In collaboration with our partners and allies
It was 15 years ago that Oakland Rising emerged after planning by leadership from APEN, Ella Baker Center, EBASE, and Urban Habitat who recognized the need for an electoral strategy to complement the base building and policy organizing that they were undertaking with progressive, low-income, people of color, and immigrants. For years, the progressive community had been attending City Hall rallies, lining up dozens deep for two-minute council testimonies and meeting with elected officials who deemed their input as an obligation rather than a strategic partnership. In issue after issue, community members and advocates showed up at City Hall in the hundreds, only to learn that deals on key issues impacting their families and neighborhoods had been cut weeks and months before. To counteract this reality, the founding Executive Directors envisioned an alliance of organizations that aligned with their civic engagement work, collectively worked on electoral organizing, and strengthened the social justice movement in Oakland.
We now stand strong with a base of 50,000 supporters and are proud to share some highlights from our 15 years of political power building.
1. 2009: We joined the California Alliance as the first Bay Area Anchor. We gained 1,300 supporters.
2. 2010: We won Prop 25 to return the state budget vote to a simple majority rather than a 2/3s vote by speaking with more than 2000 voters.
3. 2012: We won the Army Base Redevelopment Jobs Agreement — passing what’s considered one of the strongest Community Benefits Agreements in the country to guarantee that the Army Base Redevelopment project, slated to bring 4,000-8,000 jobs to Oakland, would include local hire, ban the box, job training, and more to benefit Oakland residents, especially working class people of color and immigrants. Oakland Rising was one of many organizations who contributed to this win, playing the role of voter outreach.
4. 2012: We won Prop 30 which generates $6-9 Billion per year by levying an income tax increase on the wealthiest Californians to fund education,healthcare, and public services.
5. 2013: We won the Tenant Protection Act by passing a policy through City Council to outlaw harassment and neglect from landlords as methods of evicting tenants.
6. 2013: We passed the City Budget Public Participation and Transparency Ordinance, which established basic thresholds for the city to engage residents and be transparent in the design and decision making of the bi-annual budget moving forward.
7. 2014: We won Measure FF by 82%, increasing Oakland’s minimum wage and providing workers with paid sick days. We spoke with over 14,000 flatlands voters to get out the vote for Measure FF.
8. 2016: We won Measure JJ, the Protect Oakland Renters Act, with 77% of the vote, providing critical protections to more than 75,000 tenants amidst a growing gentrification and displacement crisis marked by skyrocketing rents, increased evictions and profit hungry landlords.
9. 2017: We used our polling results to contribute to a big win for people over corporate development by halting the A’s stadium relocation to Laney College, which would have displaced students, immigrants, and working class residents of color.
10. 2018: Our burgeoning youth organizing work registered 353 youth voters and did 12 classroom presentations, engaging 100s of Oakland youth.
11. 2020: Won protections for Oakland workers and tenants thanks in part to our Collective Statement on COVID-19 & Local Demands which we shared with 47,000 residents, and conducted wellness check-ins for 5,600 of Oakland’s most vulnerable community members, connecting them to local resources.
12. 2021: We passed a City Budget reimaging public safety by reallocating $18M to fund violence prevention rather than additional police academies, auditing of the police department and prioritizing funding for jobs, housing, community services, and arts & culture.
13. 2021-22: We won new district maps for Oakland ensuring that representation for our BIPOC communities is strengthened rather than diluted, and equity for all flatland residents. Providing better political representation for each district, this built upon our 2020 Census outreach when we spoke with 19,543 hardest to reach residents about completing the Census.
14. 2022: We won Measure W, the Oakland Fair Elections Act, with 74% of the vote, creating a more participatory, transparent, and accountable democracy and establishing Democracy Dollars public campaign financing program for more responsive elected officials.
15. 2022: Measure T, Invest in Our Oakland, with nearly 72% of the votes, reducing taxes for small businesses and generating over $20M for Oakland’s general fund.