SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom was sworn in Monday and immediately drew sharp battle lines with President Donald Trump, pledging to enact “progressive, principled” policies as the antidote to the White Houses “corruption and incompetence.”
“Peoples lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance,” Newsom, 51, declared to a crowd of hundreds packed into a tent outside the Capitol.
Newsom took the helm as Californias 40th governor with a speech laced with bold pronouncements about Californias values and the direction he envisions for the nations most populous state.
But there were few specifics on how hell get there. He never mentioned Trump by name, but said the presidents administration is “hostile to Californias values and interests” and blasted plans to construct a wall along the nations border with Mexico.
“The country is watching us, the world is watching us. The future depends on us, and we will seize this moment,” he said.
Newly installed U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, was among those in attendance for the inaugural address. She got a standing ovation when she entered, an affirmation of the strong backing her opposition to Trump has in Californias Democrat-controlled capital.
A church choir from Compton got the crowd on its feet with upbeat renditions of popular songs to kick off the event, reflecting the younger, flashier style Newsom will bring compared to his 80-year-old predecessor, Jerry Brown.
In another sign of the generational shift, Newsoms 2-year-old son, Dutch, wandered on stage during the speech. Newsom, who has four children, picked him up and continued delivering his speech. The boy then walked around stage dragging a blanket, drawing laughs from the crowd until Newsoms wife took him off stage.
California Governor Gavin Newsom his family wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, waves after taking the oath office during his inauguration as 40th Governor of California, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019,Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
California Governor Gavin Newsom takes the oath of office from state Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye during his inauguration Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. Looking on is Newsoms wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom and their sons, Dutch, second from right, and Hunter, right. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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From left, former California first lady Sharon Davis, former governor Gray Davis, first lady Anne Gust Brown, Governor Jerry Brown, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi watch the inauguration of California Governor Gavin Newsom Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
California Governor Gavin Newsom holds his son, Dutch, while speaking during his inauguration Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
California Governor Gavin Newsom waves as his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom and children look on after taking the oath of office during his inauguration Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
People make their way into tents outside the State Capitol to attend the inauguration of California Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Former California governor s Gray Davis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, from left, attended Gavin Newsoms inauguration Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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Even as he needled Trump, Newsom offered an overture to voters in rural California, millions of whom voted for Trump and John Cox, Newsoms Republican rival in November.
“I recognize that many in our rural communities believe that Sacramento doesnt care about them — doesnt even really see them,” he said. “I see you. I care about you. And I will represent you with pride.
While touting the California Dream and strong economy, Newsom also acknowledged the state has problems, from a homelessness crisis to a gulf between the states wealthiest and poorest residents to failing schools, all of which he called “moral imperatives.” Beyond Trump, he pledged to take on drug companies, the gun lobby, polluters and payday lenders.
Newsom praised Brown, a longtime family friend, but indicated he would strike out a separate path from the fiscal restraint Brown made a hallmark of his last eight years in office. Brown sometimes angered legislative Democrats by rejecting big-ticket social spending items.
Newsom, meanwhile, already has pledged to expand access to early childhood education, reduce the cost of community college and extend family leave. He suggested Browns method of resisting more spending in favor of saving needed rethinking.
“For eight years, California has built a foundation of rock,” he said. “Our job now is not to rest on that foundation. It is to build our house upon it he said.
More specifics on Newsoms plans — including a “Marshall plan” for affordable housing, a reduction in drug prices and criminal justice reforms — will be outlined in the coming days.
When he introduces his first budget on Thursday the public will get a chance to see how he plans to pay for his plans while keeping his promise to maintain the states healthy reserves.
Newsoms inaugural address and celebration highlighted Californias diversity. His wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, delivered opening remarks in Spanish and a Mexican-American band from Richmond, California, performed.
Throughout his speech, Newsom sharply contrasted Trumps rhetoric on immigrants, saying California will not have “one house for the rich and one for the poor, or one for the native-born and one for the rest.”
Associated Press writers Don Thompson and Jonathan J. Cooper in Sacramento contributed to this report.