FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2022
CONTACT: liz suk, Executive Director, Oakland Rising Action | [email protected]
Oakland Rising Action (ORA), a community-led political organization focused on supporting candidates and issues that drive a progressive agenda for working-class residents, immigrants and communities of color living in the flatlands, helped turnout voters for yesterday’s midterm election. As the political home of Oakland’s progressive voice, they have built a base of voter supporters who they mobilize at election time and throughout the year. Their voter guide reached nearly 60,000 Oakland households by mail, and received an additional 6,577 views online. Their team of eight outreach workers plus volunteers who filled 161 additional shifts held conversations with 5,700 infrequent and new Oakland voters. Their efforts helped turnout these voters to the polls around three key ballot measures: Measure W, T and V. With a lower turnout than in the record-breaking 2020 General Election, building political power with these too-often-ignored voters proved to be key to securing victory for these measures as well as others.
Resoundingly passing Measure W, Oakland Fair Elections Act, voters signaled a desire for a more participatory, responsive, and accountable local democracy. With anti-democratic forces on the march around the nation, Oakland is pushing back.
“For too long, our elections have been funded by wealthy special interests and out of state donors. In recent years, over half of money raised by city council and school board candidates was from people who don’t even live in Oakland. Measure W will empower Oaklanders to have a bigger influence, and ensure candidates are listening to voters rather than special interests.” – liz suk, Oakland Rising Action
Measure T, Invest in Our Oakland, passed with ease as over 2/3rds of voters showed they are more than ready for corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. Ushering in a progressive business tax structure, with this victory Oakland’s small businesses – which are majority BIPOC-owned – will see a decrease in their gross receipts tax while corporations will pay an amount that is more in proportion to their profits. And all of Oakland wins as Measure T is expected to generate nearly $21 million annually for the general fund which will go towards essential city services including high quality jobs, education, housing, public safety, first responders, street paving and bike lanes.
With housing noted as a top issue with Oakland voters, passing Measure V, the extension of just cause eviction protections, along with Measures Q and U show their support for stronger actions to address housing insecurity for the city’s tenants who make up over 60% of the population. And support for leaders who centered housing access in their platforms like Nikki Fortunato Bas, who won reelection to her District 2 city council seat, and newly elected councilmembers Kevin Jenkins and Janani Ramachandran, shows that voters want leaders in office who are committed to taking action around housing access and stability.
We celebrate the pending victory of Jennifer Brouhard to serve on the school board for District 2, and Valarie Bachelor for District 6 who promise to build on their work to prioritize all Oakland students so that they are supported to thrive and achieve their dreams, not just those living in the hills. Voters showed their rejection of charter-backed school board candidates who want to privatize Oakland’s public education.
Many races are still too close to call, including the mayoral, District Attorney, and Board of Supervisors D3 races as large numbers of mailed-in ballots remain to be counted, and expect final results on races in a week or more.
We’re just getting started. Our multiracial, multilingual and intersectional committee demonstrates that there is a movement ready to continue working for an Oakland and Alameda County where all of us from the flatlands to the hills, have access to affordable housing, economic opportunity, healthcare, education, clean air, and clean water. Elections are only one part of our strategy. No matter the outcomes, we will continue to keep flexing power at the doors, showing up in the streets, advocating for policies and budgets that put people first, and developing the next generation of leaders in our neighborhoods.
Oakland Rising Action (ORA) engages in voter education and GOTV operations that encourage working-class residents, immigrants, and communities of color to think critically about voting for or against issues, policies and candidates based on the shared dreams of health, happiness, safety, and opportunity for all. Leading up to the election, ORA’s paid team of outreach workers along with volunteers held conversations with thousands of immigrant, working-class, and BIPOC voters in Oakland’s flatlands. ORA also shares their endorsements with the community through a printed and online voter guide. Its mailed voter guides reach about 60,000 households, with a focus on low-propensity, BIPOC voters.
For more information about these races and ORA-endorsed candidates, please visit www.oaklandrisingaction.org/2022VoterGuide/