2023 marked 15 years of Oakland Rising building a true progressive voice and a progressive political landscape in Oakland! And while neo-liberals and others have co-opted the word progressive, let’s be clear: we stand for community-led solutions that center racial, economic and environmental justice, and ALWAYS puts people before profit.

The year provided opportunities to shift power back to our communities as we worked to pass a more inclusive city budget and laid the ground work to mobilize our base for this year’s elections. Our conversations with thousands of flatland voters debunked the false assumption that people of color, immigrant communities, and formerly incarcerated people don’t care. In fact, we care the most because we are disproportionately impacted by the budgets and policies that are passed.

As always, the collaborative and our team showed up in amazing ways to support each other. Thanks to your contribution, this year we: 

  • Campaigned for a more inclusive Oakland city budget, surveying community members at events in the flatlands, in-district townhalls, and full city council budget hearings. Despite facing the worst deficit in Oakland’s history, we made significant strides in prioritizing funding for programs and services that address the needs of our most impacted communities.
  • Cohosted “Follow the Money!” – a teach-in where 130+ participants learned about Oakland’s budget and its impact on our communities, as well as our shared vision for creating a People’s Budget that truly prioritizes the needs of our communities and families.
  • Filled over 300 volunteer shifts in support of our phone banking and door knocking efforts, including days centering outreach in Spanish.
  • Hired Pecolia Manigo, a remarkable organizer and authentic leader, as our Political Director. Pecolia brings a wealth of experience, a deep understanding of community issues, and a powerful commitment to driving positive change in Oakland.
  • Ran a fall campaign laying the groundwork for 2024 elections by talking to our base about holding corporations accountable and building awareness around impacts of recalls. 
  • Launched our Art, Culture & Democracy Project to deepen our political power building work, as we’ve long known that art and culture move minds and hearts in ways that few other things can. Working with illustrator Valeria Olguin and animator Kevin Ford, they are creating beautiful, fun, and accessible materials including zines and videos to educate hard to reach immigrants, BIPOC, and youth about our political education campaigns. Scan the QR code to check out our Know Your District Attorney zine! 
  • Had 9,353 views of our 22 Monday Meals, our weekly live Instagram series which provided a space for discussions about issues that impact our communities most and how folks can get involved. Follow oakland.rising on Instagram to catch future conversations!
  • Created a house party program as a way to bring new supporters and donors into the Oakland Rising family – contact us if you’d like to be a host in 2024!  

We are proud of these accomplishments which you helped to make possible! 

With so much at stake this election year, our organizing in the flatlands of Oakland and under-engaged areas of unincorporated Alameda County will bring the voices of low-income, immigrant and BIPOC residents to neighborhood and regional battles. Lifting the collective voices of those who’ve been intentionally and historically pushed out of the decision-making process, we will win at the ballot box and beyond.

We look forward to what we can accomplish these next 15 years together as we continue to work towards an Oakland and Alameda County that realizes our shared dreams of health, happiness, safety and opportunity for all.

With gratitude,

Team Oakland Rising