Thanks to all of the organizing efforts, California is now one step closer to actualizing our vision for fairly funded schools and community services like health clinics and senior centers. After months of signature gathering supported by volunteers and a strong coalition of community groups, the School & Communities First Act qualified for the 2020 ballot with over 860,000 signatures! This would not have been possible without the support of volunteers who collected well over 100,000 of those. As the Alameda County anchor for the volunteer signature gathering campaign, Oakland Rising served as a hub for the collection of nearly 11,000 signatures.

Once it is passed, the Schools & Communities First Act will take back the Billions of dollars that are robbed from our communities every year as corporations take advantage of a property tax loophole. This 40-year-old loophole is the direct cause of per-pupil spending in Californian schools plummeting from amongst the top, leaving us now with almost the worst educational performances in the country. It’s time to put the future of our youth before corporate profits! We must organize diligently in the next two years to ensure that the voters will support the Schools & Communities First Act.

Oakland Rising’s Community Organizer Laneisha Butler spoke at the press conference, linking the legacy of this corporate tax loophole to the underfunding of schools particularly in working-class Black communities. Watch footage of Laneisha connecting the dots between the Schools & Communities First Act and increasing opportunities in our communities.

To learn more about Schools and Communities First, check out our post from April.




570 14th Street, Suite 6
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!