[BenIndy editor: For updated results check out Solano County Registrar of Voter’s Sept 14 election results here. As of Thursday Sept 16, breakdown results by City and precinct are not yet available. 12,500 to 23,000 ballots are received but not yet processed, mostly vote-by-mail ballots. Unofficial results as of Sept 16 show 2/3 voting NO by mail and 2/3 of a much smaller number voting YES on election day. As of today, 111,000+ voted by mail, and only 15,000+ voted on election day. – R. S.]
Solano was the Bay Area county most receptive to the Newsom recall
The Bay Area overwhelmingly opposed the Gavin Newsom recall, with San Francisco, Marin and Alameda counties all rejecting the recall at a rate of more than 80%.
But while almost every county in the Bay Area is currently reporting more than 70% of voters opposed to the recall, one Bay Area county flirted with the idea of a recall more than any other: Solano County.
The Governor must get 50% or we will be stuck with a right-wing TRUMP nut!
Like many of you, I’ve been slow to get on board with the VOTE NO campaign. It seemed a long shot that the Republicans could win.
Then – !!!! I discovered that Newsom is only just barely polling over the required 50%. If we don’t get our votes in, we could find ourselves in an incredible mess.
Do it today. >> On your ballot, fill in the NO BOX at the top. Don’t need to vote any name on question 2. Just stuff your NO ballot into the yellow envelope, SIGN YOUR NAME under the flap, and seal the envelope.
BEST NOT TO MAIL YOUR BALLOT at this late date!(They CAN be mailed in as long as the P.O. postmarks them by Sept 14, but you can’t rely on the P.O. these days….) You can drop your ballot off locally anytime up until election day September 14, and curbside dropoff is available starting TODAY! See below.
INDOORS DROP OFF – BALLOT RETURN & VOTING ADDRESSES
August 16 to September 14, voters can drop off ballots at the following locations. (Drop Boxes are inside office buildings.)
STARTING TODAY SEPT 9 – “CURBSIDE” DROP-OFF LOCATIONS
Sept. 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14, voters can drop off ballots “Curbside” at the following locations. (Stay in your car, hand ballot to poll workers)
ON ELECTION DAY, SEPTEMBER 14, ballots can be dropped off at any location listed above, plus the poll-place locations listed below.
California will definitely reopen on June 15 and almost all public health restrictions will be lifted, state officials said Friday, releasing the first highly anticipated details of what post-pandemic life will look like.
Overnight, the state will do away with all capacity limits and other social distancing requirements for businesses and other activities. Gatherings of all sizes will be allowed. And everything from buffet service to open bars will be able to resume in public spaces and private events.
A handful of restrictions will remain in place — most notably some masking rules, primarily for people who aren’t yet vaccinated. Counties may also maintain some local restrictions. But for the most part, Californians will be able to pick up where they left off last March, when the first orders shutting down large gatherings were issued.
“We have been for weeks forecasting that something very important happens on June 15 in California,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of California Health and Human Services, in a news briefing Friday. “The big message today is we’re at a place with this pandemic where the requirements of the past are no longer needed for the foreseeable future.”
Friday’s announcement was the first confirmation from the state that the June 15 reopening date is a sure thing. The state will retire its color-coded public health blueprint, instituted last August, which ordered varying levels of restrictions based on how much virus was spreading in a county.
Ditching the blueprint and lifting almost all public health restrictions was dependent on the state improving access to vaccines for all residents and keeping COVID-19 hospitalizations low, and California is easily meeting both of those metrics, Ghaly said. Daily cases and deaths are at or near record lows statewide; last week, the Bay Area reported four COVID-19 deaths a day on average, the lowest in the region since the first fatalities last March.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the planned reopening date in April, but since then details about what would actually happen were spare. County and business leaders increasingly had said they were having a hard time planning for that date without better understanding of what health restrictions might remain in place.
It turns out, almost none of them.
Masks are one exception. Face coverings will still be required for unvaccinated people, and for everyone in certain situations including in health care settings and on public transit. But the bulk of the mask mandate will lift on June 15 along with everything else.
The other notable restriction is for so-called mega indoor events — gatherings of more than 5,000 people, which would include Warriors games and large concerts. Organizers will be required to confirm that attendees are vaccinated or have a negative coronavirus test. Organizers of outdoor events with more than 10,000 people will be advised, but not required, to do the same.
“All limits on physical distancing, on capacity, restrictions around eating and drinking, open bars and buffets — will go away,” said Dee Myers, director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. “This will allow people holding conventions or weddings or selling out sporting events to advertise or market. Cultural events — all of those will be allowed, with certainty.”
There remains some uncertainty around workplace safety rules that are overseen by California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health standards board, or Cal/OSHA. The board on Thursday delayed a vote on new rules that would end social distancing and masking requirements for vaccinated employees.
Most Bay Area counties have said they plan to align with the state reopening plan on June 15. But some county public health leaders have expressed reservations about fully reopening in just three weeks, and suggested that they may wait a little longer to allow very large gatherings, for example.
San Francisco public health officials said in a statement Friday that they were reviewing the state guidance and would say next week whether they planned to fully align with it.
San Mateo County plans to adopt the state guidance, but health officials remain wary of the potential for outbreaks among unvaccinated residents, said Dr. Curtis Chan, deputy director of public health. He said the county would encourage everyone to continue wearing masks in many indoor public spaces — such as grocery and retail stores — through the summer so that more people have a chance to be fully vaccinated. The county won’t make it a requirement, though.
“The June 15 date works for many individuals, particularly those who have been vaccinated. From a broader public health and a broader community perspective, we have concerns about people who have faced barriers to getting vaccinated,” Chan said. “Every couple weeks makes a big difference. So June 15 may almost be enough time, but for sure July 15 or Aug. 15 will be definitely enough time to get everyone vaccinated. Let’s make sure all our communities can cross that finish line and be protected.”
Ghaly acknowledged Friday that lifting restrictions would leave unvaccinated residents vulnerable to infection and “concerning outcomes.”
“We’ll be watching that very closely,” he said. “It’s not that we won’t see some isolated outbreaks, but we do have the tools to be able to manage that, to be able to keep those outbreaks to a minimum and keep any spread (of disease) pretty contained.”
Ghaly said he hoped that with the opening date now confirmed, and just three and a half weeks away, people who have been hesitating to get vaccinated consider getting shots right away. County public health officials similarly have said that they are redoubling efforts over the next month to increase vaccine uptake in communities that have lagged behind state averages.
State officials also confirmed Friday that they do not plan to issue or require vaccine passports, though they acknowledged that some businesses and event organizers may use them. The state will offer guidelines for how to implement vaccine passports in a way that protects people’s privacy and ensures equity, Ghaly said.
Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have plummeted in California as large portions of the population have been vaccinated. As of Friday, 48% of eligible residents — those 12 and older — were fully vaccinated, and 13.5% had received at least one shot of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine courses.
About 1,300 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 — the fewest patients statewide since last March, when California began tracking that data.
“Over the past seven days we’ve had 260 new admissions. We wanted to be below 300 over a seven-day average and we’ve achieved that,” Ghaly said. “On both metrics — vaccinations and the state of COVID in our hospitals — we feel like we are tracking well toward meeting our goals on June 15.”
On Tuesday evening, Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his third State of the State address, an elaborately produced event in which he portrayed a California emerging from crisis better, stronger and more equal than it was before the coronavirus pandemic.
“In California, we’re not going to come crawling back. We will roar back,” he said, speaking from a stage on the field at Dodger Stadium. “I think we all agree, normal was never good enough.”
Indeed, the pandemic has made clearer than perhaps ever before the longstanding divides in the Golden State.
It has exacerbated inequality between those who can afford to work from home and those who must labor in fields, factories and warehouses. It has ravaged Latino, Black and Asian communities disproportionately.
And the state’s strict, sometimes confusing, lockdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the virus have provided ample fodder for frustrated conservatives and business owners who are now trying to oust Mr. Newsom from office.
The governor’s prime-time speech from the stadium in Los Angeles — a departure from tradition; the State of the State is usually given midday in Sacramento — was aimed more at rebutting an effort to recall him than a preview of sweeping policy goals.
“We won’t change course just because of a few naysayers and doomsday-ers,” Mr. Newsom said. “So to the California critics, who are promoting partisan power grabs and outdated prejudices, and rejecting everything that makes California great, we say this: We will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy booming again.”
In the speech, the governor sought to remind Californians that he has been at the helm as the state has been pummeled by calamity after calamity — the kind of compounding disasters unseen in decades.
The large screens next to him displayed pictures of the apocalyptic orange sky over the Bay Area as he spoke about the rising threat of wildfires. He emphasized that California’s leaders would continue to be guided by science, “not politics.”
Dodger Stadium has become a kind of symbolic home for the state’s pandemic response, first as a mass testing site, then as a mass vaccination site. Mr. Newsom said that the rows of empty seats behind him as he spoke were a “silent tribute” to the 54,395 Californians who have died because of Covid-19.
“We won’t be defined by this moment,” he said. “We’ll be defined by what we do because of it.”
Experts have said that Mr. Newsom’s political prospects hinge largely on the state’s ability to spur both of those things.
Proponents of the recall have fiercely criticized the fact that many students have been learning from home for a year.
Kevin Faulconer, the Republican former mayor of San Diego who is campaigning to replace Mr. Newsom, said in a video response to the address that the governor has failed to solve problems and has harmed residents in the process.
“He has failed parents in Los Angeles where powerful unions are choosing to keep classrooms closed,” Mr. Faulconer said.