PRESS RELEASE: Acting Governor Atkins (And First Dog Joey) Announce Plans

October 4, 2019

San Diego—Acting as Governor of California in the absence of Governor Gavin Newsom and Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins today released the following statement:

“Upon learning I would again be serving as Acting Governor, I contacted my closest advisors to determine a course of action. I immediately heard from Acting First Dog Joey, who, while initially grumpy upon learning that he had not actually remained First Dog since receiving the title in July 2014, was ultimately helpful — mainly in exchange for snacks.

No matter what position I hold — Senator, leader of the California State Senate, and, today, Acting Governor — I believe an important part of my job is sharing the best of San Diego with all of California. That’s why as Acting Governor in 2014, I proclaimed “Tony Gwynn Day” in California to highlight the legend we San Diegans — and all his fans — still hold dear. Today I am making the following announcements:

“October 12th, 2019, will be Free Senior Pet Adoption Day at San Diego Humane Society.

First Dog Joey and I decided that one of a Governor’s main responsibilities is to improve people’s quality of life. What improves quality of life more than snuggles or snoozles with a furry companion who has found their new loving home? Therefore, First Dog Joey and I will cover the adoption costs for senior cats and dogs at San Diego Humane Society on Saturday, October 12th.  I am encouraging everyone to check out available companions and come make a match on October 12th. First Dog Joey would join in that encouragement as well, but he appears to be distracted, having found the source of the snacks.

“I am officially proclaiming October 5th, 2019, Tuna Harbor Dockside Market Day in California.

On October 5th, the market will celebrate its fifth anniversary. For the past five years, the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market has provided San Diego residents, chefs, and seafood aficionados with the ability to purchase fresh fish and has become a vital part of our community fabric. As Acting Governor, I hereby proclaim October 5, 2019, “Tuna Harbor Dockside Market Day” and ask all Californians to join in celebrating the benefits of fresh, sustainable seafood. As the author of AB 226, which made it easier for local fresh fish markets to start and succeed, I also encourage more coastal communities to consider establishing their own versions of the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market.

“First Dog Joey, possibly still bitter over the transitory nature of his title, pointed out the apparent contradiction of encouraging people to save cats and dogs, but eat fish. Therefore, he is encouraging Californians to also consider adopting fish, too, but reminds them that sizing the collars can be tricky.”


Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Joey is a Good Boy. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins:

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