It’s hard to believe the polls closed and election results began to roll in just over two weeks ago. The results locally and beyond reflect the values, questions and concerns that voters have – as well as tell a story of how big money tried to buy influence and policies.
- Oakland voters remain generous and rooted in progressive values, voting to strengthen the police commission, give youth the right to vote in school board elections, increase fines on corporations, and support a tax increase to fund homeless services, housing and healthcare.
- Oakland voters are unbought and unbossed. Local candidate races had tons of outside money poured into them from corporations like Lyft and billionaires like Michael Bloomberg who are on a mission to buy the policies they want passed. They lost by significant margins.
- Oakland voters reject Mayor Libby Schaaf’s endorsed candidates and issues. While she has consistently cast doubt on the police commission, voters supported strengthening it by a margin of more than 80%. And while she endorsed law and order candidates that want to develop their way out of a housing crisis, voters stood on the side of candidates who want to reinvest police dollars into community services that address root problems, like recognizing that housing is a human right.
- Sadly, on the statewide level, corporate interests prevailed by wide margins. They poured hundreds of millions of dollars into efforts to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, keep gig workers exploited, prevent rent control, and keep certain health clinics unregulated.
- Californians have had enough of the over-incarceration of our young people and community members. We enthusiastically supported restoring the right to vote to previously incarcerated people, and turned down an attempt to strengthen sentencing laws for small, nonviolent crimes.
We saw amazing wins and losses at the ballots that will impact our lives for years to come. Locally, our years of hard work and movement building paid off as we finally have a progressive majority in the City Council and OUSD school board. We are excited to have Carroll Fife, with her unapologetic, proactive, and value-driven leadership to join the existing leadership on the City Council. Her vision for housing as a human right and defunding of the police coupled with on the ground organizing, is exactly what we need to build lasting progressive policies for our most vulnerable communities. Taking on candidates who were backed by big corporate and developer donors, Rebecca Kaplan won her Rep-at-Large seat and Dan Kalb returns to his seat in District 1. We look forward to building a strong co-governing relationship with Treva Reid In District 7. Although it is a narrow race, we are so proud of the campaign that Richard Santos Raya (who is holding out till every vote is counted), ran in District 5 against the incumbent.
Despite billionaires like Bloomberg pouring a couple million dollars into OUSD campaigns, three of our community-rooted candidates will be sworn into the school board with the shared goals of bringing accountability and transparency to the budget process, defending police-free schools, and keeping public land for public good.
With the election season over, we will now turn our focus to solidifying our relationships with the newly electeds and bringing forth policy priorities that will drive bold, progressive change to weather this ongoing pandemic crisis and emerge as a city that champions our shared values of racial, economic, and environmental justice. We will continue on this arc of justice and fight for an Oakland for All.
To view our original analysis on each candidate, measure, and proposition, please visit our 2020 Voter Guide page.