‘I don’t like the headlines’: Newsom talks about crime in Oakland

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Governor Newsom made an impromptu stop in Oakland to help Caltrans clean up trash off I-880. The effort, part of his “Clean California” initiative to get trash off roadways and public spaces. 

The elected officials and leaders helping with the clean-up drew a connection between issues of blight and crime.

Crime in Oakland has been a major focus of the governor’s energies this week. On Thursday, he announced the state is sending attorneys from the state’s Department of Justice and California National Guard to help prosecute crimes in Oakland and the East Bay. The move comes two days after he deployed 120 more CHP officers into the area targeting theft and violent crime. 

“Particularly focused on vehicle theft, vehicle break-ins, that’s unacceptable,” said Newsom. “Retailers that have their windows smashed, over-and-over again, that’s unacceptable. I don’t like the headlines, Denny’s leaving, In-n-Out leaving.”

The governor’s office pointed to early statistics from Oakland in 2023 showing violent crime up 21%, robbery increasing 38% and vehicle theft increasing 45%. This, while the office says other parts of the state have seen decreases. 

“How about common sense? Not tougher on crime, it’s keeping people safe,” said Newsom. “People can’t live feeling terrorized that their car’s been broken into 5-6 times, can’t live like that. Can’t expect a small businessperson to put everything on the line, invest in Oakland if they feel like their place is going to be robbed.”

Residents and business owners have expressed frustration with city leaders over crime. Newsom said he’s not interested in pointing fingers. 

“I’ve got 10 fingers, none of them are pointed in any direction,” said Newsom. “All of us are in this together, I’m not interested in who’s to blame I want to solve this problem. We can make a point or, we can make a difference. I want to make a difference.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.