Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom Names Transition Team ‘Ambassadors’

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom announced November 16 that he has selected 25 “ambassadors” who “will help source more ideas and more perspectives, reach more Californians where they live and work, and encourage the engagement of California’s diverse communities in this unique transition process.”

The ambassadors include two figures from California’s business community: California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg and La Opinión Publisher Monica Lozano, who has served on numerous corporate boards and was then-Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s appointee to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2009-10 tax reform advisory commission.

The remaining ambassadors include one prominent Republican (former Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, now chief executive of the Central Valley Community Foundation); billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer; Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP; union leaders Laphonza Butler of the Service Employees International Union and Art Pulaski of the California Labor Federation; and 18 Democratic elected officials, past and present (San Francisco Mayor London Breed, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, former state Senator John Burton, Treasurer John Chiang, former lawmaker Delaine Eastin, Controller Betty Yee, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, former state Senator Christine Kehoe, former Representative George Miller, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa).

Newsom, scheduled to take the baton from Governor Jerry Brown on January 7, said his goal in creating the “All in California” advisory group is to “create an inclusive, people-powered transition that reflects the diversity and values” of California.

The incoming governor previously announced that Ann O’Leary, a longtime policy advisor to Hillary Clinton, will serve as chief of staff and leader of the transition team. Ana Matosantos, former finance director for Governors Schwarzenegger and Brown, will be Newsom’s Cabinet secretary, the no. 2 staff position.

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