Oakland Rising’s Advisory Board is excited to announce that we have appointed Jessamyn Sabbag as Executive Director.

Jessamyn brings more than 12 years of civic engagement, alliance-building and racial justice organizing and leadership experience. Her commitment, perseverance, skill and leadership have been critical to building Oakland Rising over the last seven years. Hailed by local and statewide movement leaders as a bridge-builder, Jessamyn’s ability to meld strategic thinking with creative tactics has been central to advancing Oakland Rising since she joined the team in 2009. Her work has been paramount to building a voter base of more than 52,000 people who support OR’s progressive values and policies.

With skyrocketing rents, corporate-led development, over-policing, and a lack of good jobs, Oakland is in a critical moment in which longtime communities of color, particularly Black families, are threatened with displacement. Now more than ever, we must come together as a movement rooted in the needs and leadership of low-income communities of color and use all available tools to hold ground and advance progressive policies. 

We are confident in Jessamyn’s collaborative leadership style to strategically use voter engagement and community leadership to build a governing progressive coalition in Oakland as part of a broader grassroots movement strategy.  Oakland Rising’s Board, consisting of leaders from three founding organizations – APEN, EBASE and CJJC – engaged in a thoughtful and inclusive process to evaluate the organization’s needs. 

With Jessamyn at the helm, and with support from community members, committed funders, partner organizations, staff, and close allies, the next six months will be devoted to developing a shared vision for the next chapter of Oakland Rising’s work in our communities and our movement.  Of course, Oakland Rising will also be leading voter outreach and mobilization work in advance of the 2016 presidential election, and are excited to announce our decision.

Consistent with our commitment to developing leaders and lifting up the leadership of women and people of color in this sector, we are confident in Jessamyn’s commitment, experience and passion to lead Oakland Rising.  We look forward to working with her and you, our community and supporters, to sharpen our collective vision and heighten our impact in building an even broader and deeper movement of voters in low-income, immigrant and communities of color in Oakland and beyond. 


Looking Forward,

Oakland Rising’s Advisory Board and Hiring Committee:

Kate O’Hara, Executive Director of East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (Board Chair)

Malcolm Amado Uno, Political Director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network (Board Vice-Chair)

Jahmese Myres, Campaign Director at East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy 

Maria Poblet, Executive Director of Causa Justa :: Just Cause

Timmy Lu, Civic Engagement Coordinator at Asian Pacific Environmental Network 

Vanessa Moses, Program Director at Causa Justa :: Just Cause