The Oakland OUSD District 5 election results are in and the numbers speak for themselves. With only 14% voter turnout, special elections like this one costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and divert crucial resources away from students who really need them. At a time when Oakland and Alameda County are facing historic budget deficits, funds should prioritize the needs of students, families, teachers and staff instead of holding unnecessary and costly special elections that challenge the will of the voters. This all could have been avoided if the OUSD Board had approved an appointment in the Spring.

In addition to this, the Registrar of Voters did not implement the Youth Vote (Measure QQ), which voters had passed years prior to allow for youth over the age of 16 to participate in their local district elections. Not only were youth disenfranchised, but local grassroots BIPOC OUSD D5 candidate, Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez, was also unable to access the benefits of public financing campaigns like Democracy Dollars (Measure W) because of lack of implementation.

These measures are crucial to creating a just and equitable democracy. We’re committed to continue to push for full implementation of these measures, building a more equitable democracy this upcoming 2024 election year, and ensuring every voter can participate fully in their local democracy. Oaklanders deserve a local government that is effective, responsible, and representative of all of us, regardless of zip code.