Newsom also offered a plea for unity and delivered a message to the millions of Californians who did vote to recall him.
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"Coming out of this recall I want to turn the page," Newsom said on Wednesday afternoon at the Melrose Leadership Academy. "Express respect and a deep sense of responsibility, not just to those that vote 'no' on this recall, but those who voted 'yes.'"
"They matter and I want them to know I'm going to do my best to have their backs as well," he added.
Newsom said he chose to visit a school to remind Californians of the importance of setting an example of kindness and unity for the future generations.
"If there's anything that I've learned in the last six to nine months being out on the campaign trail," Newsom said, "Is we've got to disabuse ourselves...of all this false separateness."
Newsom said he does not feel vindicated after defeating the recall, rather he feels "enlivened" and "more energized" to tackle the challenges facing the state.
"I feel a deep sense of responsibility because people are counting on us and they need us," Newsom said. "We need government to be effective and they need us to have their backs, and they need us to keep them safe and healthy, and so that's the mindset that I have going in."
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In his remarks, the governor also addressed how the state is handling safety in schools during the pandemic.
The day after the recall, @GavinNewsom is discussing government & civics with students at a school in Oakland.— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) September 15, 2021
He asks students the most important issues they believe need to be addressed. They say #1 climate change, #2 healthcare, #3 homelessness pic.twitter.com/nYRqdeZ0q4
He did not rule out mandating vaccines for all K-12 public school students once the vaccine is approved for children, but said it is not something they currently plan to do.
"There's certainly conversations," Newsom said, "But there's nothing on the table and I want to make that crystal clear. But of course there are conversations."
He said there are many factors that are being considered before making that decision, including the potential rise of any new COVID-19 variants.
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