CA First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom on children's mental health, masking in schools, equal pay

ByKristen Sze and Justin Mendoza KGO logo
Monday, February 14, 2022
Jennifer Siebel Newsom on children's mental health, women's equal pay
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California First Partner Jennifer Siebel-Newsom spoke to ABC7's Kristen Sze for a wide-ranging conversation on topics including children's mental health, masking in schools and equal pay in the workplace.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California First Partner Jennifer Siebel-Newsom spoke to ABC7's Kristen Sze for a wide-ranging conversation on topics including children's mental health, masking in schools and equal pay in the workplace.

Siebel Newsom is co-chairing her husband's, Governor Gavin Newsom, advisory council on physical fitness and mental well being along with 49ers great Ronnie Lott.

"We've committed to equity across the board and making sure that children in particular get the best start in life. Governor Gray Davis had, and Pete Wilson and (Arnold) Schwarzenegger and (Jerry) Brown, they all had a physical fitness council," she said.

"We decided this past year that we wanted to commit to a physical fitness council that included and really centered mental health because we know that physical fitness and mental health are intrinsically linked."

RELATED: California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom talks equal pay, El Salvador trip, Gov. Gavin Newsom's 100 days

Ahead of California lifting the mask mandate for vaccinated people on February 15, (with the exception of Santa Clara County), Kristen asked the first partner if she would ask her kids to continue wearing masks in the classroom.

"Yes, I would encourage my children to keep wearing them because unfortunately, we've seen people not be responsible around them and not care about their health. And so it's just part and parcel to you know, needing to feel safe in your community and knowing that, we still have to remain vigilant omicron is still alive and well in California."

"I don't feel comfortable in certain restaurants or places without having my mask on the end. So I just think you know, it'll take some time to transition."

Newsom also talked about California signing onto the California Equal Pay Pledge.

"So, I am so proud of how strong California has been in terms of our equal pay laws and we have the strongest equal pay laws in the nation," Newsom said.

"However, you know, the fact that we don't pay women equitably for me is the strongest way that we basically demonstrate that we devalue women and girls, for that matter. And so, if we're ever going to achieve gender equity, we have to close the wage gap for women and in particular women of color."

Watch the full interview in our media player above

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live