SACRAMENTO, CA—On Sunday, President-elect Biden’s transition team announced that it would be tapping California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Should Becerra be confirmed by the Senate, Governor Newsom faces the opportunity to fill both his position and the seat in the US Senate left vacant by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

While California has long paved the way for progressive national policy, Governor Newsom has fallen shamefully short of offering even basic health protections to the millions of Californians who live on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction and production. Climate and Environmental Justice advocates, along with Last Chance Alliance, are urging Newsom to use this historic wave of new appointments to show his commitment to racial justice and the climate for both California and the nation:

“President-elect Joe Biden has named climate as a top priority with many of his cabinet appointments. Governor Newsom, you now have a chance to improve your mediocre record and make addressing the climate crisis and protecting frontline communities a matter of greatest importance during your administration. At this critical time, we must appoint climate leaders with a demonstrated commitment to protecting the people most harmed by the fossil fuel industry, as well as ushering in a just transition away from fossil fuels. There’s no shortage of qualified candidates who, if nominated, would prioritize climate justice.

Local, state and federally elected officials like Representative Nanette Barragán and Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell are already committed to protecting people from these reckless polluters. We urge you to immediately nominate climate justice leaders to the Senate and the role of state Attorney General, and any other open positions.”


Last Chance Alliance is an alliance of more than 750 public health, environmental justice, climate, and labor organizations united to urge Governor Gavin Newsom to end fossil fuel extraction across California and build a just climate future where every community can thrive.