FRESNO, California - Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom made his return to Fresno Saturday with an overarching message of state unity. While he touched on region hot topics like immigration, his conversation with voters had more focus on other issues.
Dozens filled the Fresno Teamsters labor union building for a meet and greet with Newsom. From the get-go he made it clear, he wants to invest in all of California if he becomes the state's next leader.
"[There's a mindset of ] California coastal versus California inland," Newsome said. "That's a gap we have got to bind."
In his statements and in answers to fielded questions, Newsom touched on Central Valley hot button issues like immigration. However, he said the biggest issue for him is income and wealth disparity.
He called on the need to solve the state's homelessness issue and also brought up the Central Valley's poverty problems -- referencing how low Central Valley counties match up to others in the state.
"This is the issue that defines all other issues. This is the issue that must be addressed and I say that as a Democrat. We own this. This happened on our watch and there's no excuse," Newsom said.
Addressing the fact he was standing in a labor union's building -- Newsom also took a moment to address issues on labor. He particularly stressed the need to change the culture of the country's workforce, wanting to promote vocational training and jobs as much as higher education.
Newsom said, "We have the opportunity to educate people before they graduate high school. Get them on a track where they can get those quality skills without creating a mindset that every single person has to go to college. We would love to see that happen, but that's not going to happen for everybody."
Water issues didn't come up in the conversation. When asked about it, Newsom said he would "hit the ground running." Also mentioning the need to start investing dollars from Prop 1, a $7.5 billion water bond passed in 2014.