Contact: Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Associate Director for Media Relations, 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – With the whole nation watching, Governor Gavin Newsom has survived the attempt to recall him from office, buoyed by progressive voter turnout. The Greenlining Institute is calling for California to reenergize the push for true racial and economic equity and to reform the state’s dysfunctional recall process.

“Communities of color are California’s majority and it looks like they turned out in serious numbers to reject candidates who claim that systemic racism doesn’t exist, who deny climate change, and who make preposterous claims of voter fraud before the polls were even closed,” said Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann. “Our communities are still weighed down by the effects of centuries of systemic racism, which are exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and climate disasters. That came from deliberate policy choices and can only be fixed through deliberate policy choices.”

“We urge the governor and legislature to show their commitment to racial equity by moving forward with SB 17 (Pan), which would create a statewide Office of Racial Equity to identify and eliminate racism in state policy and address inequality in state programs,” Gore-Mann said. “It’s time for California to take a systematic approach to ending the racial wealth gap and ensuring that all our state’s communities can prosper. And it’s time to move forward energetically with policies to fight climate change that put equity front and center.”

The Greenlining Institute has been encouraged by recent passage of critically needed climate equity funding. Public opinion polling has consistently shown that, by a greater than two to one margin, Californians think we need to accelerate our actions to fight climate change. The margins are even greater among Black, Asian American Pacific Islander and Latino voters.

“Tackling climate change and confronting systemic racism are not disconnected,” Gore-Mann said. “They are two sides of the same coin, and our communities deserve leadership that understands these realities.

The Greenlining Institute rejects the problematic narrative that falsely pits economic well-being and health against climate action. When we prioritize equity with bold solutions, we can move beyond a zero-sum game and benefit all.

“And finally, California needs to rethink this undemocratic recall process,” Gore-Mann added. “The current system makes it too easy for a small, well-funded minority to replace a leader who has broad public support with someone supported by far fewer Californians.”

To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit


THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE works toward a future when communities of color can build wealth, live in healthy places filled with economic opportunity, and are ready to meet the challenges posed by climate change.