3. Angie Wei
Angie Wei has been viewed, rightly, as a top labor leader – she spent a decade as the chief of staff at the California Labor Federation – and her entrance into the Newsom administration reflected the governor’s effort to maintain a strong bridge to organized labor. Most – but not all – say that’s exactly what she did, although you’d never know it from her original, jaw-breaking title, “Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Policy Development.” Now, Wei is Newsom’s Legislative Secretary, which means it’s her job to get the Democratic governor’s agenda through a balky Legislature, no easy feat, even though the Legislature is overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats. But there is more to it than that: Wei also is a major communications voice and strategy voice in the Horseshoe – she worked closely with strategist Daniel Zingale – and her reach spreads definitely beyond whatever her job title suggests. When we put together last year’s list there were rumors that Wei was leaving the administration, but that didn’t happen. Given the current political landscape, Newsom is happy she didn’t.
Updated Aug. 25, 2021