,000 gallons of oil leak from an onshore pipeline. All the wells have been capped, and the Commission anticipates it will begin work on an Environmental Impact Report later this year to inform the final decommissioning of Holly and its underwater infrastructure.

Lt. Governor joined LiUNA! for Offshore Wind Forum in Eureka

Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis at LiUNA Offshore Wind Forum

International Affairs 

Welcoming Minister-President of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany to California

Lt. Governor Kounalakis welcomed The Honorable Daniel Gunther, President-Minister of the German province of Schleswig-Holstein, along with a major trade and government official delegation to the Bay Area. While in San Francisco, President-Minister Gunther inaugurated a new artificial intelligence data-sharing project between UCSF and one of Germany’s largest medical faculties.

Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis with he Honorable Daniel Gunther, President-Minister of the German province of Schleswig-Holstein

Welcoming Monsieur l’Ambassadeur to California! 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis welcomed to California the newly arrived Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency Laurent Bili, who made his first visit to the golden state.  The Lt. Governor and Ambassador Bili discussed the close ties that already link France and California and several areas where future and enhanced cooperation are possible.

70th Anniversary of Korea-US Alliance Reception 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis participated in and delivered remarks at a ceremony hosted by the Republic of Korea’s Consul General at San Francisco’s City Hall, marking the 70th Anniversary of the U.S.-Korea Mutual Defense Treaty.  In her remarks, she underlined the vital trade, cultural, and people-to-people ties that link California and South Korea and expressed her desire to see those ties strengthened.

Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis at 70th anniversary of Korea-US Alliance Reception

Inauguration of the European Union Office in San Francisco 

On June 22nd, Lt. Governor Kounalakis welcomed Commissioner Thierry Breton and Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis of the European Union to California as they joined in the celebration of the official inauguration and ribbon cutting for the European Union’s newest diplomatic outpost in San Francisco. On June 22nd, Lt. Governor Kounalakis welcomed Commissioner Thierry Breton and Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis of the European Union to California as they joined in the celebration of the official inauguration and ribbon cutting for the European Union’s newest diplomatic outpost in San Francisco.

Carnegie California Center Inauguration 

The European Union was not the only major international entity to establish a new office in California.  On June 22nd, Lt. Governor Kounalakis participated in a ceremony to mark the opening of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s new Carnegie California Center. The Carnegie Endowment is one of the world’s leading think tanks focused on offering decision-makers global, independent, and strategic insights and innovative ideas to advance international peace. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the endowment operates several Centers in major international cities worldwide.The California Center will be the first and only Carnegie office located within the United States besides their main office in Washington. It will show California’s very important and influential role on the world stage.  The Lt. Governor joined with the Carnegie Endowment’s President (and former Justice of the California Supreme Court), Tino Cuellar, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, and other leading government and academic officials to welcome the Center’s Founding Director, Ian Klaus, and his team to California. 

Image of Lt. Governor Kounalakis at Carnegie California Center Inauguration
Image of Lt. Governor at European Union’s newest diplomatic outpost in San Francisco

Gender Equity 

First Anniversary of  Dobbs v. Jackson Ruling 

June 24th marked one year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which ripped away the constitutional right to abortion for millions of Americans and restricted their ability to make their own healthcare decisions. Since the ruling, California has remained steadfast in its commitment to protecting this fundamental right to choose. California’s unwavering stance sends a powerful message, inspiring others nationwide to join the ranks in defending reproductive rights for all.

Economic Development

North State Building Industry Association BUILD Event 

The Lt. Governor spoke to a group of young, upcoming leaders in the building and development industry who are part of this year’s BIA North State Building Universal Industry Leadership and Diversity (BUILD) cohort. The Lt. Governor shared her views on California’s housing market and provided insights that she has gained as a woman in leadership in policy and from her 18 years in the land development industry.

Image of Lt. Governor receiving Diversity award from Asian, Hispanic, and African American Chamber of Commerce

California Asian Pacific, African American, and Hispanic Chambers Diversity Award 

The California African American, California Hispanic, and California Asian Pacific Chambers of Commerce joined forces this month to honor three outstanding champions of diversity in California. This year, Lt. Governor Kounalakis received the Public Official Diversity Award for her leadership in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in California. Click here [hyperlinked] to take a peek at the video presented at the award ceremony.

SoCal Builder Magazine  

The Southern California Builder Magazine interviewed the Lt. Governor on women in leadership, regarding her career, building and housing in California, supply chain and international trade, and diversity in the industry.

Other Highlights 

  • Welcomed First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, to California for a conversation with San Francisco leaders on how San Francisco can facilitate APEC 2023’s global agenda.
  • Worked with local and federal partners and participated in a roundtable discussion with U.S. Senior Official for APEC Matt Murray in preparation for November’s 2023 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader’s Summit
  • Provided remarks for State Senator Bill Dodds’ Higher Education Town Hall to discuss what the state is doing to address issues of accessibility and affordability in our public higher education system
  • Attended Assemblywoman Blanca E. Rubio’s Young Legislators Program 2023 Lunch with members of the state Legislature as well as Sherriff Jim Cooper to speak to high school students interested in public service
  • Spoke at the Hotel Council of San Francisco’s Women in Leadership Conference as they highlighted women leaders who have broken barriers in hospitality and other various industries
  • Met with local Del Norte County officials to hear about current issues and challenges in the county, including wind power, public safety, and existing infrastructure projects
  • Toured the United Indian Health Services (UIHS) Clinic in Crescent City for an overview of the clinic and the challenges of health care in a rural area
  • Attended the Graton Resort and Casino’s groundbreaking of their expansion, which is owned by the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria (Tribe) and operated under federal law and the Tribal-State Compact
  • Office met with a group of Mandela Fellows, young African leaders visiting California under the auspices of a U.S. Department of State sponsored program