Tom Steyer to co-chair California's economic advisory council

Tom Steyer to co-chair California's economic advisory council
© Greg Nash

Former 2020 presidential candidate Tom SteyerTom SteyerCalifornia Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup Steyer endorses reparations bill, commits to working with Jackson Lee Progressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters MORE will co-chair California’s coronavirus economic advisory council, the state announced Friday.

Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia coronavirus case count tops 600,000 California slams 'inaccurate and outdated beliefs' of parents suing to reopen schools Bass on filling Harris's Senate spot: 'I'll keep all my options open' MORE (D) touted Steyer’s business career and said the billionaire entrepreneur is particularly well-suited to helping revive the state’s economy.

“Tom of course made his career understanding the economy in ways few of us could understand. His insight, his capacity to make investments, to see those investments pay off, his capacity to see the world, not just locally, nationally, but internationally, brings those skill sets to bear as well,” said Newsom. “We thought he was an ideal candidate to lead the charge and introduce the broader purpose behind this advisory committee.”

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Steyer assured Californians the task force would prioritize communities that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Health and safety have to be paramount here in California, but everyone is also hurting economically,” he said. “I think it’s absolutely critical at the outset to point out that resource-starved communities have been hit the hardest by this and are suffering the most and disproportionately, and that any equitable recovery plan is going to have to put those communities front and center.” 

The task force will bring in Californians from both the public and private sectors and will have 80 members, including state leaders from both parties such as former Govs. Jerry Brown (D), Gray Davis (D), Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Pete Wilson (R).

Steyer said the task force’s mission statement is to help the state “recover as fast as safely possible from the COVID-19-induced recession and to create a fair, green and prosperous future.”

“We will try to come up with a recovery plan that is worthy of California’s past and pushes us to a better future and remedies some of the injustices which this COVID-19 pandemic have revealed in our society,” he said.

Newsom emphasized the power the task force will have in reviving California’s economy, the largest in the nation and the fifth-largest in the world.

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“Consequences of our actions will be felt all across the United States,” the governor said.

The task force comes as the Golden State’s economy is ravaged by the coronavirus, with more than 3 million people filing for unemployment and that number expected to grow.

California has had more than 28,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and nearly 1,000 have died in the state. Ninety-five people died Thursday alone, Newsom said Friday.