Press Statement: NAACP CA/HI President Rick L. Callender Responds to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s State of the State Address

Press Statement: NAACP CA/HI President Rick L. Callender Responds to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s State of the State Address


June 25, 2024

Contact: Kristine Yabumoto, 

SACRAMENTO – This morning, Gov. Newsom released his 2024 State of the State address, outlining the agenda for California issues important for many Black and Brown Californians. 

NAACP California Hawaii State Conference President Rick L. Callender released this statement in response:

“California is a place for embracing diversity. As California goes, so goes the nation, and as Gov. Newsom said this morning, so goes the world. While Gov. Newsom considered important factors impacting Californians such as homelessness, public safety, the economy, education, and the climate crisis, let us not forget that far too many Black and Brown people continue to experience significant inequities across the board at the hands of broken systems.

We commend Gov. Newsom’s commitment to addressing homelessness. Black and Brown Californians make up 64% the unhoused population, caused by historically discriminatory policies that continue to push our communities to economic instability. We must not forget the inequity which exists in every area. We need to increase the minimum wage to accommodate the rising cost of living. We need to ensure that our school reforms include making sure that Black and Brown students safe in schools from racist bullying, that electric vehicles are accessible to Black Californians, and that reparations for African Americans are a top priority. Let’s all make sure that the ‘California Way’ does not exclude these issues.

Over the remaining year, we will continue to call on Gov. Newsom and other elected leaders to join us in ensuring Black and Brown Californians’ voices are heard and issues prioritized. Our votes matter and you will hear our voices at the ballot box.”

Ahead of the 2024 election, the NAACP CA/HI State Conference is working to recruit 40,000 volunteers to support their voter mobilization efforts. 


ABOUT NAACP Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.