Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Writers Bloc Present
Former California Governor Gray Davis and Jerry Brown biographer Jim Newton
Thursday, June 24, 2021
When Populists Try to Recall a Governor
Since the coronavirus’ outbreak last spring, Californians, as citizens of the most populous U.S. state, have witnessed a multitude of demanding, complex issues that continue to challenge our State’s leaders, regardless of industry or sector. Governor Newsom faced catastrophic natural disasters and pandemic, and a statewide shutdown with devastating social and economic realities. California governors have endured a great deal throughout our almost 200-year history. From an historical perspective, what, if anything, makes this crisis for Newsom different from other crises faced by former California governors? Through a historical lens, how has political messaging looked– and evolved– through major crises? Besides California, recall attempts are taking place, for example, in Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana and Michigan. Is this a new reality elected office holders must now expect? Is direct democracy growing as a strategy of responsive changes that citizens want?
Gray Davis, a Democrat, served as the Governor of California from 1999-2003. He was recalled, replaced in Sacramento by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. Jim Newton is an award-winning journalist, and the author of Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown, the brilliant biography of former Governor Jerry Brown.