7. Angie Wei
The administration describes Angie Wei as “a special adviser to the governor,” a vague job description that takes in a lot of territory. Wei is best known for her labor connections – she spent nearly two decades at the California Labor Federation, including eight years as chief of staff – but her portfolio has broadened as she rises in the Newsom administration. In addition to her labor linkage, she gets into communications and political strategy. When we did this last year, one person familiar with the governor’s setup described Wei as the administration’s political director, and that may even be true. The governor himself earlier described Wei as his “chief deputy for policy.” There were rumors that Wei was planning to leave last fall, but that didn’t happen. In fact, the recent departure of veteran political communicator Daniel Zingale (No. 13 last year) created a vacuum and some open turf, into which Wei appears to have moved. She served on the Immigrant Welfare Collaborative during the 1990s, and later was chair of California’s workers’ comp commission. So between labor, immigration and worker safety, she’s got Newsom’s flanks covered.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020