With a major California publication like the L.A. Times self-reckoning with racism in its history, it’s hard not to notice what’s going on in California. Despite the state literally burning, some very bold initiatives are being embarked upon.

I won’t be able to mention all of them, but let me name a few.

Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning the sale of new (not used) gas-powered cars by 2035. One can expect pushback in court for such a move but bold nonetheless.

As if that wasn’t bold enough, days later, the governor signed a bill into law intended to use the state’s market power to increase the availability and lower the cost of prescription drugs. The move looks to bring the state one step closer to having its own generic label.

Last but not least is the subject of reparations. Yesterday, September 30th, Governor Newsom signed a bi-partisan law that would create a task force to recommend appropriate remedies to the state legislature and determine who should be eligible to receive compensation. Given California is known to be one of the more progressive states, we often forget the state does have of a history of slavery — starting in 1848. This history did not end when slavery was banned from its constitution in 1849.

California looks to be a state of firsts. My only curiosity is what state will be the second. You may not agree with all of California’s new initiatives, but I feel as though they challenge the nation to think different and do more.


  1. California task force will consider paying reparations for slavery. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-09-30/california-task-force-reparations-slavery-gavin-newsom-shirley-weber. Last accessed: 10/2/2020.
  2. California to use market power in bid to lower drug costs. https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/California-to-use-market-power-in-bid-to-lower-15604369.php. Last accessed: 10/2/2020.
  3. California moves to end sales of new gas-powered cars and trucks by 2035. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/23/california-moves-to-end-sales-of-new-gas-powered-cars-and-trucks-by-2035.html. Last accessed: 10/2/2020.
  4. Our reckoning with racism. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-09-27/los-angeles-times-reckoning-with-racism. Last accessed: 10/2/2020.
  5. California, a “Free State” Sanctioned Slavery. https://californiahistoricalsociety.org/blog/california-a-free-state-sanctioned-slavery/. Last accessed: 10/4/2020.
  6. First Constitution of California, 1849. https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/exhibitions/artifact/first-constitution-california-1849. Last accessed: 10/4/2020.


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