Image of CA Seal

As we say farewell to 2023 and gear up for the year ahead, we reflect on a season of giving that embodies the spirit of California and the holiday season.  

In December, thousands of Californians gathered to give back to communities in need. As we strive for a more compassionate and equitable society, it is crucial to remember the transformative effect that lending a helping hand can have on individuals and the Golden State. You can step up and serve your community today by visiting to find a volunteer opportunity near you.  

December was also a productive month for the State Lands Commission, addressing issues such as offshore oil, reducing emissions, and actions to combat climate change. The Commission’s efforts were recognized with a significant grant from the Biden Administration and a victory against the reckless actions of a former oil and gas operator.  

California workers also continue the fight for fair and living wages. Our educators are the backbone of our communities in more ways than one, and I’ll continue to stand with their right to a living wage and a fair contract. 

As we enter 2024, we carry forward the accomplishments of 2023. The road ahead is exciting, and we look forward to continuing our efforts toward a brighter and more inclusive California. 

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a prosperous new year. 


Image of Lt. Governors signature

Eleni Kounalakis
Lieutenant Governor of California


Christmas Time with GLIDE 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis joined thousands of Californians nationwide to give back during the holiday season. To celebrate Christmas, the Lt. Governor joined GLIDE to serve hot meals to San Francisco communities most in need. 

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis and volunteers serving food at GLIDE in San Francisco
Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis and volunteers serving food at GLIDE in San Francisco

Moose Feed Luncheon 

The Lt. Governor joined Nor Cal Carpenters Union’s 61st annual holiday Moose Feed luncheon to celebrate with community members and labor leaders for the holiday season.   

Image of Lieutenant Governor at Moose Feed Luncheon
Image of Lieutenant Governor at Moose Feed Luncheon

34 Years of HOPE 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis attended Hispanas Organized for Political Equality’s (HOPE) 34th Anniversary Awards Dinner. They provided tribute remarks for Beacon of HOPE Elmy Bermejo for their work and leadership in empowering the voices of Latinas throughout California.  

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis at HOPE Latina event

Senator Dodd’s 24th Annual Holiday Party 

The Lt. Governor provided brief remarks at Senator Dodd’s 24th annual holiday party. The event was a charity auction with proceeds going to The Napa Valley Community Foundation and Monarch Justice Center, which provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. 

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis and Senator Bill Dodd


State Lands Commission Meeting 

In the Lt. Governor’s final meeting as chair of the State Lands Commission for 2023, the Commission took action on several critical issues, including directing staff to analyze the impacts on public trust resources from existing offshore oil and gas pipelines in state waters. The Commission also authorized a two-year extension on a vehicle triage center for those experiencing homelessness in the Candlestick State Recreation Area in San Francisco. A full summary of the meeting’s highlights can be found here 

Ocean Protection Council Meeting 

On December 12th, the Lt. Governor represented the State Lands Commission at a meeting of the Ocean Protection Council, chaired by Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot. The Council approved over $26 million in projects to address climate change, equity, conservation of marine biodiversity, and support a blue economy. Full highlights can be found here. 

Grant to Reduce Methane Emissions 

The Biden Administration awarded the California State Lands Commission nearly $22 million to monitor and reduce oil and gas operations emissions and restore well sites. This funding will help California tackle our climate crisis, reduce air pollution & create good-paying jobs. The link to the full press release can be found here.  

“Many of California’s most disadvantaged communities have long felt the harmful effects of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. Thanks to this funding from the Biden Administration, California will be able to reduce methane emissions from the highest emitting oil and gas wells – bringing us closer to achieving our goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.” 

Eleni Kounalakis

Lieutenant Governor and State Lands Commission Chair

Major Victory Against Big Oil 

The California State Lands Commission has been instrumental in mitigating the environmental impacts of big oil in the state, holding oil companies accountable and facilitating the transition to clean energy and in a significant legal victory against Venoco Trustee, a federal district court in Delaware recently issued a decision affirming a prior bankruptcy court ruling that found the California State Lands Commission acted lawfully in its efforts to safeguard both the public and the environment through its operation of the Ellwood Onshore Facility in Santa Barbara County. The link to the full press release can be found here. 

“From day one, our priority has been to protect the health and safety of the public and our environment. We have never wavered from that. I am gratified to see the court once again affirm and validate the Commission’s actions to protect the people of California during an emergency created by the reckless actions of the former oil and gas operator.” 

Eleni Kounalakis

Lieutenant Governor and State Lands Commission Chair


Rivian Tour  

Lt. Governor Kounalakis toured Rivian, a U.S. company developing and manufacturing cutting-edge electric vehicles and energy technology, at their first flagship retail location in Laguna Beach. Housed in the rehabilitated, historic South Coast Theatre, the retail venue is a multipurpose community space and a Rivian education and display center. Thanks to Rivian, medium, and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicle sales are meeting California’s landmark Advanced Clean Trucks regulation goals two years ahead of schedule – spearheading our charge toward a carbon-free future.  

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis touring Rivian facility
Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis touring Rivian facility

Higher Education 

California Faculty Association Strike 

Lt. Governor Kounalakis joined the picket line for the one-day action organized by the California Faculty Association (CFA) at California State University- Los Angeles. The CSU is the largest four-year public university system in the United States, and its faculty are foundational to its success. The Lieutenant Governor walked in solidarity with the CFA’s efforts to obtain a living wage. 

Image of Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis at CFA Strike for fair wages

Other Highlights 

  • Met with Apple Strategic Initiatives to get updated on work they are doing with California higher education institutions. 
  • Spoke at the California Alliance for Job Coalition’s Regional Jobs Partnership Dinner with northern California labor leaders and elected officials  
  • Provided remarks at APAPA’s National Unity Awards Gala in Vacaville in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Yin Ranch and the rebuild of the Asian Heritage Center 
  • Attended the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (SALDEF) appreciation event and fundraiser with Assemblymember Jasmeet Bain 
  • Provided remarks at Cordoba Corporation’s Holiday Event in honor of the firm’s contribution to infrastructure throughout the state 
  • Staff attended the Complete College America conference with over 1000 higher education professionals across the U.S.