Newsom creates economic growth panel, as 3.5M Californians file for unemployment

Gov. Gavin Newsom said his focus on Friday would be on economic growth and recovery of the state, just as 3.5 million Californians have filed for unemployment claims since mid-March. 

Newsom also emphasized that on Thursday, 95 people died of coronavirus, the single highest death count in a single day. So far 985 people have died in California from the virus. 

"These are challenging and sobering times," he said. "But they are not permanent."

In that vein, Newsom announced the creation of an 80-member advisory group of business people, thinkers and activists who he chose to help lead the state toward that path. 

Newsom introduced four of the panelists, who spoke in general of getting California back on track. He said they will be convening "very shortly" and breaking down the panelists into various categories, such as hospitality, agriculture and the like.

No immediate details of what they would do or discuss were revealed. 

The panelists who were introduced are:

  • Billionaire, liberal activist and former presidential candidate Tom Steyer, who will chair the panel. Steyer touted his background when he helped start a bank in 2007 that he said was committed to "economic justice and environmental sustainability."
  • Jacqueline Resis of Square, who talked in general of having Congress supporting small businesses. 
  • Angela Glover Blackwell, the founder of PolicyLink, who said that any recovery must include racial equity and attention paid to the front line workers. 
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger, who said that he is both idealistic and realistic about what needs to be done. 

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