Episode 180 – Jennifer Siebel Newsom

First partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom on what fuels her advocacy
By LA Stories Staff Los Angeles
UPDATED 5:00 AM PT May. 20, 2024 PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT May 19, 2024

As a graduate of Stanford with multiple degrees, standout athlete, filmmaker, activist and, yes, first partner of California, Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a force to be reckoned with.

Together with her husband, Gov. Gavin Newsom, she aims to use her platform in order to bring about positive change in the state and beyond.

Through her California for All Kids initiative, Siebel Newsom says she is making sure California invests in our youth through mental health and programs, Universal Meals programs and more. Her personal experiences, particularly the loss of her sister at a young age in a tragic accident, have fueled her commitment to championing causes related to children’s well-being and mental health.

“I think that because I suffered in silence, I don’t wish that suffering on anyone,” Siebel Newsom said. “And so I feel protective of all people, but I especially feel protective of children and mothers and families because I know what pain, what real pain and shame and sadness and loss is.”

In the latest episode of “LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez,” Siebel Newsom shares her passion for filmmaking, having written and directed documentaries about gender equity and stereotypes — documentaries such as “Miss Representation,” which seeks to tackle the portrayal of women in media and culture, and “The Mask You Live In,” which aims to challenge the stereotypes of masculinity.

Siebel Newsom also opens up about her testimony against Harvey Weinstein in the 2022 sex crimes trial, during which he was found not guilty in her case.

She shares how the experience was re-traumatizing, and when his case was overturned in New York in 2024, she says she was devastated for the other survivors. But she sends a message of hope.

“My message is that we have your back and that we will be there for you, and that your story matters and that we’ve got you,” she said. “And we have to hold those women and support them, and that we’re sorry that the system is broken, that it’s so unfair that you have to go through this again.”

Despite the hardships she has faced, Siebel Newsom says she still remains hopeful for the future. She takes great pride in the work she is doing for the women and children of California. With talks of her husband running for president someday, Siebel Newsom says she trusts in her husband’s leadership, in whatever way that may take form.

“He’s the guy for this time. I’m really, really proud of him,” she said, “What gives me hope is that he is a firm, strong leader… I think we’re on the right side of history, and I’m confident that as California goes, so will ultimately go the country.”

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