Longtime Activist Is Running For Mayor of Oakland
A campaign by, for, and about Oaklanders
For far too long, the voices and needs of the working class and people living in Oakland’s lowest-income communities have been ignored by City Hall and concerns of the people are regularly engaged as an afterthought or completely dismissed. Elected officials are supposed to represent their constituents and it is time we elect those who act accordingly. That’s why Cat Brooks is running for Mayor of Oakland. Cat is committed to creating an equitable local government that represents everyone in the city.
Running for elected office is not a decision Cat came to on her own. Over the past 12 months, a wide range of community voices including labor, artists, educators, organizers and community members have urged Cat to run. She did not take the ask lightly. Her decision process included attending standing room only forums with organizers on the topic of activists as electoral candidates and accountability mechanisms for campaign promises made, sitting with residents to learn what they wanted to see in a candidate, and consideration on how a platform should be developed.
“Oakland needs a new direction and new leadership. Cat Brooks has the determination and courage to take on the forces of gentrification and displacement,” said Dan Siegel, civil rights attorney and co-chair of the Oakland Justice Coalition. “Cat can be trusted to make affordable housing, jobs for Oakland residents, a safe city and an accountable police department realities for our city.”
This is a campaign to galvanize the energy of the disenfranchised, the displaced, the tired, the holders-on. We will ensure this campaign is a piece of a movement needed to right the wrongs of this city and bring real relief to those who struggle to survive in the place they call home.
“As we wrestle across this country with issues regarding the rebuilding and restructuring of our cities, it is crucial we find people for public office who are compassionate and passionate,” said Reverend Dr. Harold Mayberry of First AME Church in Oakland. “We need persons who have demonstrated the willingness to put the well-being of our communities ahead of personal agendas. Persons who have a vision for a better community that extends beyond any one segment of the city. It is for this reason that I am pleased to support Cat Brooks for mayor of Oakland. As a resident of this community and her pastor, I believe that Cat will lead Oakland with the kind of visionary and progressive leadership the city continues to cry for.”
The last four years have brought us ongoing incidents of police violence and scandals, massive displacement of Black and Brown long-time community members, and nearly 3,000 people sleeping on the streets every night. It is time for people-led change in the City of Oakland. We are privileged to live in one of the country’s most multicultural cities with a rich history of fighting for radical change. Cat Brooks is the candidate to solidify that history and build a better future.
Our campaign will be developed in partnership with the people of Oakland and build upon the work of the people who cannot purchase representation in the halls of power. Central to the campaign will be:
Real Solutions for Public Safety: The answer to community safety is an investment in the community. The Oakland Police Department receives nearly 50% of the general fund (that’s $250m of a $570m fund). We will redirect half of those funds toward true crime prevention measures like job training centers, mental health services, substance abuse prevention and treatment, and housing.
Housing & Dignity for All: Rent is too high. Middle-income earners are paying over 30% of their income on rent making it impossible to save. Low-income earners are paying over 60% of their wages on rent. Using funds diverted from police, we will increase the percentage of the city budget used to protect tenants and enforce tenant rights. We will also strengthen efforts to legislate and clamp down on Airbnb and similar services - services that have taken away over 2,200 units (source) that could be used as long-term housing for Oaklanders instead.
Protecting Education: We will work with Oakland educators to develop a teacher training and retention program that specifically addresses the needs of local educators. Citywide affordable housing plans must include protected affordable housing for Oakland teachers.
Sanctuary for All: We will ensure that Oakland is truly a Sanctuary City by both providing an unwavering commitment to policy that prevents any collusion between local law enforcement and federal agencies, and working closely with the most impacted communities to create and strengthen rapid response networks, “know-your-rights” training, and other community safety mechanisms.
Cat Brooks is committed to transforming Oakland into a city that is guided by the voices of those who have historically created our diverse, unique culture and ensuring Oakland fulfills her promise of beauty and richness and history and culture for all.