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I’m Putting My Health At Risk to Stop the California Recall

Newsom has directed $1.3 billion for the expansion of Medi-Cal health-care coverage to undocumented seniors. He also introduced farmworker relief packages that included stricter enforcement of health guidelines and paid sick leave for COVID. This was an essential step to for workers and families. We need protections for those employed in the agriculture and meatpacking industries, who were forced to work through the pandemic with few safeguards from their employers.

As a young, undocumented person, I want a governor who will rise with and uplift immigrant communities and essential workers, not scapegoat them or deny them the right to a minimum wage, like the leading Republican candidate has stated.

This is not the only attempt to recall an elected official who was voted in by a robust majority. The right has organized multiple recalls including those against progressive district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Republicans are invested in strategies like a recall because fewer voters are likely to turn out for that than they do for a general election. And in a state like California, where there are not enough voters who support their agenda and Democratic voters outnumber Republicans 2-to-1, this is one of the only ways they can assume a statewide office. If they are successful in California, the right could look to replicate this strategy in 19 other states where recalls of state officials are allowed.

Californians need to see this recall as an attack on our democratic elections and the progress we have made on essential racial and social issues like criminal justice reform, immigrant and workers’ rights, and access to health care.

This is why I and other young people at PowerCA Action have joined the Million Voters Project Action Fund (MVPAF), an alliance of seven of the strongest community-driven state and regional networks, reaching out to two million voters across the state, primarily in communities of color. MVPAF is running the largest get-out-the-vote operation via the Stop The Republican Recall campaign. Our goal is to have over 230,000 direct one-to-one conversations with voters and another 700,000 through email and texts in every region of the state, including Los Angeles, the Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Inland Empire, Central Valley, and Central Coast.

Last fall, as the pandemic was raging, young people showed up to vote in record numbers. Our influence at the polls has grown steadily in the past several elections because we know elections matter. Even though the Republican recall strategy relies on suppressed turnout by holding a special election when fewer voters are likely to turn out, the young people I talked to are more energized than ever. I believe we will continue to come together to protect our communities and our future in this election and beyond.

This recall could make or break the progress we are making on critical issues in California. We know we must not only defend the progress we’ve made but also continue to expand it to build a California for all of us.

Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: California’s Recall Election for Governor Gavin Newsom Is a Warning Sign for Democrats

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