“On A Collision Course With The Future:” Gavin Newsom On Bringing California’s Government Into The 21st Century

As the mayor of San Francisco from 2003 to 2011, Gavin Newsom had a front row seat to the incredible technological innovation that forever changed the U.S. (and global) economy. He remembers Steve Jobs introducing the iPod and thinking it would never replace record stores. He remembers local newspapers scoffing at the idea of Craigslist, which went on to decimate the newspaper advertising business.

Now, as lieutenant governor, Newsom is doing what he can to make sure that the government of the state of California is keeping up with that rapid change. It’s not an easy task.

“Government in California is on the cutting edge of 1973,” Newsom told CALinnovates’ Kish Rajan during a recent talk in San Francisco.

In order to evolve, the state government needs to reflect the changes we are seeing in today’s culture. Newsom tried for years to reform the taxi industry and then Uber did it with a simple app. Newsom acknowledges that there’s no going back. Now government has to strap in and prepare for the ride.

“Every one of us has an obligation when we get up in the morning to ask ourselves, ‘What is the world we’re living in,’” said Newsom. “A guy or a gal on a white horse is not going to come along and save the day for us.”

Listen to the full interview below:



Like what you hear? Subscribe to A Step Ahead on iTunes.