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Leaders and Advocates Support Governor Newsom’s Plan to Safely and Sustainably Reopen

Widespread support for vaccine equity metric, updates to Blueprint for a Safer Economy 

SACRAMENTO – Following the Newsom Administration’s announcement today that California will lead with safety protocols and vaccine equity to end the pandemic and reopen the economy, leaders across industries and sectors responded in support of this approach.

“These new guidelines make sense,” said California Medical Association President Peter N. Bretan, MD. “The three vaccines significantly reduce the dangers associated with COVID-19. While we must still be vigilant, wear masks and maintain social distance protocols, this is yet another encouraging sign that we will soon be able to reopen our schools and our economy, and be able to gather safely.”

“California’s Counties welcome Governor Newsom’s latest actions to prioritize vaccinations for those most impacted throughout the state,” said California State Association of Counties President and Sonoma County Supervisor James Gore. “Updating the Blueprint for a Safer Economy in light of this targeted vaccine deployment and strong county-led efforts to administer more than two million vaccines a week provides a light at the end of the tunnel and a beginning pathway out of the pandemic for all Californians.”

“So many Latinos have showed up to work every day as essential workers, putting their lives and the lives of their families on the line,” said Senator María Elena Durazo, Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus. “It is right and it is just that the state is now prioritizing the communities that have been hardest hit for vaccine distribution. I want to thank the Governor for listening and for his commitment to deliver for those who have been most negatively impacted by COVID-19. Now I invite him to join me to help our families, neighbors and fellow members of the community sign up to get vaccinated.”

“To paraphrase a saying, show me where you spend your resources, and I’ll show you what you value,” said Assemblymember Robert Rivas, Vice Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus. “By prioritizing the state’s hardest-hit communities, the Governor is sending a strong message that we matter, we are seen and we will be taken care of.”

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the virus has magnified the systemic and structural racism our communities have experienced in the criminal justice, education, and health care systems for generations. We are first in line for infection and death but last when it comes to the vaccine. Black Californians need to be included in practice and not just in a promise if we want to truly be a California For All,” said Senator Steven Bradford, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. “Governor Newsom’s vaccine equity plan provides a path forward to adequately address health inequities in the communities most impacted by the virus, and I applaud the Governor for decisively taking action to respond to this injustice.”

“Vaccines are the ticket to the end of the pandemic,” said Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager, Vice Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. “For too long, those tickets were taken by people with a wealth of time and resources. With today’s announcement, the playing field has been leveled so those in our community who work for a living and can’t sit on their computer all day will now have the opportunity to get their fair share of vaccines.”

“Similar to the Administration’s prioritization of food workers, today’s announcement is another assurance that equity remains the focal point of California’s vaccine rollout and economic recovery,” said Jot Condie, President and CEO of the California Restaurant Association. “This lays the groundwork for California’s most vulnerable getting vaccinated and protecting themselves from COVID-19, which will in turn allow more businesses to reopen safely.”

“We applaud the Governor for allocating 40 percent of available doses to the communities in the lowest quartile of the Healthy Places Index. These are the same communities who are most likely to work in essential sectors, live in overcrowded housing, lack transportation, and face barriers to health care,” said Kiran Savage-Sangwan, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network. “The Governor has listened to advocates, including those on the Community Advisory Vaccine Committee, and has continued to update the state strategy based on data and with a laser focus on equity. Increasing the supply of doses and targeting Black, Indigenous, and communities of color, allows us to move toward safely reopening, without leaving anyone behind.”

“California is on the pathway to recovery, and this is welcome news for small businesses that are looking forward to reopening safely and effectively,” said Mark Herbert, Managing Director of California for Small Business Majority. “We appreciate recent state-backed measures to provide critical small business assistance with a focus on supporting equitable recovery. Today’s announcement provides another step forward for small businesses, our economy, and all Californians.”

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