Gov. Gavin Newsom Unveils Recovery Task Force For California With Bob Iger, Arnold Schwarzenegger & Others; Tom Steyer To Co-Chair

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom Rich Pedroncelli/AP/Shutterstock

UPDATED with details and more names: After nearly a month of mandated self-isolation, California is aiming at “a safe reset for a roadmap to recovery.” Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced an advisory council to help plan the state’s economic revival whose members include Disney chief Bob Iger, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Apple CEO Tim Cook

Arnold Schwarzenegger Bob Iger
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bob Iger Shutterstock

Former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer will co-chair the bipartisan effort with Newsom’s chief of staff Ann O’Leary, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton.  Newsom said the task force “of the best and brightest leaders” will focus on “a safe reset, a safe restart for a roadmap for recovery — predicated on health, predicated on data, predicated on science. We’re not gonna get ahead of ourselves. We’re gonna do this thoughtfully and judiciously.”

The task force also includes “prominent leaders in business, labor, health care, academia and philanthropy,” including other tech CEOs, state politicians and former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. Along with Schwarzenegger, the group also includes three other former California governors: Jerry Brown, who served from 1976-83 and again from 2011-19; Gray Davis (1999-2003) and Pete Wilson (1991-99).

Others included on the panel include ILWU President Willie Adams, California Community Foundation chief Antonia Hernandez and former head of the Small Business Administration Aida Álvarez.

Mark J Terrill/AP/Shutterstock

“This pandemic has forced millions of Californians out of jobs – with the most vulnerable hit the hardest,” Newsom said. “While we have made significant progress in flattening the curve and increased preparedness of our health care delivery system, the actions taken have also impacted the economy, poverty and overall health care in California. We will use a gradual, science-based and data-driven framework to guide our re-opening timing while planning our economic recovery. I am honored that dozens of leaders in business, labor, health and philanthropy are stepping up to meet this moment by committing their time and talent to lift up all Californians. Through their leadership, and the leadership of California’s 40 million residents, I have no doubt we will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

The Task Force will work to develop actions government and businesses can take to help Californians recover as fast as safely possible from the virus induced recession and to shape a fair, green and prosperous future. It will meet twice a month through the rest of the year, Newsom said, and will provide updates on their work every Wednesday starting next week.

Tom Steyer Gerald Herbert/AP/Shutterstock

“We will try to come up with a recovery plan that is worthy of California’s past and pushes us to a better future and remedies some of the injustices which this COVID-19 pandemic have revealed in our society,” Steyer said during the news conference.

The task force is being formed as 2.8 million Californians have filed for unemployment benefits since the COVID-19 shutdown began in mid-March.

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