Today, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as president and vice president of the United States, ushering in what many California Democrats hope will be a new era of less contention and more collaboration. Hours later, Harris is expected to swear in Alex Padilla as California’s first Latino senator. (For more on what Padilla hopes to accomplish, check out his interview with CalMatters’ Laurel Rosenhall.) And the Golden State could gain yet another powerful ally in Washington if the Senate confirms Becerra as Health and Human Services secretary.
In a Tuesday letter to Biden, Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed California’s eagerness “to support your bold agenda by sharing our experiences implementing progressive policy on everything from workers’ rights to climate change.” But even as Newsom depicted California as a model for national programs, he hinted at numerous challenges facing the state.