When Governor Newsom announced on April 28 — nearly two months into the lockdown — that salons and beauty colleges would remain shut additional “months not weeks”, the PBFC jumped into action.
We immediately sent his Cabinet Secretary a letter, which precipitated an April 29 hour and-a-half phone conference (which was joined by the State Board Executive Officer). Unfortunately, that conversation went nowhere, and on May 1, the State Board sent a threatening notice to all 500,000 licensed professionals that they better keep their salons closed or else!
At that point, we knew we had no choice but to take our state government to court. On May 12, we filed an emergency injunction request in the U.S. Central District Court in Los Angeles. Leading up to our filing, we went to press to announce our imminent lawsuit.
The widespread media coverage put immediate pressure on Governor Newsom, who lashed out at nail salons as the alleged first site of community spread of COVID-19. We utilized that dubiously timed bombshell to our advantage in the court of public opinion, which only increased the profile of our lawsuit. This 2-minute montage shows how effective our PR campaign has been:
Governor Newsom is now in full retreat, announcing today (May 18) that salons may be allowed to reopen within “a few weeks.” But talk is cheap. We need to continue to keep the pressure on, so we are moving full steam ahead with our lawsuit and with our media blitz.
If you haven’t already, please consider donating to our OpenSalons campaign, which will help cover our growing legal bills: