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As we say farewell to November, California has been at the epicenter of remarkable events that have left an indelible mark on our state and nation.

San Francisco proudly hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, showcasing California as a global leader in environmental sustainability and economic cooperation. Against the backdrop of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco will also be preparing to host a trifecta of world-class sporting events over the next eighteen months, continuing to highlight the Bay Area as a global destination for the rest of the world.  

Amidst the festivities, November saw the solemn observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance, commemorating the lives lost due to transphobia. The day served as a reminder of the work ahead in creating a safe, accepting, and just society for all.

In international news, thoughts turned to the hostages who bravely returned home after facing the atrocities committed by Hamas. We extend our gratitude to President Biden for his engagement in securing the release of civilians, children, and American citizens so that all hostages can reunite with their loved ones.

As we enter the festive season, we are reminded of the importance of giving back to our communities. Let us come together to serve and love our neighbors, embodying the true spirit of the season. In unity and compassion, we can build a stronger, more resilient California for all. 

Image of Lt. Governors signature

Eleni Kounalakis
Lieutenant Governor of California

Image of Lt. Gov. Kounalakis, Gov. Newsom, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and other dignitaries at a table talking

APEC 2023 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis met with world leaders at the APEC summit in San Francisco to promote climate action and economic cooperation between California and the broader Asia-Pacific region. The Lieutenant Governor participated in seventeen APEC events and five bilateral meetings with foreign dignitaries. 

Governor Gavin Newsom and Lt. Governor Kounalakis led the California delegation at APEC. When the United States was selected to host APEC, Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis urged U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to choose San Francisco as the APEC host city. After San Francisco was selected, she served as Finance Chair of the San Francisco Host Committee, spearheading the effort to raise the funds necessary for the city to host APEC. 

In celebration of APEC, Lt. Governor Kounalakis joined various welcome receptions to greet visitors to the Golden State. She also met with leaders from Canada, Singapore, Australia, and China. APEC highlighted California’s commitment to sustainability, economic cooperation, and its influential role on the world stage. 

Link to Press Release.  

Higher Education 

CSU Trustees 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis participated in the November Board of Trustees meeting. She gave remarks condemning the rise in antisemitic and hate crimes across California’s campuses and called on CSU and all universities to ensure their campus environments are safe for students, faculty, and staff.  

Upstream USA and UCSF Fresno Roundtable  

On Wednesday, November 8th, Lt. Governor Kounalakis joined representatives from Upstream, UCSF Fresno, Fresno County Department of Public Health, and United Health Centers for a roundtable discussion. The discussion was centered on health care access in Fresno County, the needs, and gaps in care that providers experience, and reproductive health care, including access to contraceptive services. 

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis with UCSF faculty

UCSF Fresno Medical Campus 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis participated in a tour of UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research. She visited the Hildebrand Medical Library and the Mobile Medical Clinic RV. She also did a walk-through of the Clinical Skills Lab, viewed their medical equipment and technology and witnessed a few student demonstrations.  

International Affairs 

Norway Minister of Justice Comes to California  

Norway and California are global leaders in the transition towards a clean energy future. On Tuesday, November 28th, the Lt. Governor welcomed Norway Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl to California to discuss opportunities to strengthen Norway and California’s partnership. 

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis meeting with Norway Minister of Justice Enger Mehl


Happy Thanksgiving, California! 

As Acting Governor, Lt. Governor Kounalakis issued a proclamation declaring Thursday, November 23rd, 2023, as Thanksgiving Day.  

Link to Proclamation.  

Veteran’s Day  

California is home to over 1.3 million veterans who have honorably served our country. On Veteran’s Day weekend, the Lt. Governor recognized the selfless dedication of our brave men and women in uniform. He thanked our veterans and their families for their bravery and service to our country. 


Transgender Day of Remembrance  

As Acting Governor, Lt. Governor Kounalakis issued a proclamation declaring Monday, November 20th, 2023, Transgender Day of Remembrance. During this day, we honor those we’ve lost to hate and transphobia, and recommit to creating a safer, inclusive, and just future for all Californians.  

In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, Lt. Governor Kounalakis’s Transgender Advisory Council also released a statement.  

Link to Proclamation.  

Link to the Transgender Advisory Council’s Full Statement. 

21 Years of Emerge California 

On Monday, November 6th, the Lt. Governor joined other trailblazing women leaders across the state to celebrate 21 years of Emerge California and their incredible work in changing the face of power across California by training women to run for office. During the event, Lt. Governor Kounalakis also received the Outstanding Alumnae Award.  

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis and State Controller Malia Cohen at Emerge California event

Economic Development  

Ignite the Bay 

The Lt. Governor participated in the “Ignite the Bay” reception, hosted by the Bay Area Host Committee, to celebrate two global events coming to the region in 2026 – the FIFA World Cup 26 and Super Bowl LX, coupled with the announcement of NBA all-star weekend to be held in San Francisco at Chase Center in 2025. These three sporting events will collectively bring nearly $1 billion in economic impact to the Bay Area, driving up business for local business owners, hotels, and restaurants. She welcomed the announcement with the NBA’s Commissioner, Adam Silver, the Golden State Warriors, and the San Francisco 49ers. 

Link to Statement.  

Image of Elected Officials with Professional Sports Trophies


The Future Happens in California First! California Unveils Key Climate Solution 

On Thursday, November 9th, Lt. Governor Kounalakis joined U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, Heirloom CEO Shashank Samala, and other local and state officials to unveil America’s first commercial direct air capture CO2 removal facility in Tracy, California. Heirloom’s technological breakthrough will help reduce emissions, create green jobs & bring us closer to a net-zero future. 

Link to Press Release

Image of Lt. Governor and Secretary Granholm at unveiling of America's first commercial direct air capture facility

Updates to the Tijuana River Sewage Crisis  

The Tijuana River sewage is not just an environmental crisis; it’s a public health crisis. Lt. Governor Kounalakis joined the California Coastal Commission in urging Congress to approve President Biden’s request to include $310 million in the emergency supplemental bill to address this issue. Later in the month, the State Lands Commission, chaired by the Lt. Governor, approved a similar letter urging much-needed investments. 

Link to Coastal Commission Letter and Link to State Lands Commission Letter.  

Other Highlights  

  • Lt. Governor Kounalakis welcomed and met with the 27 Hi-Tech delegations from China led by Chair Yi Liu & I Health Chair Jack Feng. 
  • Lt. Governor Kounalakis attended Hoover Institute’s Center for Revitalizing American Institutions Conference with Governors Wes Moore of Maryland and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire. 
  • Staff met with Fresno Pacific University President Andre Stephens. 
  • Staff met with Inland Empire Economic Development Office representatives to discuss housing, educational equity, sustainability, and climate.  
  • Staff met with the California Energy Commission to discuss the current need for California to meet its ZEV infrastructure goals by 2035. They shared open opportunities for funding to advance the state’s transition to clean energy, which is posted here.