On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom visited a HomeKey site to highlight the nation-leading program which he says was the largest expansion of housing for people experiencing homelessness in recent history. He was joined by Bay Area native Najee Harris who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harris was introduced at the 13:00 minute mark of the Press Conference which was held in Santa Clara.
Here is the transcript:
“First I want to say thank you for coming and I know this is a crazy time we are in but we are getting over it but thank you for having me. Gavin, of course too, you sound like my agent. It’s scary as heck.
My name is Najee Harris, I am 23-years-old and I am from the Bay Area… I am not a politician, I am just here to shed light on the situation of homeless and hunger in California. We are all in position to help, I know I am, of course these guys up here are.
Me and my family were once homeless moving around the Bay Area—San Francisco, Richmond, Pinole, Hercules, Sacramento, I mean the list goes on and on. But we were evicted numerous times and had to stay in homeless shelters, friends houses, cars but as family we stuck together and made it through these tough times.
Now I am in position to help people who were once in my shoes.
But a problem with no answer, is just a problem. Meaning what have I done to help out the situation. Me personally, I have done a lot of events around the Bay area, food and clothes.
I have a good team in Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch) and KP right here, we do a lot of things around the Bay Area. I am actually in an organization called Athletes First, we do a lot of stuff worldwide, I do a lot of stuff in Texas and Alabama. During the draft process, I play football by the way, you really want to focus on the draft and being on a team, but I took time out of my day to pass out food (while training in Texas) to show awareness and show this is a matter that needs to be taken seriously because I was once in their shoes. I know how it feels.
But now, I have my own non-profit, Da Bigger Picture, it helps out hunger, homelessness and a lot of other things such as camps to show kids there is another way and make sure they don’t have no hope or anything like that. We want to show them the way, help put them in a position to better themselves.
California is our people, we are gods people, at the end of the day, god isn’t going to care about what I have done and the football world, the championships, or not care about the amount of bills we have passed. What he is going to care about is what have you done to help the people.
If we can do everything we can to help the people of California and just play a part. Hopefully you will go to heaven.
Thank you guys”
After Harris spoke, Newsom announced he and the legislative leaders of both the Senate and the Assembly today announced a proposed extension of California’s statewide evictions moratorium, and an increase in compensation for California’s rent relief program.
The three-party agreement on AB 832 – which extends the current eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021 – will ensure that California quickly uses the more than $5 billion in federal rental assistance to help the state’s tenants and small landlords and protect vulnerable households from eviction. The agreement widens rental assistance by enhancing current law. Provisions include increasing reimbursement to 100 percent for both rent that is past due and prospective payments for both tenants and landlords. Additionally, the bill ensures rental assistance dollars stay in California by prioritizing cities and counties with unmet needs, and uses the judicial process to ensure tenants and landlords have attempted to obtain rental assistance. That full release & info can be viewed here.