A movement to recall Governor Gavin Newsom from office is taking off across the state with the help of facilitators like Susan Adams, a Bakersfield resident.
Adams has been working with Erin Cruz, a conservative author and TV host, to help collect a minimum of 1.5 million signatures from registered California voters by Feb. 13. If the recall petition gets the necessary signatures needed to warrant a recall, voters would decide if they want to remove Newsom from office.
Cruz’s petition to recall the governor is one of two state-approved petitions being circulated throughout California. The two petitions cannot be combined to reach the 1.5 million goal. Any other petition that is not approved by the secretary of state with a wet signature will not be counted.
Adams and her team of volunteers are in charge of collecting signatures from registered California voters. Adams counts and proofreads the signatures to make sure they are free of errors.
Anyone can volunteer to collect signatures, but a facilitator like Adams is vetted and requires a letter of approval from Cruz’s office. It is her job to ensure each document follows the strict instructions given by the secretary of state’s office.
According to Adams, there are reasons for strict, organized, and confidential procedures. The procedures are not put in place to make something like this harder to pass, they are implemented to make sure nothing can be contested, everyone’s privacy is maintained, and it makes counting the petitions easier in the end.
“Why would I want you to sign something if I can’t read your name?” Adams said.
According to Adams, the main reasons California residents want Newsom out of office include the state’s poverty rate, income tax, debt, and ammunition regulation and taxes. She also believes Newsom has used language in bills in the past that confuses people into thinking they are signing something that will do the opposite of what they think it will do, and people have had enough.
When discussing the gas tax, Adams said, “It was all trickery because what everybody thought they were signing no to, it actually made it yes.”
Adams is confident the petition will garner the minimum amount of signatures required, potentially double the amount. She says the only way for her to stay focused on the end goal is to remain optimistic about the future of the recall.
By the first week of October, the petition circling Kern County earned more than 24,000 signatures.
If the petition does warrant a recall ballot, it would not be the first time Californians have voted on removing a governor. In 2003, 55 percent of voters chose to remove Davis from office, and he was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But even if the recall effort does not achieve the desired result, Adams believes this will energize voters for the next election.
“And even if this goes through or not… it’s all about the passion of the people and I see the passion of the people… they love California and they want to save it,” Adams said.
Even if Adams is not personally affected by Newsom’s governance, she is adamant that she will still fight for what she believes is right.
“Like I said, I fight for them. I will speak out for them…I understand their pain and it’s not right,” Adams said.
She hopes word of mouth, Facebook, and community shout outs will keep community members coming out to reach the goal. This is a team effort, and it requires everyone working together to get the desired outcome.
In August, Newsom issued a statement urging Californians to avoid supporting the recall. According to Newsom, President Trump supporters have organized the scheme to undermine the work he has done to increase funding for public education, protect and secure your health care, improve water, roads and bridges and prepare California for wildfire threats.
In response to Gavin Newsom’s rebuttal, in which he claims the recall effort will cost taxpayers $81 million and refers to the recall organizers as political extremists, Adams said, “We the people are not extremists, we the people have had enough.”