California has never been a state that has been easily “controlled”. It takes a strong leader to wrangle firm-minded Californian’s. That has been ever-so evident under this current administration. The California Governor seems more interested in wielding his power and control than actually doing what he was elected to do. Lead.
It takes a lot of mismanagement and unnecessary stubborness to fire Bob Iger up to the point where he resigns from an important task force. But, that seems to be exactly what happened with the California Economic Recovery Task Force.
In a dramatic 180 from his words last month that reopening guidelines were right around the corner, California Governor Gavin Newsom made the statement that he said the state “is in no hurry in putting out guidelines,” the rules that theme parks would need to operate safely amid the current pandemic.
Related: Hawaii’s Plan To Reopen Tourism
Disney and other theme parks abiding by and even improving upon guidelines at theme parks all over the world including the pandemic hot spot of Florida. They have proven they could open safely and have even pushed back when they have been given additional leeway because they did not feel it was safe to take that liberty that the time. The California Governor is playing chicken with the livlihoods of the people who elected him by warring with one of the most powerful companies in the world.
A group of California legislators as well as local mayors and government officials have pleaded with Newsom to work with the company and start to bring the state back to life.
Although many have praised Newsom as looking out for “the people”. That is not a view we see. We see a power hungry “leader” losing further control of a situation he never had control of to begin with. Not allowing theme parks to open or even receive guidelines to do so is dangerous. Especially when playing with people, the people who elected you, and their livlihoods, welfare and on top of that, the largest economic contributor in Southern California.
As highlighted in an article in The Wall Street Journal, local businesses are also suffering and are being backed against a wall with no answers or guidelines being provided by Newsom and the state.
39-year-old Dara Maleki, who owns pizza restaurants near Disneyland and Disney World says sales are down 90% at his Anaheim location compared with 30% in Florida. California’s government needs to act, said Mr. Maleki. “I want people to come back safely…no one wants an outbreak,” he said. “But we also want an opportunity to survive.”
Why is that important? California is swimming in an ocean of debt. They don’t have the resources or the means to continue to operate without businesses being allowed to safely reopen. This will end up being catastrophic for the state and for the people in it.
The virus isn’t going anywhere. It’s here for the long haul. People must learn to adapt their lifestyles and their choices to fit the virus. Travel can happen. People can travel and live their lives with precautions. People all over the world and the country are doing it. If the numbers aren’t where Newsom wants them in six more months, what will California look like then? Especially without Southern California’s largest economic contributors and one of the largest employers.
According to reports from mental health experts, gun sales are up even in California, mental health related hospitalizations are up by almost a third in the state and substance abuse has also spiked in 2020. This is a recipe for a mental health disaster.
While the California Governor is focused on punishing theme parks most likely due to the very public pleas The Walt Disney Company has put out over the past few weeks, he is ignoring the people he has sworn to represent and protect.
The state cannot continue to run on unemployment. According to several sources, California has backlogged unemployment claims toppling 1 million. Over 1.6 million people who have filed haven’t even been considered yet. Other reports show that those receiving unemployment are seeing their accounts frozen or erronously drained of all funds.
California is facing serious problems. Something the safe reopening of theme parks, with strict guidelines, protocols and procedures, would help stifle.
This is not the time for pride Governor Newsom. This is the time for leadership and action. It’s not the time to be picking fights with the people who pay your constituents, offer them hope and help put food on their tables.
We join with other individuals and officials in the plea for Newsom to see reason and end this game he is playing that is putting the livelihoods and lives of the people who put their trust in him at risk.