A number of Santa Clarita Valley residents are continuing their campaign to gain signatures from their neighbors and fellow community members in the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
On Feb. 19, Secretary of State Shirley Weber released the cumulative totals for the statewide campaign to recall Newsom, saying that 1,094,457 signatures have been received and 668,202 have been validated.
The minimum number of valid signatures required to qualify is 1,495,709, which is 12% of the 12,464,235 votes cast in the last election for governor. The last date for counties to report their signatures is March 17, but advocates for the recall contend they already have the necessary 1.5 million signatures – they just have not yet been formally accepted and validated by the Secretary of State.
In the meantime, the 30-50 volunteers working within the SCV and Antelope Valley have said they plan to continue to collect signatures until the last possible moment as a contingency plan for if many of those 1.5 million benchmark signatures are invalidated.
“In L.A. County, I think we are close to 250,000 signatures, and I would say Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley are probably responsible for close to 100,000 of those,” said Dawn Christensen, one of the local volunteers for the petition. “And the people of Santa Clarita have been fantastic, and most of our volunteers are moms, women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. We’re just looking out for our kids and looking out for our families.”
Christensen said she had not been political before a friend took her to one of the recall petition booths in 2018. Since then however, she has helped organize the signature gathering for the last three recall petitions, with this most recent, pandemic-response recall petition having garnered the most support.
The volunteers of the Recall Newsom movement have said that even before COVID-19, they drew issues with the state Legislature being largely dominated by one party, and said Newsom has used this large majority to execute “massive overreaches of power by bypassing the state Assembly to rule by executive order,” Christensen said.
Advocates have also said they support the petition due to their dissatisfaction with the gas tax, recent COVID-19 orders from Sacramento and a feeling that there’s “not a lot of accountability and transparency,” said Christensen.
The recall campaign still has until March 17 to gain more signatures. Should the required number of county signatures be verified by April 29 and the Secretary of State certifies the signatures, the lieutenant governor’s office is required to set up an election 60 to 80 days from the date of signature certification. Some have said the recall election could be pushed to November, but no process or dates have been set in stone as of the publication of this article.
“We got to stand up, we have to hold our branches of government, assuming we’re still a republic, we have to hold our branches accountable to the people,” said Christensen. “As far as I know, we’re still a constitutional republic, even in California.”