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Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom was carrying pizza boxes, seven deep when he stepped off his campaign bus at lunchtime on Tuesday at Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s Torrance campaign headquarters.
Both Newsom and Muratsuchi are thought to have comfortable leads in their respective races. Nonetheless, Newsom is barnstorming through Southern California this week, in support of Democratic state legislature and Congressional candidates.
“Don’t take the next 56 days until the November 6 elections for granted. Don’t run a 90-yard dash. Don’t dream of regretting,” the current lieutenant governor cautioned, with a characteristic play on words.
The Torrance stop coincided with the 9/11 anniversary, which Newsom used as a jumping off point to talk about California’s diversity.
“We don’t tolerate diversity. We celebrate it,” he told the approximately 100 supporters gathered in the parking lot behind Muratsuchi’s campaign office.
“The world looks to California to see it’s possible to live together and to prosper together despite every conceivable difference. There can be no leaks on your side of our boat.”
“If you don’t like the way the world looks standing up, stand on your head. All politics is local,” he said.
Then paraphrasing Aristotle, he argued, “You can’t live a good life in an unjust society.”
He expanded on this thought by noting, “We live in the richest state in the union and the poorest. We have 7.4 million living below the poverty level. I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of time during this campaign talking about homelessness. California has 135,000 homeless, one-quarter of the nation’s total.
“This has happened on our watch. Someone said to me the other day that they were late because they were stuck in traffic. I said, ‘You weren’t stuck in traffic. You are traffic.’ Society becomes how we behave.”
To find solutions to the state’s challenges, he urged support for Democratic Party candidates and cited Muratsuchi as the type of legislator the state needs.
“Al gets knocked down and rises back up. That’s leadership. Someone who doesn’t give up,” Newsom said, alluding to Muratsuchi losing his seat to Republican David Hadley in the 2014 election and winning it back in 2016. In the current race, Muratsuchi faces Republican Frank Scotto, a former Torrance mayor.
“Al led the fight for legislation to block oil drilling off our coast and for California to use 100 percent renewable energy.
“Critics said California could never get to 20 percent renewable energy. And when we did, they said we could never get to 50 percent. And now they’re saying we can’t get to 100 percent. How often do we have to prove folks wrong?” he asked for cheers from the crowd.
“Since I quoted Aristotle, I might as well quote Michelangelo,” Newsom said at the end of the rally. “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”