Decision Maker

Gavin Newsom

  • CA
  • Governor

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Petitioning Gavin Newsom

Protect the Care of Californians with Special Needs & Developmental Disabilities

The Honorable Gavin NewsomCalifornia State GovernorState CapitolSacramento, CA 95814RE: Please Support an 8% Systemwide Rate Increase to the Developmental Disabilities system in the 2019-20 State Budget Dear Governor Newsom; I am a Californian who truly cares about the wellbeing of my fellow citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It’s been more than a decade since the Great Recession significantly impacted the funding for California’s developmental disabilities system. Since 2008, the cumulative budget cuts and inflationary impact to service providers who deliver programs to Californians with developmental disabilities has created a net shortfall of nearly $1.1 billion. Year after year, despite public outcry, the state has failed to address the desperately needed funding necessary to stabilize our neglected system of care for California’s most vulnerable citizens. Governor Newsom, we urge you to support a critically needed 8% systemwide rate increase to service providers in the 2019-20 state budget. The 8% increase amounts to about $290 million of the $24.1 billion state budget surplus and would begin to stabilize California’s crumbling developmental disabilities system. Please protect the safety-net of services for California’s 350,000 children, youth, and adults with special needs and developmental disabilities. The chronic lack of funding has created a major social justice issue. The woefully inadequate funding severely impacts the quality of life of California’s most vulnerable citizens and those who care for them. For example, as a result of the significant underfunding: • An estimated 28,000 programs have closed across the state, causing significant waitlists for services. • Adults with developmental disabilities living in state-funded group homes are being displaced without their consent, and being forced to move from their communities, their families and friends. • The funding shortage means service providers are unable to recruit and retain dedicated and skilled direct care professionals to adequately staff the system. • Nearly 35% of direct care professionals are on Medi-Cal, receiving public food assistance, or working second jobs to earn enough money to provide for themselves and their families. Governor Newsom, you have the power to reverse this decade-long history of underfunding the needs of those with developmental disabilities. By including $290 million in the general fund for the disabilities system you can keep the promise of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act of 1977, and once again lead the nation in the fight for the equal rights and inclusion of those with IDD. When the Lanterman Act was passed, California became the birthplace of the American’s with Disabilities Act movement. We should be proud of our history and make sure we are in compliance with this powerful legislation that defines the service delivery system and safeguards the rights of those we care so much about. We urge you to include an 8% increase in this year’s state budget. You can protect the care for our fellow Californians with developmental disabilities and ensure they have access to the services they need to live full and productive lives. Thank you, Governor Newsom! Sincerely, Californians who care #KeepThePromise  #ProtectOurCare  #DisabilityRights #StoptheInjustice #InclusionForAll #AcceptRespectInclude 

Bryan Neider
68,251 supporters
Petitioning Gavin Newsom

Free David Diaz: An innocent man who has served 20 years in prison.

David Diaz is currently in prison serving a 37 year-to-life sentence for a shooting that happened in 1998 in Los Angeles county. The victim of this shooting has stated that David is innocent and not the person who shot him and the key witness has confessed to "randomly" accusing David under police pressure. David was just 19 years old when an LAPD squad forced their way into his home and arrested him for attempted murder. In court, the police and prosecutor alleged that David approached a man named Remberto Preciado, asked him what street gang he belonged to, and shot him in the leg. At the time the shooting happened, David was at the movies with his girlfriend and family. He could not have committed this crime. But the jury was persuaded by the prosecutor's case and ultimately convicted David, resulting in his current life sentence. David is now 39-years-old and has been in prison for 20 years. To date, three key witnesses in the case and the shooting victim, have all declared that David is innocent and that they only selected David because they were pressured by police to do so. Despite evidence of his innocence, David remains in prison with his sentence. He won’t be released until he is 57 years old, in 2035. California Governor Jerry Brown must step in to right this wrong. He has power and authority to release David through the commutation process. David has not sat idle in prison all these years. He has completed numerous programs and correspondence courses including paralegal studies and bible studies. He is currently undergoing college classes to obtain his Associates Degree and is enrolled in a business entrepreneur class. He has held many prison jobs and is a peer mentor helping other prisoners with behavioral intervention, anger management,family relations, and life skills. I have known David since 1996.  So many people want David free — including the victim, Remberto — and we feel David's case is a perfect candidate for clemency. In 2015, we requested a commutation from Governor Brown based on David's innocence and the unusual length of sentence he received on gun enhancements (28 years-to-life), but to date, no action or response has been given. Please sign this petition to correct the injustice that occurred with David. We thank you for your support.  

Lidia Perez
56,890 supporters
Petitioning Gavin Newsom


Liyah Birru, a Black immigrant from Ethiopia, was prosecuted and incarcerated for defending herself against her abusive husband who had subjected her to beatings, sexual assault, verbal abuse, threats, and racial slurs. After serving her sentence, she now faces the added punishment of deportation. Liyah’s story is all too familiar. Black women, particularly immigrants, are incarcerated and deported at over twice the rate of white women. Upwards of 90% of incarcerated women are survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault. Liyah doesn’t have to be deported and further punished for surviving abuse. Governor Newsom can stand with survivors, grant a pardon and stop Liyah’s deportation! Liyah’s Story Liyah met her husband in Ethiopia where he was stationed with the military.  After two years in a long distance relationship, Liyah moved to rural Northern California as a green card holder to join her husband. Life became a nightmare for Liyah soon after she moved in with her husband. Liyah’s husband, a white man, began referring to her as a slave and using racial slurs towards her. The abuse soon escalated - he began destroying her possessions, clothes and became physically abusive.  He’d often apologize and promise to change but would soon become violent again. Isolated in rural California, without a car, and with no friends or family for hundreds of miles, Liyah felt trapped. As the abuse rapidly escalated, she began to fear for her life. Her husband owned a handgun that he kept loaded and would often hold during arguments. Liyah began secretly unloading the handgun when he was not home. When he became violent, Liyah threatened to call the police. Her husband was unphased, promising that police would believe him, a white man, not her, a Black woman, and that he’d have her arrested and deported. Liyah wanted to leave and go to a domestic violence shelter but had no way to get there. Her husband refused to let her leave. The abuse continued to escalate until one day when he slammed her head into a wall, pulled her hair, and hit her in the ribs. Her husband was twice her size. Terrified, Liyah went into the bedroom, unloaded his handgun, and took it. She hoped the sight of her with the gun would cause him to become less aggressive but he continued. Scared that she had no way out, Liyah fired the unloaded gun hoping it would scare him. Unknown to her, one bullet had been left in the chamber of the gun and hit her husband. Liyah called 911. Her husband successfully underwent surgery to remove the bullet. When police arrived, they found Liyah bruised and bleeding. Still, they did not investigate the violence against her and charged her with assault and domestic violence. Facing aggressive prosecution by the district attorney's office, Liyah accepted a plea deal with the promise of a lighter sentence. California law requires judges to consider if someone is a survivor of intimate partner violence. Liyah’s husband testified that he had never been abusive despite the bruises and cuts on Liyah when police arrived and numerous notes apologizing for past abuse. The judge refused to believe Liyah, found that she was not a survivor, and gave her a six-year sentence which would also carry the double punishment of deportation after she completed her sentence. As California Attorney General, Kamala Harris opposed Liyah’s appeal arguing that the record was unclear as to whether she was really a survivor. Liyah’s appeal was dismissed. After serving her six-year sentence, Liyah was arrested by ICE as she left prison. She was taken to the Yuba County Jail which rents space to ICE to be held pending deportation. Liyah’s story is not the exception: Multiple studies indicate that between 71% and 95% of incarcerated women have experienced physical violence from an intimate partner. In 2017, there were 219,000 women in US prisons and jails, most of them poor and of color. In 2014, according to the Sentencing Project, black non-Hispanic females had an imprisonment rate over twice that of white non-Hispanic females. Black immigrants face deportation for criminal convictions at a rate 3x higher than other immigrants. Liyah has suffered enough abuse: first from her violent husband, then from the courts, then from prison, and now, immigration detention. Governor Gavin Newsom can help stop the further abuse of deportation by granting her a pardon.

Survived & Punished
36,114 supporters
Petitioning Gavin Newsom, Natural History Museum

Flinstone House Decoration Stays! Leave the home owners alone! It's part of history.

The Flintstone House is a free-form, single-family residence in Hillsborough, California overlooking and easily seen from the Doran Memorial Bridge carrying Interstate 280 over San Mateo Creek.  History The house was unpopular with some neighbors, and inspired the formation of a local architectural review board. In late 2017, new owners installed large oxidized steel sculptures of dinosaurs, a woolly mammoth, a giraffe, and Fred Flintstone in the yard. DesignThe house was designed by architect William Nicholson and built in 1976 as one of several experimental domed buildings using new materials. It was constructed by spraying shotcrete onto steel rebar and wire mesh frames over inflated aeronautical balloons. It has approximately 2,700 square feet of living space including three bedrooms, one accessed via a spiral staircase inspired by an icecream cone that at the top is the same diameter as the room, and two bathrooms, and has a two-car garage. All the interior surfaces are rounded, and the master bathroom has a floor of rocks instead of tiles. Originally off-white in color, the house was repainted deep orange in 2000 and one of the domes was later painted purple. NicknamesThe house is known popularly as "The Flintstone House", from The Flintstones, a Hanna-Barbera Productions animated cartoon series of the early 1960s about a Stone Agefamily. It is also known as the Dome House, the Gumby House, the Worm Casting House, the Bubble House, and "The Barbapapa House", from Barbapapa, a character and series of books created by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor in the 1970s. Disrepair, restoration and remodelingBy the mid-1980s the house had fallen into disrepair, as water runoff from higher on the mountainside damaged the foundation, causing the walls to crack. After failed attempts at sealing the cracks, it was extensively restored in 1987. NOW- City of Hillsborough Sues Owner An addition to one of the most unique homes in the Bay Area ruffled some feathers at a Hillsborough Town Hall Friday, March 14th, 2019, as a lawsuit has labeled the iconic "Flintstones House" a public nuisance. In keeping with the "Flintstones House" theme, a statue of Fred Flintstone is in the front yard as if he’s ready to welcome guests, and since the new owner purchased the property, large dinosaurs towering over the yard can be seen from Interstate Highway 280. According to the town’s lawsuit filed this week, "because the landscaping improvements create a highly visible eyesore and are out of keeping with community standards, the decision and order required that they be removed by Dec. 5, 2018." "I don’t mind, but I can imagine other neighbors may," said Donna Situ. The house is owned by Florence Fang, a prominent member of the Chinese-American community in the Bay Area. According to the lawsuit, she did show up to one of the permitting hearings, where inspectors told her she didn’t get permission to put up the dinosaurs and other yard decorations. "My grandmother hasn't even seen the papers yet. She only learned this from the news today. I'm sure she will fight to save the Flintstone House though. Stay tuned," her grandson Sean Fang said in a statement. "As a San Mateo County native, I think the dinosaurs are beautiful. They make everyone smile and should stay." Residents said dealing with Hillsborough Town Hall can be a challenge. Neighbor Situ learned that when she recently moved a tree. "You had to ask, what is the circumference and when do I have to file paperwork to chop down a tree. You do have a lot of paperwork that you have to deal with," she said. The permitting department already fined Fang $200, which she paid. The lawsuit is not demanding anything be changed on the house, only that the dinosaurs and other yard items need to be removed Personally I would fight to keep these statues up and leave these owners alone. As a child I would drive to San Fracisco with my family to see my grandmother. I would wait patiently until I was able to catch a glimpse at the Flintstones House. At that time it was just orange and round and it intrigued me.  Now when I drive my daughter up north, she waits to see the house and the steel statues that line the yard. She is a huge fan of the T-Rex. Removing the statues would devastate her and many of our childhood memories we have of this beautiful home. In a land of forest green there is a home where in our childhood imagination, Fred and Wilma greet each other and say, I'm Home. As the following Petitioners, we stand together saying that we love this set up, paint scheme, statues and all.   

Helen Garcia
31,582 supporters
Petitioning Gavin Newsom

Keep Father and Dedicated Pet Food Express Employee Hay Hov in the U.S.

We are employees and community members of Pet Food Express and we strongly encourage Governor Newsom to pardon Hay Hov. We believe in rehabilitation and second chances, and Hay is a valued co-worker. Mr. Hay Hov has been a Class A truck driver for Pet Food Express since July 17, 2017. He has been an outstanding employee and we consider him to be one of our best drivers and a model employee, respected and liked by all. He is a safe and considerate driver, and has conducted himself professionally in all public interactions. He is punctual, works diligently, and helps out when we are shorthanded. As a company, we have total confidence in Mr. Hov to safely deliver millions of dollars’ worth of product to our stores. His deliveries require him to access the stores when they are empty and closed for business, and we trust him unreservedly with the keys. Mr. Hov has told us that he is being deported due to his actions 19 years ago when he was a youth. We understand that he has served his time for those actions. Should he be allowed to stay in the US, we strongly wish that he continue working for Pet Food Express. As you may know, truck drivers are a vanishing resource nationwide. Pet Food Express has had an extremely difficult time finding drivers that meet our standards of competence, reliability, customer service, and character. On a personal note, we know that Mr. Hov is devoted to his family and to raising his autistic son who needs special education and therapy. We share Hay’s concern that if he is deported to Cambodia, his son’s quality of life and chances for a meaningful future will suffer greatly. In all, we feel deporting Mr. Hov would be a disservice to both his family and to our company. We should all admire his work ethic, devotion to his family, and that he has overcome mistakes made early in his life to become a productive member of society. We appreciate this opportunity to urge our government authorities to allow Mr. Hov to remain here in the United States. For further information, read this article by the San Francisco Chronicle:

Pet Food Express
13,648 supporters
Petitioning Nancy Pelosi, Kamala D. Harris, Gavin Newsom, Mike Levin

San Onofre Nuclear Waste: RECALL Defective Holtec Storage System. It’s a LEMON.

The San Onofre beachside nuclear waste storage facility is DEFECTIVE and must be RECALLED to prevent nuclear disaster in Southern California and beyond. To avoid nuclear disaster: We urgently petition our state and federal elected officials and commissioners to take immediate action to require Southern California Edison: 1.  STOP loading highly radioactive fuel waste into the defective Holtec storage system and RECALL the Holtec nuclear storage system.  2.  REPACKAGE all San Onofre nuclear waste into thick-wall transportable storage casks that are designed to be inspected, maintained and monitored to PREVENT radioactive leaks and explosions. 3.  MOVE the new thick-wall casks to higher ground, away from coastal flood hazards, and STORE the the casks in reinforced buildings.   Note: The waste must be repackaged BEFORE it can be moved.  The NRC requires both the canisters and the fuel inside to be inspected before transport, but the Holtec system is not designed for inspection of either.  The Holtec system is a Lemon. The bad engineering design cannot be remedied with training and procedural improvements. The thin-wall canisters (only 5/8" thick) are vulnerable to cracking, but technology does not exist to inspect for cracks or repair cracking canisters.   There is no plan in place to stop or contain a cracking, radiation-leaking, potentially exploding canister.  This is serious;  each canister contains roughly a Chernobyl nuclear disaster of radiation. What’s worse, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently admitted that the design of the Holtec loading system likely causes damage to the canisters as they are lowered into the steel lined storage holes, due to unavoidable "metal to metal" contact.  The damage initiates cracking.   So far, the NRC has refused to recall this defective system.  The Holtec nuclear waste storage system poses a clear and imminent danger to the health and lives of the citizens, and poses potential financial and ecological disaster for the state of California, and beyond. It should be RECALLED immediately, and the waste repackaged, as soon as possible, into thick-wall casks (10" to 19.75" thick) that can be inspected, repaired, monitored and transported.   For more information and source documents visit  Listen to the President of Holtec explain that a through-wall crack will release millions of curies of radionuclides and it's not practical to try to repair a crack, even if you could find it.    

One Human
8,690 supporters
Petitioning Gavin C. Newsom, Gavin Newsom

"Governor Newsom, We Ask You For Justice For Jorge A. Covarrubias. "

Dear Readers: This is a case of injustice of almost two decades in the making, and you can help us to make the difference.                      PETITION To The Honorable Gavin C. Newsom, Governor of The State of California. Dear Mr. Newsom : Wrongful convictions in the United States of America, have stolen at least 20,000 years from innocent defendants. Also, in California over the past 24 years, wrongful convictions cost taxpayers $282 million. My brother Jorge Armando Covarrubias, CDCR T23089, was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 30 years to life under the terms of an unknowing and involuntary plea bargain. Please follow the links: At the time of his arrest and court proceedings,  my brother neither spoke nor understood any English, and had NO prior criminal record in the United States and Mexico. Not even a traffic ticket. On October 08, 2000, he was arrested and booked for Assault with a Deadly Weapon,  (PC 245 (A) (1)). Court records clearly shows that during a court hearing at the Downey, California Court, Jorge declined a plea bargain of 12 years while being represented by the  Angeles Public Defender Craig Purcell and assisted by the court interpreter Lucia Daley; However few days later at the Superior Court of Norwalk California, while being represented by Jon A. Divens, SB 145549, (DISBARRED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA), and assisted by the Court Interpreter Cecilia Alcaraz, he supposedly agree to enter into a plea deal of 30 years to life. The court's proceedings were inaccurately translated by the court interpreter Alcaraz. Jorge was convicted and sentenced by the Hon. John Torribio, under the terms of an unknowing, unintelligent and involuntary plea agreement for the charges of Second Degree Attempted Murder PC 664/187 (5 years) plus a gun enhancement, 12022.53 (d) (25 years too life). For a total of 30 years to life. Jon A. Divens my brother's trial counsel (DISBARRED) just admitted he used my brother's inability to understand English to improperly advised him to enter into a plea bargain of 30 years to life, for a crime he did NOT commit. The Honorable Lillian Vega Jacobs, (Appointed by former Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.), former District Attorney who prosecuted the case, presented an affidavit stating that she observed my brother hesitant and reluctant to enter into a plea of guilty, and that she did not believe that Jorge would accept such plea, because that is not a plea bargain at all. My brother attests that the court intérpreter Alcaraz never explained to him the truth in Spanish about court proceedings nor about such plea bargain. He was unable to understand because at that time he was complete iliterate in writing and speaking English. As a simple matter of humans my brother deserved more than to stare in total incomprehension as he was wrongfully sentenced to spend his life in prison for a crime that he didn't commit, as a result of an illegal plea of guilty. To declare that my brother, an immigrant functionally illiterate in English, that received a false translation of court's hearings and represented by an incompetent counsel, should be in prison serving a 30 years to life in silence,  IS NOT ONLY PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL, BUT IS A CLEAR INJUSTICE, not only for him, but on the fairness, integrity and public reputation of the state and national systems of justice as a whole. Thank you for your time, Sincerely,  Jose Covarrubias   

Jose Covarrubias
7,771 supporters