Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor and California gubernatorial candidate, met with state Assembly District 15 candidate Buffy Wicks on Thursday afternoon at Wicks’ campaign headquarters on Shattuck Avenue to host a reception in anticipation of November’s midterm elections.
Newsom has been on a campaign bus tour across the state, according to Addisu Demissie, his campaign manager. Demissie added that Newsom has been working so that not only he but all Democratic candidates are elected in November.
“I’m an American citizen who cares deeply about revitalizing American democracy by getting competent and qualified individuals (into office),” Newsom said.
On his website, Newsom lists education as a one of his main focus issues, stating that he wants to make higher education more accessible and affordable. When the UC Board of Regents voted to increase out-of-state tuition, Newsom, who sits on the board, was one of three dissenting voices.
He said he felt “like I let students down” after the increase was passed, though he did note that delaying and then stopping an in-state tuition hike was a sign of the regents “finally attuning themselves to the needs and desires of not only students but their families.”
Wicks and Newsom gave brief speeches at the event, touching on Wicks’ experience with grassroots organizing, before posing for photos with the approximately 250 people who attended the event. Wicks, who is endorsed by well-known public figures such as Newsom and former president Barack Obama, said it helps to be validated as a leader but also noted that voters will judge if she can stand for herself as a candidate.
“Truthfully, voters want someone who can stand on their own two feet, and I think I will be judged ultimately on my own two feet,” Wicks said. “Voters want solutions, and they want someone who will go and get stuff done.”
The space used for the event was nearly filled to capacity, and tape had to be placed on the ground to make a walkway before Wicks and Newsom arrived.
Berkeley City Councilmember and District 8 candidate Lori Droste said she attended the event to show her support for Wicks and Newsom. She added that both candidates have a good shot for their respective positions “as long as people don’t take anything for granted.”
Event attendee Alex Navarro, who is the California social media lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said she attended to show her organization’s support of Wicks because Wicks has helped push for tighter California gun safety laws.
“I heard Buffy speak, and I admired her passion for making the community better,” said Kristina Marter, a campus sophomore and volunteer on Wicks’ campaign. “I appreciated how much she is willing to make connections to the community and how much she wants to figure out what people want and how to better serve them.”