I am running for mayor because I love Oakland — its people, its distinct neighborhood life and the spirit that makes us who we are. I believe in Oakland’s ability to rise and our leadership needs to show that.
I love our Town because of its people. We are an amazing diversity of cultures and experiences that make us a rich expression of the best of humanity. We raise our children here to be committed, caring, loving people. We honor and take care of our elders here as we listen and learn from them. We make art together. We make music together. We laugh together. We cheer our teams on together. We support one another. We cry together. We fall down and pick ourselves up, together.
I love our city because of its land. Lake Merritt is our jewel. Our city and regional parks are wonderful spaces for holding us, grounding us. These are the places where we play, where we sit, where we eat, where we rest, where we share, where we renew ourselves. Our neighborhoods are full of depths and dimensions, each unique in both challenges and opportunities. I love the array of experiences that we can share from the views in the hills to the murals along city streetscapes, from the gardens and green spaces to the realness of The Town’s outdoor community “living rooms.” We are a one-of-a-kind place. Our spectacular racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, faith, ability, and age diversity make up who we are and why we stay here.
Because I love Oakland, I want to see us do better. I want to see all of us shine! I want to make economic and social justice real. I want us to be safe. I want us all to have a decent home to live in. I want us to live in a clean city. I want to see us work together to cultivate hope. I want to see us heal together—to attend to what hurts, to address what causes us pain, to find ways to manifest a brighter future. For all of us.
Because I love Oakland, I want to serve as your next mayor. I want to deepen my service to the young people I have met over the years in our neighborhoods, schools and youth development centers. I want to broaden my service to the elders of this city who deserve the best of what we can offer them. I want to bring our arts community to the center of the healing that we all know that we need. I want to use my skills to help us arrive at a consensus for what makes us better on this common ground.
I love our city because of our incredible youth, educators and schools. I know that a lot of people in Oakland are seriously hurting over what is happening to our neighborhood schools. Schools are more than just places where students go to learn: they are hubs of our neighborhoods. For many of us they are our second homes. I know this is deeply personal. I believe that we must have a process that includes community input and support for equity and thoughtfulness. I will advocate for the resources needed to fully finance our community schools. What a mayor can do is fight for resources, be responsive to the community by ensuring voices are heard, and bring innovation when our community’s needs demand it. We can find resources and innovation to help our school district to be accountable and responsive to our vibrant communities.
Over the past 40 years, I have worked in leadership positions for a range of community and governmental organizations locally and nationally. I have worked as a facilitative leader who builds consensus, an advocate for progressive policy, and an implementer of effective programs. I have supported others with healing approaches and brought artistry to every endeavor.
In each of the roles that I have played, I have learned important lessons that have informed my work with the practical skills and real-world experiences that have prepared me to take on the challenge of uniting Oakland to make life here in The Town better for everyone.
I recognize that everyone in Oakland, in one way or another, has been affected by the Covid pandemic. These past few years living through a pandemic has hit everyone hard. I am running at this time because I feel what I can offer right now are skills as a facilitative leader, informed by years of community leadership experience and a balanced temperament which is grounded in love.
I have gained invaluable insight and experience over the last two years in joining in with and leading a local response to the COVID pandemic. During this pandemic, I worked with the COVID 19 Racial Disparities Task Force convened by the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda; co-chaired the COVID Advisory Group convened by the Alameda County Health Department, and led the African American Response Circle (AARC) (which raised and distributed $1.1 million in resources that were deployed in the community). Additionally, AARC has created a $100 million investment plan for the Black community.
What these past two years have demonstrated to me is that Oaklanders are strong. We are resilient. We are willing to work together to solve the challenges that lay ahead. I believe that we are becoming stronger together and can rise to the challenges of creating a more inclusive, equitable, and thriving Oakland. I also believe that I can help make that happen, which is why I am running for mayor.
My vision is for Oakland to be a city of safe and thriving neighborhoods for everyone.
I envision a proud, clean city with an abundance of affordable housing for all of its residents, a city with a robust economy and flourishing arts and culture scene.
My number one priority is to create an equitable, sustainable, and vibrant economy that serves as a foundation for a better quality of life for all Oaklanders.
My vision for Oakland embraces a different kind of leadership than the city has ever had before. This includes leadership that listens to help healing. It includes deep knowledge and policy ideas that will help improve the economic and social health of our communities, and leadership that is willing to take risks.