Published by Oakland Rising Action on

Candidate Jennifer Esteen’s background in the health care and worker industry show history of advocacy and make her the best candidate to represent the constituents of AD20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Media Contact: liz suk, Executive Director, Oakland Rising Action, info@oaklandrisingaction.org


Today, Oakland Rising Action, a community-led political organization focused on supporting candidates and issues that drive a progressive agenda for working-class, immigrant and communities of color living in the flatlands, endorsed former nurse, longtime union leader, and advocate Jennifer Esteen to represent Alameda County’s 20th Assembly District.

“We are beyond excited to support Jennifer Esteen in her race for Assembly, and look forward to standing alongside her in our pursuit of major change for the people of AD20 and California at large. Our state needs champions who will fight unabashedly for the issues working people, immigrants, and communities of color care about, like healthcare for everyone, affordable housing, and community-led public safety,” said liz suk, Executive Director of Oakland Rising Action. “Oakland Rising Action has worked to ensure that the voices of people across the county are listened to and acted on, and we look forward to having a partner in Jennifer Esteen in Sacramento to ensure the best for our communities.”

“I am proud to have earned the support of Oakland Rising Action, who I have long admired for their pursuit of justice and dignity for all people of Alameda County, particularly those most often left behind by our systems. I am running for office because the communities of AD20 need a representative who will work relentlessly to ensure their lives and futures are put above all else,” said Esteen. “I look forward to collaborating with Oakland Rising Action to organize and build within our communities throughout the election and beyond.”

Oakland Rising Action (ORA) engages in voter education and GOTV operations that encourage working-class, immigrant, and communities of color to think critically about voting for or against issues, policies and candidates based on our shared dreams of health, happiness, safety, and opportunity for all. Although ORA has historically mobilized constituents in Oakland, the organization expanded their work in 2021 to cover other key areas of politically underrepresented Alameda County.

With many racial and economic justice battles being waged on the regional level, Oakland Rising Action recognizes the need to build greater unity among flatland residents beyond Oakland into key parts of historically under-engaged areas of Alameda County. This includes much of Assembly District 20 – Hayward, Union City, and unincorporated county – which houses large populations of progressive BIPOC voters who have been systematically left out of the political process. By building greater unity among flatland residents throughout Alameda Co., we will continue to bring the voices of low-income, immigrant and BIPOC residents to impact neighborhood and regional battles.

Esteen’s broad experience in her organizing career makes her a valuable asset to Alameda County and its constituents. From working as a psychiatric nurse at the San Francisco General Hospital to her current position as Vice President at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 1021 – her dedication to Bay Area residents is well witnessed. If elected, she would be the first openly gay Black assemblymember and first woman since 1998 to represent key parts of Assembly District 20. Esteen publicly swore to reject contributions from corporations, the oil and gas industry, real estate developers, and police unions.

Esteen spoke extensively with more than 30 Bay Area community leaders through the California Working Families Party endorsement process, including Oakland Rising Action representatives. She has also earned the endorsement of progressive movers and shakers including Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, BART Board Member Lateefah Simon, the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, and many other organizations and individuals.

The statewide primary will take place on June 7, 2022. The general election will follow on November 8, 2022.


Oakland Rising Action is a community-led political organization focused on supporting candidates and issues that drive a progressive agenda for Oakland’s working-class, immigrant and communities of color living in the flatlands of Oakland. Through a thorough process that includes a written questionnaire and panel and/or individual interviews, Oakland Rising Action endorses those candidates that most align with our values, vision, and emerging progressive strategy for Oakland. To ensure that alignment, our endorsement process engages activists, organizers and leaders of Oakland’s progressive left at all stages.