We Need Serious Leadership to Get Us through This Pandemic

Friends, 

Over the past few months, in the face of COVID-19, I’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with my colleagues on the City Council and labor partners to avert layoffs and service reductions, and to pass a budget to address the health and economic impacts of the pandemic with our community’s best interests in mind. We Oaklanders are going to get through this together, but we need serious leaders to help make that happen, and I’m proud of the work I’ve done to lead our community through these challenging times. 

In June, as Chair of the Oakland City Council’s Finance and Management Committee, I proposed a “Community First Budget” to guide the city’s COVID-19 response while also addressing widespread demands for a transformation in public safety and policing in Oakland. 

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THE RECEIPTS - Housing and Homelessness

Friends,

During the League of Women Voters forum (as the challengers decried the failure of our economy on homelessness with simplistic platitudes of this complex problem) I was challenged to demonstrate what I’ve done to improve the quality of life for the unhoused and the housed in our district.  While I am angry that we have not yet been able to do more, I am clear about our accomplishments and about what more is needed. The debate revealed that there are vast differences in our approach, skill, focus and results. 

Everyone is pained by the the rise in homelessness.  Sadly too few understand the complexity of this challenge.  If the solutions were easy or obvious this national crisis would be solved.

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Sojourner Truth Tuesdays: Michael Tubbs Endorses!

Friends, 

Today I am honored to announce that our campaign has earned the endorsement of Stockton Mayor Michael D. Tubbs. 

After his cousin Donnell James was killed at a Halloween Party, in 2012 Michael was inspired to run for city council to represent District 6—South Stockton, a community very much like West Oakland, filled with pain, poverty and promise. 

Returning to his hometown to confront the conditions that produce this pain, Michael has turned the pain of loss into an ambitious progressive agenda that has received national recognition. Since taking office, he has secured a $20 million private donation to launch “Stockton Scholars” which will provide up to $4,000 to help students pay for college or trade school for a decade. In addition, Michael lifted up best practices from Oakland and Richmond to establish “Advance Peace” a program that works to reduce gun violence and launched the nation’s first ever municipal level basic income pilot known as the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration or SEED - a model that will soon launch in Oakland.

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Me & The Meaning of Progressive

Dearests, 

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.

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Sojourner Truth Tuesdays: Homelessness

Dearest Friends, 

Seven weeks from today voters will decide who will guide Oakland over the next four years.  At the top of the agenda is the City’s response to homelessness and ensuring equitable COVID19 response and recovery.  

Leadership matters.  We all know that simple answers are simply not good enough to address complex problems.  

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#911 Remembered

“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, …the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”  

– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 

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Love is Love - Celebrating Pride & Family

Friends,

This week as we commemorate Oakland Pride Week (September 6 - 13), I am thinking of our families and our on-going work to ensure that every one of us enjoys life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness. 

Oakland Pride has been a tradition in my family since the festival relaunched about 10 years ago.  I would bring Victor and his cousins to the festival to enjoy the family friendly event that reflected the best of who we are in Oakland. 

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