OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Community and labor leaders and their supporters rallied in Oakland Wednesday to urge Californians to vote “no” on the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Californians will vote September 14 on whether or not to kick Newsom out of office three years into his first term after being elected in a landslide.

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The No on the Recall group gathered at Snow Park on the western edge of Lake Merritt to say the recall is bad for working families as well as a conservative attempt to destroy voting rights and tear down the state’s equitable housing policies and economic recovery.

The speakers at the press conference included state Senator Nancy Skinner, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, as well as representatives from the Sierra Club, the Alameda Labor Council, and the East Bay Housing Organizations.

Speakers said Newsom’s commitment to science-based public health, environmental policy, and low-income assistance must continue, and criticized Larry Elder, the GOP candidate currently leading the field of candidates seeking to replace Newsom.

“[Elder] wants to take us back to the 1950,” said Wicks. “Is this the person who should govern the most diverse, inclusive, progressive, innovative state in the USA?”

Other leaders talked about Newsom’s push to curb crime in Oakland and said Republican victory on the recall would jeopardize his $100 billion economic recovery plan, the largest rescue package in the nation.

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“Voting no on the recall is a matter of life and death,” said Schaaf. “I’m serious. What we have here is Larry Elder, a crazier Trumpster than Trump himself.”

Republicans are hoping for an upset in a heavily Democratic state, where the GOP hasn’t won a statewide election since 2006. The election is being closely watched nationally as a barometer of the public mood heading toward the 2022 elections, when a closely divided Congress again will be in play.

Newsom himself has been warning the race is close, and Democrats fear many of their voters are shrugging at the contest while Republicans and conservatives are eager to vote.

Democrats say the effort to remove him is being driven by far-right extremists and supporters of former President Donald Trump. The recall is backed by state and national Republicans, but organizers argue they have a broad-based coalition, including many independents and Democrats.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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