Capitol Alert AM Newsletter

Why El Salvador? + Equal pay in California + Kamala Harris in Sac

‘He’s been embarrassed and his base needs to be fed’: Newsom responds to Trump’s border emergency declaration

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday his administration's plans to sue President Donald Trump. Attorney General Xavier Becerra is reviewing the matter.
Up Next
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Friday his administration's plans to sue President Donald Trump. Attorney General Xavier Becerra is reviewing the matter.

Happy Monday alerters! Tips, comments, suggestions, your grandma’s famous brownie recipe? Send them my way:

“In the final analysis it doesn’t really matter what the political system is…We don’t need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation.” — Cesar Chavez


This weekend, Gov. Gavin Newsom is headed to El Salvador for his first international trip to learn more about why so many migrants are flooding into the United States from Central America.

The trip comes days after President Donald Trump announced he was cutting aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, three Central American countries from which many migrants come to the United States.

And while Trump said “no more money is going there anymore,” Newsom reiterated California’s commitment to the Northern Triangle regardless of what he called the president’s “xenophobia and nativism.”

“The United States should be organizing the world communities to help families feel safer and have economic opportunities in the Northern Triangle countries,” Newsom said. “Instead, this president is demonizing legal asylum seekers fleeing violence while at the same time putting in place policies that will make the situation for these families worse in their home countries. And he’s doing it all to score cheap political points with his political base. It is reckless and intentional, and we must call it out.”

There’s a lot to learn about “the root causes of migration” from El Salvador. If you look at recent apprehension surges along the U.S.-Mexico border dating back to 2014, you might think the crossings are a newer phenomenon. But Andrea Lampros, associate director of the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law, said migrants started fleeing the country during a civil war that started nearly 40 years ago.

The U.S. backed the Salvadoran government, but the country never regained footing after thousands were killed, violent gangs gained power and drugs infiltrated the streets.

“What gave rise to the war in El Salvador was a huge disparity in wealth and power,” Lampros said. “A few owning a lot. Part of (that) was grassroots organizations and unions and farmers and students and other people saying ‘enough, we need to have some economic justice.’”

“So the ideals for that and what people were fighting for were never fulfilled,” she continued. “That kind of disparity continued, exacerbated by the United States’ role there. We’ve fostered that.”

Newsom will be in El Salvador from April 7 to the 10th.


First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom will be at the Capitol this morning to announce the #EqualPayCA campaign that aims to close the pay gap in California.

Newsom will join state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, California Labor Secretary Julie Su and equal pay leaders with the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and TIME’S UP.

The announcement is scheduled for 11 a.m. on the East Steps.


Former district attorney, turned attorney general, turned U.S. Senator, turned presidential hopeful Kamala Harris will be in Sactown tonight for a special fundraising event. In attendance? Angelo Tsakopoulos, his wife Sofia, their daughter Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento.

Tickets? They range from $1,000 to $2,800 to help propel Harris — who received lukewarm results in a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll. Thirty five percent of Democrats said she should not run for president.


March 29 — Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside


Best of The Bee:

Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.