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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Nurses' Unions Endorse Gavin Newsom For Next California Governor

The California Nurses Association and National Nurses United announced their support for Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom in Los Angeles Tuesday. 

Cheers and applause filled the room as confetti burst out of cannon to welcome California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom in the ballroom of the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles Tuesday morning. 

The California Nurses Association and National Nurses United have announced their support for Newsom as California governor in 2018. Currently, Newsom works under Governor Jerry Brown and is also the chief architect of California’s Economic Growth and Competitiveness Agenda.

“We believe that the golden state of California should have the golden standard in the office of governor and today I am thrilled and privileged to announce that the California Nurses Association has endorsed Gavin Newsom for governor of California for the next election,” CNA and NNU executive director RoseAnn DeMoro said.

DeMoro said Newsom has been a “long-time friend” of the nurses’ union. During Newsom’s address to the nurses’ union, he spoke about income inequality and universal healthcare. There are 8.8 million people in California who live below the poverty line, Newsom said. He also said no state in America has more people living below the poverty line than the state of California. 

“We have 2.7 million people without a residency status in this state that need health care,” Newsom said. “I believe in that and I want to continue to pursue that and support their effort not just in the state, the nurses, but as it relates to their national agenda.”

The CNA and NNU also chose to endorse a presidential candidate that was sent to every Republican and Democratic presidential candidate based on a survey about the politicians’ views on environmental and health issues. The issues included the Keystone Pipeline, nurse-patient ratios and right to bargain for VA nurses.

CNA nurse representative Kristan Delmarty said that everyone was given a fair opportunity and the union ultimately chose Bernie Sanders.

“We only got three responses back and that was was from Hilary Clinton, from Bernie Sanders and from Governor O’ Malley. No one else responded back… Percentage wise, Bernie met 100 percent of what we support and what are values are,” Delmarty said.

CNA and NNU members met at the conference to also discuss the health consequences of the climate crisis. More specifically, the nurses are concerned with pollution from fossil fuel production, the spread of diseases and effects of super storms caused by climate change.

On Thursday, nurses will march and rally with environmental activists coinciding with the United Nations Climate Summit, COP 21, in Paris. The Los Angeles Climate Action Convergence is also rallying at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles.

“The nurses decided quite a few years back to get involved with environmental issues because of those reasons,” Delmarty said. “It’s what we see coming in our hospital doors, it’s what we see affecting our patients.”

The CNA is the largest organization in the state representing 90,000 nurses in California. The NNU membership comprises 185,0000 nurses from across the country.

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