California Governor Newsom raves about signing the property invoice on Google
California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks in Los Angeles, California on February 16, 2021 at the opening of the country’s first federal and state-run vaccination center during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Mike Blake | Reuters
California Governor Gavin Newsom cited a recent spate of tech IPOs and Google’s upcoming San Jose development project as examples of a California comeback. A recall campaign and complaints from departing residents draw attention to the problems of the state.
Google Chief Legal Officer and Global Affairs SVP Kent Walker joined local and state officials, including Newsom, when he signed California’s SB7 Bill at an event in San Jose. The bill changes zoning to allow for denser housing and is speeding up the state environmental assessment process for construction projects, which would include Google’s proposed San Jose mega-campus.
Newsom and officials thanked Walker several times during the event. “Kent, thank you for highlighting this – this bill is about investing in the state of California,” Newsom said at a news conference Thursday in San Jose. “This bill is about our comeback. This bill is about our renewal.”
“Being here with Google and the incredible private sector investment and belief and dedication to the future of this city and region and state is exactly where we want to be and that’s why we are here,” Newsom said, adding added that he chose to “celebrate” in person rather than with a Zoom call that was originally scheduled for Friday.
The law comes as critics say the state has lost its grip on technology due to the high housing costs and poor governance that were exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic. The state has also seen an increasingly hostile climate with forest fires and drought. A recent recall against Newsom collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the election.
When the press asked about Californians leaving the state, Newsom pointed out the tech industry, IPOs, Google and the high density of engineers, researchers and scientists.
“Eat your heart out, all these other states,” Newsom continued. “The state has had 99 IPOs since the beginning of the year. We had record-breaking venture capital in the state of California last year. We are the # 1 innovation state in America,” he said. “Those who write our obituary – they have done so every seven to ten years – are proven wrong time and time again, and again they are proven wrong about their current assessment.”
Google Chief Legal Officer and Global Affairs SVP Kent Walker spoke with Governor Gavin Newsom at a signing of the SB7 bill in San Jose, California.
California startups raised $ 84.2 billion in venture funding last year, according to the National Venture Capital Association. Google promised to spend $ 7 billion on U.S. data centers and office space in 2021, particularly in California, which has multiple campus locations.
Thursday’s event also stands a week ahead of the city council’s decision next week on whether to approve Google’s massive South Bay campus in partnership with the city of San Jose, dubbed “Downtown West”. The 80 acre campus in downtown San Jose will employ more than 20,000 people, some of which will be used for residential and public spaces, including what will hopefully be one of the largest transit locations in the country. The company recently added $ 200 million in benefits to help keep the business moving.
“As we begin to bring our employees back to our offices across the state and across the country, we look forward to investing more in California,” Google Walker said Thursday. “We want to invest across the United States, but we have a special love and affection for California and believe that California can enable the next generation of innovation. We are well on our way to economic recovery and look forward to working with all of you.” in the coming years. “
Newsom pointed to Google’s proposed housing estate, which will include 4,000 residential units, 25% of which will be for “affordable” housing. He also said that the campus’ sustainability features are examples of a solution to “Mother Nature’s challenges” in the state.
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