OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Progressive candidates for Oakland mayor, city council, and Alameda County District Attorney won big races this November, while status-quo candidates flopped at the polls.
Oakland voters widely rejected candidates viewed as “pro-cop, anti-Black and anti-poor,” according to the Anti Police-Terror Project.
“This is a strong rebuke to the tough-on-crime policies of Mayor Libby Schaaf and District Attorney Nancy O’Malley in Oakland,” APTP wrote Tuesday.
While neither O’Malley nor Schaaf sought re-election, candidates who they endorsed lost in several key races.
“Voters saw through Libby Schaaf’s anointed candidate for mayor, Loren Taylor, and despite the narrative, the progressive block still runs The Town,” APTP wrote. A victory for Taylor would have added “further devastation on top of Libby’s already horrific legacy,” APTP wrote.
Community activists say they are hopeful that mayor-elect Sheng Thao will implement policies that address root causes of poverty and violence. Thao declared victory with 50.30% of the vote, and Taylor conceded the race Tuesday.
Thao wrote on Twitter, “I’m very excited to get to work as Mayor in January, but I’m also very humbled to be here. 15 years ago, I was living in my car with my baby. I’ve been through a lot to get to this moment, and have had so many people lift me up in order to get here.”
Thao continued, “Moving forward, we are going to work to make Oakland the most proactive city in California on housing and homelessness. We’re going to have an aggressive housing policy that protects renters, fights displacement, and treats our unhoused with the dignity they deserve. I’m a renter myself. So our tenants should know that I’m going to be a Mayor who has their back.”
Voters overwhelmingly supported Nikki Fortunato Bas, who won the Council District 2 over candidate Harold Lowe. APTP described Lowe as another “tough-on-crime candidate.”
Bas wrote in a statement Tuesday, “Oakland deserves the best that we all have to offer and we need to work together as a strong team — with the community we serve — to put Oakland back on the right track. I’m confident we can do this, especially with the new Mayor and Councilmembers whom Oakland has elected.”
In Council District 4, voters resoundingly chose Janani Ramachandran over Nenna Joiner. Joiner was endorsed by Schaaf, according to her campaign website.
Voters also chose Pamela Price, the progressive Alameda County District Attorney candidate, over Terry Wiley, who served under the current DA as chief deputy district attorney.
Price, a civil rights attorney, is poised to defeat the veteran prosecutor. She self-declared victory on Monday.
“The next six years of my term will be full of meaningful changes to reform the criminal justice system. The double standards and racial disparities were palpable to the voters and they could see the old approach has not led us to greater public safety. They did not trust the status quo to change itself,” Price stated.
Anti Police-Terror Project wrote, “Progressive candidates won their elections, and every progressive measure on the Oakland ballot passed in a landslide. The status quo has been good for the ‘haves’ in Oakland: thousands more units of market rate housing, a bloated police budget, and increasingly gentrified neighborhoods, but it has unequivocally failed the ‘have nots.'”