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On Friday, April 17, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the creation of a large task force to develop and implement economic recovery strategies for the state in the wake of COVID-19.
The 80 person task force will be headed up by the Newsom’s chief of staff, Ann O’Leary, and billionaire climate activist and former Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer.
The task force will also include former Disney CEO Bob Iger, former Governor’s Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis and Pete Wilson and also Apple CEO Tim Cook, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Service Employees International Union president Mary Kay Henry.
“We recognize that if we are going to learn anything from the past, it’s not to repeat the mistakes of the past and have a sustainable mindset, not just a situational mindset,” said Newsom in a press conference. “In terms of how we recover, it is in the ‘how’ we recover that I think ultimately we will be judged, and judge ourselves, and I think that is the spirit of the group of people and advisers we’ve put together.”
Iger announced that The Walt Disney Companies top priorities were “getting people back to work,” and also offering customers positive entertainment experiences.
Said Iger, “But we also know that we need to be really smart in how we re-open our business, so that everyone can feel safe — both our employees and our customers. In order to achieve this balance, we think a collection of protective measures are likely necessary. We stand ready to implement them when available, and to do everything we can at the Walt Disney Co. to restart our business under safe and reliable conditions.”
The task force will be divided into several categories, including entertainment, hospitality, retail and manufacturing. and each will focus on creating economic strategies for the state to fuel economic recovery.
California as well as many other states are certainly feeling the pressure following the closure of many businesses in order to reduce the illness and death of COVID-19. Los Angeles County is deeply affected with less than half of the county’s residents still holding a job — 45% compared with 61% in mid-March, according to a study released Friday by USC Dornsife Center.
“We are now in a pandemic-induced recession, here in the state of California,” Newsom said, but added that “work is already underway and progress is already underway.”
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(Source: LA Times, USA Today, Forbes, CNBC)