Alma Blackwell’s love and dedication to equity for Oaklanders shines like a true Social Justice Warrior. So much so, that this year we made a new category for our Townie Awards – Social Justice Warrior – to recognize her years of movement work and leadership for housing justice.

Celebrate Alma at the Oakland Progressives Party June 20th as she receives her award.

An Oakland native, Alma has fought for housing rights for over a decade. With gentrification pushing out Oakland’s native Black and low-income populations, she began standing up to displacement and unfair treatment of tenants as a member of Causa Justa :: Just Cause in 2008. Standing with other residents, they pushed back on a plan for the privatization of public housing here in Oakland. Alma continued as a volunteer with Causa Justa::Just Cause throughout the years, becoming a staff member in 2011 and the Housing Rights Organizer in July 2013. Alma also co-anchors the Homes For All campaign, helping to build a renter nation to win affordable, dignified, and permanent homes for all people. She believes in Homes for ALL and that Housing IS a Human Right. A fierce organizer, she advocates fearlessly for the rights of tenants, teaches them to use their own voices, and builds up the leadership of Causa Justa::Just Cause’s member base.

Alma’s passion for social justice shines through her tireless work to change the conditions of her community and broader society. Whether mobilizing Oakland residents, inspiring folks at a rally, or supporting Causa Justa::Just Cause members to grow their leadership, she’s a champion for our folks and our movement.

Corporate developers are trying to push our communities out of Oakland, but we are rooted here, and we know how to organize. Alma had the support from Causa Justa::Just Cause and the personal courage to stay in Oakland and fight for the rest of us. And for this, we honor her.

Alma reminds us that heroes aren’t born – our own organizing as regular people can make us into the heroes we need, and make us realize the heroic work many of us are already doing to sustain our communities. It hurts to lose our beloved basketball team, but we know that with dedication and passion, anyone among us has the potential to help our communities rise.




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Oakland, CA 94612

Oakland Rising and our collaborative partners are united in our vision for a city that embodies health, happiness, safety, and equal opportunities for all. Our goal is to create a model of progress and sustainability that showcases the possibilities for American cities in the 21st century. We are committed to dismantling the barriers of racial, economic, political, environmental, and educational inequities that have divided us, and instead, embracing the collective strength found in our city’s diversity. We firmly believe that Oakland can achieve its full potential when every resident, student, and bus rider has the ability to shape our city’s future. This vision is attainable and we are determined to realize it through our collective actions, whether it’s through voting, meetings, or call to actions.

Every year, we release a Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform (VIPP) which outlines the annual policies that we and our eight partner organizations prioritize in order to advance racial, economic, and environmental justice in the Town. Our collaborative’s agenda encompasses a range of critical initiatives, from expanding affordable housing to creating a more equitable democracy through campaign finance reforms. These priorities are designed to provide vital protections and innovative solutions for the most vulnerable members of our community. As we continue our efforts to promote these policies, we hold conversations with thousands of voters, lead and co-host impactful town hall meetings, educate and mobilize residents and voters, and undertake various other initiatives.

To gain a deeper understanding of our commitment to resist, protect, and advance in this political moment, we invite you to explore our 2023 Vision, Issues, and Policy Platform. Together, we are making strides towards a more equitable and just Oakland, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of change, one vote, one meeting, one march at a time.

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