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.
For the Town
I love our Town because of its people. I want to see us do better and I want to see all of us shine! 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. 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.
For the Land
We respectfully acknowledge the original peoples of this land the Muwekma Ohlone tribe. For hundreds of generations the Chochenyo people actively stewarded these lands to ensure they provided for all living things. Today and everyday, we acknowledge the impact colonization had on the Chechenyo/Muwekma Nation and recognize our responsibility to heal from this history and secure a sustainable future.
Lake Merritt is our jewel. Our city and regional parks are wonderful spaces for holding us and 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.”
For the Schools and the Grandkids
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. A mayor can 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. I want to deepen my service to the young people I have met over the years in our neighborhoods, schools, and youth development centers and broaden my service to the elders of this city who deserve the best of what we can offer them.
For our Healing
I want to bring our arts community to the center of the healing that we all know 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 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.
I recognize that everyone in Oakland, in one way or another, has been affected by the COVID pandemic. Living through a pandemic has hit everyone hard. I am running at this time because I offer skills as a facilitative leader, informed by years of community leadership experience and a balanced temperament grounded in love.
I have gained invaluable insight and experience over the last two years in joining 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 can help make that happen.