Seems like everyday we’re confronted with strife within progressive movements–- challenged to find a common bond as we each work passionately to secure justice for the marginalized and oppressed. As a West Oakland resident and a Black mother who has lost a son and grandson to gun violence, “Black Lives Matter” was not a rallying cry; it was affirmation. It captured in an instant my life's calling: namely, to rise every day, rooted in love, working for justice, fighting for the soul of the Town.
For me being a progressive leader means more than just sharing catch phrases on social media. I worked for years in partnership with violence survivors to establish the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) – a community-led solution to the persistent problem of over-policing Black and Brown residents.
Being a progressive leader means partnering with housed and unhoused residents to pioneer “Compassionate Communities” - and partnering with other electeds to secure millions of dollars in new funding for homelessness – before
most others paid any attention to the looming crisis. It means advancing a vision to to support Oakland’s Black artists, culture-keepers and businesses by naming the Black Arts Business District, the first enacted cultural district in Oakland. And it means fulfilling a promise to community by fighting for the West Oakland Job Resource Center.
More than anything, my dedication to being progressive is rooted in love: love for family, love for my neighbors, love for my community, and a deep love for Oakland. Every decision that I’ve made on the council is rooted in my love of people and my quest for justice.
This Labor Day I am thinking of my unionist parents, and my under-compensated and oft-exploited relatives whose work and lives made me who I am. Whether you’re a hospitality worker or machinist, a waiter or cook, barber or barista, driver, teacher or techie, I salute and honor you.
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance…”
~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Help me continue this work. I ask for your support. I ask for your vote. I would be honored to receive your volunteer hours or your donation. And please share this message with everyone you know who loves Oakland.
Yours in Love Life Service & Hope