Leading with Values

Leadership development is key to our political power building model. We recruit, train, advance and support progressive community members to lead in a collaborative, accountable and values-based way that centers racial, economic and environmental justice.

Every year our campaigns provide a training ground where we expand the racial and economic equity leadership of more than 50 Oakland residents and six community organizations through thoughtful and intentional finding, recruiting and training of participants, with a focus on the formerly incarcerated community. 

Via our Core Leaders Program, we train 8 to 15 staff and members from our partner and ally organizations to gain leadership and organizing skills which includes: 

  • neighborhood outreach coordination, 
  • volunteer coordination, 
  • data management, and 
  • qualitative leadership skills.  

Core Leaders bring their skills back to their home organizations, in turn building the capacity of our partners to run their own campaigns. This program helps to ensure that we are expanding our communities’ pipeline of campaign leaders who center social justice and bring racial and economic lenses to each campaign. 

In addition, our civic engagement model brings the brilliance of Oakland’s Black, Latinx, API and formerly incarcerated people to the forefront of this work. Partnering with re-entry organizations and our collaborative partners, we recruit and hire formerly incarcerated or systems-impacted Oaklanders for our paid team of voter outreach workers – our “Daily Team” canvassers. Each campaign we employ 12 to 40 for the outreach team, and train them on how to conduct effective phone and/or door-to-door outreach while deepening their political education. Our program team provides daily trainings covering campaign topics and how to effectively conduct civic engagement — all while providing historical context of the social justice movement. Daily Team members become community ambassadors of our work, gaining leadership skills while conducting civic engagement with thousands of residents in their communities around solutions to address disparities contributing to racial and economic inequity. By moving from paid seasonal teams to offering year-round employment to a core group of four team members, one team organizer, and one team coordinator in 2022, we are:

  1. deepening our relationship with our base of supporters and growing momentum for our policy priorities in between campaigns, and
  2. more deeply investing in the leadership development of our team members.

We also provide a pipeline for public leadership roles, both elected and appointed. Through our leadership development program, we train and assist grassroots leaders from our partner organizations, our base and our communities to become values-based transformational leaders. We are increasing our effectiveness in helping to move a progressive agenda for the East Bay by having public leaders who 1) have come up through the ranks of movement organizations in the East Bay; and 2) are not only familiar with the issues facing working class communities of color, but are part of them and are deeply accountable to the residents and organizations that work for racial, economic and environmental justice. 




570 14th Street, Suite 1
Oakland, CA 94612

Sign up

Get our email updates and stay connected.


Oakland Rising is a project from our hearts for the people of Oakland. Thank you for your contribution!