“There’s an assumption that people of color, immigrant communities, formerly incarcerated people, don’t care. And in fact, we care the most because we are mostly impacted by the policies that are passed.” -liz suk

What’s at Stake in the 2022 General Election

Alameda County District Attorney Race

Alameda County’s criminal justice system is broken. Currently more than 60% of charges brought against adults were non-violent, low-level offenses that could have been directed to diversion programs. A recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice study found that from 2009 to 2017, only 229 cases were prosecuted in the Behavioral Health Court in Alameda County. That is barely two cases per month every year. The status quo of the leadership in the DA’s office is not working. The time for change is now. This is our chance to elect a leader who will support alternatives to incarceration, end the practice of charging youth as adults, and support investments in community. 

Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 3 Race

The Board of Supervisors is responsible for:

  • providing policy direction,
  • approving the county budget, and
  • representing the county in a number of areas including its special districts.

Currently, they give vast amounts of funds to the sheriff to lock people up and criminalize our communities while denying funding the structures that keep us safe – healthcare, affordable housing, jobs with thriving wages, and mental health support. This election offers a big opportunity to change how our public money is distributed by the Board of Supervisors.

Oakland Mayoral Race

The mayoral race is about how and for whom power is wielded in Oakland. As the chief executive, the mayor has the ultimate power to set the tone and priorities of our city. Because the mayor manages departments that implement policies and services, the mayor can decide either to prioritize or stall policies which voters and city council pass –like protections for workers and tenants, or investments in community services and programs. The mayor also develops the city’s annual budget which is our biggest policy document and a statement of our city’s values. We need a mayor who is committed to real public safety that keeps all of us safe, and who will reallocate money from policing to refund our communities by investing in jobs, housing, community services, and arts and culture. This election, we can elect a mayor who encourages programs and investments that serve all Oaklanders no matter their zip code, and centers cultural, economic, physical, and social development in Oakland.

MEASURE W: Fair Elections Oakland

We deserve a local government where candidates and elected officials can focus on what our communities need, not what big-money donors and special interests want. If we want to see change on issues like affordable housing, community safety, and quality schools, we need more transparency about the outside groups that are spending millions to influence our elections and we need a more responsive city government.

Fair Elections Oakland will change this power imbalance by creating transparency in who funds elections, equipping every Oaklander with the resources to support community-responsive candidates, holding government accountable, and extending the ban on lobbying by former city officials––and empowering our trusted community-led Public Ethics Commission, not City Hall, to oversee it all. 

Fair Elections is the way to bring much-needed accountability to local government and make it possible for all Oaklanders to support candidates who will best represent them, no matter what neighborhood they live in, the color of their skin, or how much money they make.  This year, Oakland has an opportunity to stand up to big money and special interests, building a local government that works for all of us. 

The Fair Elections Oakland Act will:

  • Allow community-backed candidates to run competitive campaigns without wealthy donors. 
  • Make our elections cleaner and more transparent so that candidates can focus on the voices of the people, not the pull of big money. 
  • Create more diversity across race, gender, and income among donors and among candidates running for office.
  • Boost the power of small donors. A recent survey of likely 2022 Oakland voters found that many residents don’t donate to local campaigns because they simply can’t afford to. In Oakland’s 2014 and 2016 elections, 93% of contributions came from less than 1% of the city’s population.

Fair Elections Oakland includes Oakland Rising; the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California; Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus; Bay Rising; CA Common Cause; League of Women Voters Oakland; and MapLight. For more information, visit us at fairelectionsoakland.org.

MEASURE T: Progressive Business Tax (also known as the Invest in Our Oakland Act)

As we recover from the pandemic, we must pressure our local governments to step up to provide relief for the many residents and small businesses impacted. The Invest in Our Oakland Act modernizes Oakland’s business tax model by creating an equitable tax rate according to a business’ gross profit. Larger wealthy corporations will finally pay their fair share of taxes, while small and medium-sized businesses will enjoy a tax cut. This measure will generate an estimated $22 million annually for infrastructure, vital services, and programming.

Together, we can push for a new progressive business tax that will take pressure off of our 20,000+ small businesses, most of whom are owned by women and people of color. We can better invest in our communities by modernizing our business tax in Oakland without increasing the tax burden on homeowners or residents.

Oakland Rising is a member of the Invest In Our Oakland coalition which is comprised of community members, workers, small business owners, and faith leaders. Join us at investinouroakland.com

Know Your Voting Rights

Click here to learn more about your Voting Rights this 2022 General Election.