It is with mixed emotions that I thank you for your support, and thank the voters of Oakland’s District 1 for re-electing me to the School Board. It is a decisive victory – 77%! In light of the national results, the outcome here in Oakland drives home for me the importance of working locally. We must continue to stay involved in our local community, and we must continue to work together.
Like many of you, I’ve been struggling since last night to explain to my children the results of the national election. For our children, this election could well be their defining political moment, the one that galvanizes them for a life of service in support of equity, tolerance, and opportunity for all.
I still remember the first time “my candidate” lost in an election. I was in kindergarten in Tempe, Arizona, in 1968. The teacher told us there would be an election in our class the next day, and we should ask our parents who they thought we should vote for. My parents told me “don’t vote for Tricky Dick.” So I voted for the other guy. And I was amazed when mine was about the only vote for the other guy. (Hubert Humphrey) In August 1974, I thought it was good luck that Nixon resigned a couple of days before my birthday.
So we must carry on our work. We must model for our children what participatory democracy looks like. I was blessed in this campaign to have many student volunteers. I’m confident they will continue to engage in the political process. Our job is to make sure they have the tools and opportunities to do so.
Wherever you live, and particularly if you live in Oakland, please get involved! Join a school board or city or county oversight board. Volunteer in a local school. Join the neighborhood improvement group. And think about the big picture, and what we’ll do better next time!
Our business as local government continues. We have a School Board meeting tonight, 5:00 Wednesday, no kidding! At City Hall, a new venue for the School Board. I’m happy to be returning to the Board with my colleagues James Harris, Jumoke Hinton Hodge, and Rosie Torres (all re-elected), to continue our work with Nina Senn, Aimee Eng, Shanthi Gonzales, and Superintendent Wilson and thousands of OUSD staff who work hard for our kids every day. Our collective win is a vote of confidence in the work we are doing leading Oakland Unified. We must stay strong and stay together in service of our children, our future.