The Black Lives Voter Guide offers endorsements for the 2022 elections in Oakland, Alameda County and California. These endorsements reflect the consensus perspective of local Black social justice leaders on how to best uplift Black lives in Oakland and beyond.

Oakland

Mayor
GREG HODGE
Why he is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Greg is a brilliant bridge-builder, expert facilitator and adept negotiator, with experience since 1993 in Oakland community-building and leadership.

  • He will implement solutions that address our deeper systemic issues, beyond the common surface level “symptoms,” and has the temperance and ability to bring people together.

  • Greg is the moral, solution-oriented leader we need now.

  • Greg has demonstrated a commitment and ability to cross sectors, communities, and constituencies.

  • He has deep experience in policy, politics, convening and facilitating divergent perspectives. He balances hope with pragmatism.

  • Greg has advocated for the Black community unwaveringly and deeply understands the issues that are affecting our most vulnerable community members.

  • He is a leader who understands that HEALING has to be central to addressing some of Oakland's most pressing challenges.


Candidate website: Greg Hodge

LOREN TAYLOR  

- Consider including in your ranked-choice vote

Participant comments:

  • Loren has the experience, commitment, and humble leadership traits that would make for an excellent mayor.

  • Loren is smart, well-rounded, responsible, and reasonable.

  • He has consistently been present and engaged in community meetings about education.

  • During the pandemic he stepped up and was visible. He rolls up his sleeves and goes to work in the streets.


Candidate website: Loren Taylor

City Council District 2
MIXED OPINIONS
Learn more

NIKKI BAS

Participant comments:

  • Council President Nikki Bas has advanced multiple policies that have increased services for unhoused Black residents in District 2. 

  • She has a track record of advocating for progressive taxation that would increase available revenue for social services used by Black residents, especially our children and youth.

  • Nikki Bas has experience and a proven progressive track record.


Candidate website: Nikki Bas

HAROLD LOWE

Participant comments:

  • Harold Lowe is a principled, third-generation Oaklander and a strong leader that cannot be moved away from a focus on community health and safety.


Candidate website: Harold Lowe

City Council District 4
MIXED OPINIONS
Learn more

JANANI RAMACHANDRAN  


Participant comments:

  • Janani has some great ideas. Would be good to get an outsider with a fresh perspective. 

  • Janani ran courageously for state legislature, and I am aligned with the values she highlighted in that campaign.

  • She is an advocate for equity and school choice.


Candidate website: Janani Ramachandran


NENNA JOINER

Participant comments:

  • I believe that Nenna’s heart is in the right place.


Candidate website: Nenna Joiner

City Council District 6
MIXED OPINIONS
Learn more

KEVIN JENKINS

Participant comments:

  • Kevin has the experience of serving on boards and commissions, working with community-based organizations and developing solutions that can be effective.

  • He has a strong commitment to community policing, while also calling for violence prevention investments.


Candidate website: Kevin Jenkins

KENNY SESSION

Participant comments:

  • Kenny has a history of service.

  • He understands the importance of improving the quality of life in Oakland.


Candidate website: Kenny Session

School Board Director District 2
DAVID KAKISHIBA
Why he is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • David has a long history of working with youth marginalized by the public school system and other government institutions.

  • He has deep experience advocating for educational access.

  • His proposal to establish a School Improvement Committee is the kind of thing we need to keep the focus on student learning. It shows a willingness to look beyond the divisive politics of the day. 


Candidate website: David Kakishiba


School Board Director District 4
MIXED OPINIONS
Learn more

PECOLIA MANIGO

Participant comments:

  • Pecolia is a brilliant, passionate community organizer.

  • She is the most experienced candidate, with policymaking skills informed by her perspective as an advocate, commissioner, and parent.

  • She has a deep understanding of budget, context for OUSD's current situation, and practical solutions that are community-driven.

  • Pecolia has dedicated years organizing for Black students in OUSD to get resources and support. She’s well connected with the most marginalized parents and students in OUSD.

  • She has a real understanding of what goes on in the classroom and has a commitment to seeing black and brown students thrive.


Candidate website: Pecolia Manigo

MIKE HUTCHINSON

Participant comments:

  • Mike has been outspoken about school closures and the big corporations influencing the education system in a harmful way towards our communities.

  • I like the voice and edge he brings to the OUSD board. 

  • He held solid positions for the Black community in D5 before he was redistricted.

  • Mike is fighting for equity, but he has to learn how to compromise and collaborate with others.


Mike Hutchinson's OUSD website (current Director for District 5)

School Board Director District 6
KYRA MUNGIA
Why she is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Kyra is a former OUSD teacher who has also worked in city government.

  • She has the knowledge, connections, and ability to negotiate that we need. 


Candidate website: Kyra Mungia

Measure H: Renew existing parcel tax for OUSD
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • OUSD funding is inadequate. We need to keep the existing funding stream to support our students!

  • We need to sustain a solid resource base for a district with declining enrollment.

  • We believe in more funding for the OUSD, and support this measure especially because of the tax exemptions for seniors and low-income individuals.

  • This measure will only impact residents who have the ability to chip in to support our youth.

  • The structure of this investment promotes transparency and accountability from the boardroom to the classroom.


Additional information

Measure Q: Develop 13,000 units of affordable residential rental housing
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • This measure will not fund or build any affordable housing but it is an absolutely essential legal step (due to an archaic and racist clause of the California state constitution) to authorize the addition of low-income units before Oakland can build additional homes.

  • Oakland needs affordable housing that fixed-income families, seniors, and community members can afford. 

  • Homelessness is the most urgent issue in Oakland next to gun violence.

  • The city needs to follow through and develop the housing.

  • There is a great need for this kind of housing to preserve Oakland's diversity.


Additional information

Measure R: Adopt gender-neutral language in City Charter
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • Inclusion helps us to build a community where everyone can feel seen and contribute beyond perceived gender role norms of the past.

  • All municipal documents should reflect Oakland's commitment to diversity and equity.

  • Simply stated, it's the right thing to do.


Additional information

Measure S: Non-citizen voting for OUSD School Board
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • Non-citizen residents of Oakland who have children in Oakland schools and who pay taxes should certainly be able to vote about who represents their children.

  • This allows representation from all stakeholders in OUSD.

  • We need our entire community invested in the well-being of our young people.


Additional information

Measure T: Progressive business tax
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • Businesses do not currently pay their fair share of taxes. This is a reasonable and equitable modification to the tax rate.

  • Small business owners should not pay the same rate as large business owners. An equitable business tax will allow small businesses to come to and remain in Oakland.


Additional information

Measure U: Issue $850 million in bonds for affordable housing and other city infrastructure
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • Without raising taxes, Measure U will continue Measure KK's track record of building and preserving affordable housing.

  • It will fund the repair of many streets and facilities. These are essential services and the current revenue streams are inadequate.

  • This measure is necessary for Oakland to keep addressing its housing and infrastructure crisis across the city.

  • Investments are guided by an equity analysis.


Additional information

Measure V: Amending the Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • These amendments will add protection to vulnerable renters and protect against unjust no-fault evictions.

  • The protection extended to recreational vehicles (RVs) used as a residence and the prohibition of no-fault evictions of children and educators during the school year are critically important.

  • It’s essential to keep working and low-income families and individuals housed.

  • Many large investors are using unethical and illegal techniques to displace many people within the Black community. This measure allows us to place people before profit.

  • As an educator in Oakland, I see the effects of homelessness on Oakland's youth. Our young people ought to have one less thing to worry about during the school year.


Additional information

Measure W: Campaign finance reform
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • This measure will make certain that all residents have a voice and can contribute to our elections.

  • Outside money and interests are too influential in local politics. It prevents a diversity of qualified candidates from seeking office.

  • Political campaign finance continues to get worse and worse, allowing the rich to simply find new ways to funnel money into campaigns.

  • We support this measure because we believe strongly in transparency regarding political candidates, and avoiding conflicts of interest based on campaign financing.


Additional information

Measure X: City Councilmember term limits. Abstentions and absences = a “no” vote.
MIXED OPINIONS
Learn more

Some participants say YES

Participant comment:

  • We have had some lifelong Councilmembers who have gotten re-elected repeatedly and done absolutely nothing. Serving for no more than three terms should be a requirement.

Other participants say NO

Participant comments:

  • Other measures should be used to defeat entrenched candidates.

  • Counting absences as "no" votes is shortsighted.


Additional information

Measure Y: $68 annual parcel tax to fund Oakland Zoo
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • This parcel tax is a practical investment in our local zoo and allows an exemption for those who can’t afford the tax (like low-income households, certain affordable housing projects, and property owned by religious organizations).

  • The Oakland Zoo is an exceptional educational excursion for youth throughout the East Bay.

  • We need to keep our city zoo funded and open.


Additional information

The BLVG does not take a position on Oakland City Auditor.

Alameda County

District Attorney
PAMELA PRICE
Why she is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Pamela is an activist.

  • The operations of the DA's office are troubling to say the least, and will most likely become worse if someone in the current leadership advances.


Candidate website: Pamela Price

Board of Supervisors
REBECCA KAPLAN
Why they are the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Rebecca has been a longtime advocate for low-income, unhoused and working residents of Oakland. She understands the challenges facing Black Oaklanders.

  • She has a proven history of progressive politics.

  • Rebecca believes in change and walks her talk. 


Candidate website: Rebecca Kaplan

Sheriff-Coroner
YESENIA SANCHEZ
Learn more

No participant comments.


Candidate website: Yesenia Sanchez

AC Transit District Director, at Large
JOEL YOUNG
Why he is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Joel has more experience than the other candidate, Alfred Twu. Alfred is intelligent, but his architecture and planning skills may not translate well to the job.


Candidate website: Joel Young

The BLVG does not take a position on: AC Transit District Director Ward 3, AC Transit District Director Ward 4, EBMUD Director Ward 3, East Bay Regional Park District Director, Ward 3.

California

Governor
GAVIN NEWSOM - Incumbent
Why he is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Governor Newsom has stronger positions and solutions for Black Californians than his opponents.

  • He has lots of experience. Connects with the people. Shows he cares.

  • While far from perfect, under Newsom's leadership there have been some positive changes to our state.

  • He has done a great job so far and is performing well on the nation’s stage.

  • Gavin is decent. He supports reparations for Black Californians.


Candidate website: Gavin Newsom

Lieutenant Governor
ELENI KOUNALAKIS - Incumbent
Learn more

No participant comments.


Candidate website: Eleni Kounalakis

Secretary of State
SHIRLEY WEBER
Why she is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Dr. Shirley Weber is the activist leader we need at the state level. She is one of the leading voices in the reparations discussion.

  • Shirley Weber has long been a champion of the underserved. We need her in office.

  • She's sharp as a nail. She’s a critical thinker and willing to go against the grain when it benefits the people.

  • Dr. Weber understands the need to significantly increase access to voting.

  • She’s been an excellent secretary and deserves to continue in her current role.


Candidate website: Shirley Weber

Controller
MALIA COHEN
Why she is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Malia is a seasoned politician who knows how to get things done.


Candidate website: Malia Cohen

Treasurer
FIONA MA - Incumbent
Why she is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Fiona is a tactician and knows her way around state finance and the treasury.


Candidate website: Fiona Ma

Attorney General
ROB BONTA - Appointed incumbent
Why he is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Rob has done a lot in this position already (after being appointed when the seat was vacated).

  • He's taken on corporations and fought on behalf of Black Californians.


Candidate website: Rob Bonta

Insurance Commissioner
RICARDO LARA - Incumbent

Participant comments:

  • Ricardo has a track record of working with the governor and state legislature to get important things done on behalf of California consumers and residents.


Candidate website: Ricardo Lara

Superintendent of Public Instruction
TONY THURMOND - Incumbent
Why he is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Tony best understands the challenges and how to address the policies that are not serving Black and brown children.

  • Tony tried to ensure that students had the technical hardware they needed for virtual learning during the pandemic. He’s trying to close the learning gap for students of color.

  • Superintendent Thurmond is slowly advancing initiatives that support Black students, educators, and staff in our public schools.

  • Tony supports local control of schools and is opposed to district takeovers.

  • He’s a great man who’s done a great job for California students and teachers. Let's keep it rolling!


Candidate website: Tony Thurmond

State Assembly, 18th District
MIA BONTA - Incumbent
Why she is the best choice

Participant comment:

  • Mia Bonta is advancing initiatives that protect Black students' right to quality schools.


Candidate website: Mia Bonta

U.S. Senator
ALEX PADILLA - Appointed incumbent
Why he is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Alex is well-informed on the issues and committed to addressing the issues facing California, specifically immigration. 


Note: Alex Padilla will appear on your ballot twice – for the special election to fulfill the partial Senate term ending January 2023, and for the regular election for a new six-year term in the Senate.


Candidate website: Alex Padilla

U.S. Representative, 12th District
BARBARA LEE - Incumbent
Why she is the best choice

Participant comments:

  • Barbara is a legend and civil rights warrior within the state of California and the country.

  • She cares about the community and connects very well and authentically.

  • Barbara Lee will always fight for Black California.


Candidate website: Barbara Lee

Proposition 1: Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • We must support women's right to choose. We should protect a woman's right to decide what is best for her and her body. 

  • There should be no restrictions to women's reproductive healthcare.

  • Reproductive choices should be left to women, their families, and their loved ones. 


Additional information

Proposition 27: Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund
NO
Why to vote NO

Participant comments:

  • This appears to be yet another case of wealthy business owners’ attempt to “divide and conquer” our indigenous community. This is NOT really about generating revenue to support our unhoused community, it is about gaming companies expanding their profits.

  • The funding goes to many out-of-state organizations and will not be funneled towards homelessness prevention.

  • This measure offers no benefit to California at all.


Additional information

Proposition 28: K-12 Art and Music Education Funding
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • Music and art are significant to a young person's development and need to be supported.

  • Schools will be the comeback of California – or the downfall.

  • Fund our schools!


Additional information

Proposition 29: Dialysis Clinic Safety Requirements
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • These clinics should have a qualified, licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant present during dialysis care.

  • Safety first, always!


Additional information

Proposition 30: Tax on Income Above $2 Million for Electric Vehicles and Wildfire Prevention
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • Those whose profits are negatively impacting the environment need to be taxed and pay their fair share.

  • This income group can afford to absorb this tax.


Additional information

Proposition 31: Flavored Tobacco Products Ban
YES
Why to vote YES

Participant comments:

  • Products used to seduce young people into smoking need to be prohibited.

  • Flavored tobacco products are marketed heavily toward, and disproportionately affect, communities of color.

  • We need to continue banning these very dangerous products.


Additional information

The BLVG does not take a position on State Board of Equalization 2nd District, or Proposition 26.