I can’t help feeling that my inauguration to the Oakland City Council—and that of a new generation of progressive women of color across the country—is a good sign of which way the wind is blowing.
I feel that wind blowing toward the values we promoted in our campaign—equity, inclusion, andcommunity participation. Last weekend, I hosted a community meeting to create an agenda with you and to continue building the grassroots, progressive movement and infrastructure that emerged from our campaign. We listened to the tremendous expertise and ideas you shared and will re-connect soon with our next steps.
In my inaugural speech on Monday—with my husband and daughter by my side—I set out the course for my first 100 days and first year in office, following the direction we set together over the past year by engaging thousands of Oaklanders, and that we began to flesh out last weekend with our neighbors.
- Housing is a human right - a key function of our city government is to make sure that everyone has shelter. We must provide essential services to our homeless neighbors and provide shelter while treating you with compassion and keeping families and communities together. We must create more affordable housing—low and middle income housing to keep Oaklanders here. We must protect renters who are the majority of Oaklanders. And, we must ensure homeowners can maintain their homes now and for future generations.
- Our city budget has to meet our community needs and be driven by community values of inclusion, equity, and transparency. This means prioritizing our human needs - housing, job training, and public safety that focuses on prevention. And we must make sure that funds that we as voters approved are spent responsibly.
- Our City must provide services for each and every neighborhood. Services that create healthy, clean, safe environments for all of our kids to play and walk to school.
I’ve rolled up my sleeves to get to work since I was appointed to these committees by our new Council President Rebecca Kaplan: (1) Chair, Education Partnership, where I can't wait to work with School Board President Aimee Eng and our teachers, parents and students, (2) Finance, (3) Community & Economic Development, (4) Life Enrichment, (5) Public Safety, and (6) City Port Liaison.
The night of the inauguration, I co-hosted a party at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center with the other new Council members, Sheng Thao (District 4), who is the first Hmong City Council member in California, and Loren Taylor (District 6), whose Oakland roots go down to bedrock. We are incredibly grateful that you came out to celebrate our swearing-in. It’s a new day in Oakland. We, as the freshmen on the Council, are committed to not just working tirelessly for the Districts we represent but for every Oakland resident. It will take all of us to accomplish our collective mission to make Oakland work for every resident.
Photo credit: Howard Dyckoff / HDPhotography.click
Please join me at these upcoming events were I’ll be speaking out to advance Coretta Scott King's vision to "create new homes, new communities, new cities, a new nation; a new world, which we desperately need!"
I feel the wind blowing toward this truth: This is YOUR government. It’s going to take all of us working together to bridge our divisions, and to connect to that sense of community and belonging that we all yearn for. I am humbled to represent you to truly make this a town where we all belong.