California State Treasurer, John Chiang, paid a visit to Toolots’ Cerritos headquarters on March 16, 2018, where he spoke to an audience of Toolots employees about his role as State Treasurer and his candidacy for California governor.
After a brief introduction from Toolots CEO, Jason Fu, Chiang began by engaging the audience with a few statistics about California’s economy. “Today we’re producing about 2.5 trillion dollars’ worth of economic activity in this state,” Chiang said.
“We’ve made incredible progress through innovative leaders and smart hardworking workers. We are an innovative economy,” he continued.
Chiang then briefed the audience on his current role as California State Treasurer. “We invest our state’s money,” Chiang said. “On a daily basis, we’re investing 65-85 billion dollars of your money. Each year, we process 2 trillion dollars’ worth of transactions.”
“I chair twelve economic development authorities; I finance things from mental health, to hospitals, to EV charging stations, to advanced manufacturing, to affordable housing,” Chiang continued.
Chiang also touched on California potentially regaining its position as the fifth largest economy in the world, as it currently holds place of the 6th largest economy in the world. He said the state’s perspective on trade differs from that of Washington’s as California is a firm advocate of a global economy.
Chiang then took some time to respond to questions from Toolots employees. When asked about his achievements as State Treasurer, Chiang said, “I’m really proud of the fact that, today, California builds more affordable housing.” He added that he also helped sue misbehaving insurance companies to return hundreds of millions of dollars back to Californians.
“As potential governor of California, what are some top issues you want to address?” another Toolots employee asked.
Chiang indicated that his top priority is education. In particular, he wants the state to invest in early childhood education. “They say that up until third grade, you’re learning to read. After that, you’re reading to learn. If you can’t read, you’re not learning. It has huge implications for our criminal justice system. It has huge implications for every one of us to compete in a global economy,” Chiang said.
“We all have to keep learning; our jobs will look different 10 years from now; the world looks very different 10 years from now,” Chiang continued, adding that he has also pushed for creating a financial backstop so that graduates of higher education can renegotiate their student loan rates. “Education’s number one, [then] home ownership, good jobs, and a clean and healthy environment,” Chiang said.