Your candidates for Oakland school board: an almost final list

THURSDAY UPDATE: The city’s list of qualified candidates is here. Cindi Reiss, a District 5 hopeful, said this morning that she planned to contest the clerk’s office determination that she didn’t have enough valid signatures, as she submitted three additional pages yesterday. As of now, the only two qualified candidates for that seat are Mike Hutchinson and Roseann Torres.


The Oakland school board races are still shaping up to be lively, though some of the candidates appear to have dropped out or failed to gather enough valid signatures to qualify. The deadline for District 5 was today, which explains why there are no candidates listed for that race in the city’s qualified candidate’s list, updated as of yesterday.

In District 1 you have incumbent Jody London and challenger Thearse Pecot, an OUSD grandmother who sued the district over the closure of Santa Fe and other elementary schools.

District 3 has three candidates now: incumbent Jumoke Hinton Hodge and challengers Richard Fuentes, an aide to Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, and Benjamin Lang, who had flown completely under my radar. I haven’t found a campaign site for him, but will add a link when I do. Sheilagh Polk, who — along with Hinton Hodge — was endorsed by GO Public Schools’ governing board, apparently didn’t file. Vicente Cruz, the Green Party candidate who’d also planned to run, fell a few signatures short of qualifying. (But he tells me he plans to give it another try before long. “Look for me soon,” he said.)

The District 5 deadline was today, rather than last Friday, as it’s a no-incumbent race. So far, I’ve seen Mike Hutchinson‘s and Cindi Reiss‘s names on the city’s site, though the city has yet to come out with its updated list of qualified candidates, and I believe Roseann Torres was also planning to file.

In District 7, there are just two candidates: incumbent Alice Spearman and challenger James Harris.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Nontcair

    OUSD’s board leader and the challenger are both leftists who favor higher taxes to support:

    OUSD green energy policies
    union-scale wages (and full employment) for OUSD teachers
    union-scale wages for OUSD construction contractors
    high underwriting fees for OUSD’s muni bond dealers
    an expanding public sector in general, and OUSD in particular

    — all absolutely essential for teaching Johnny how to read by the time he turns 18.

    Once again voters are given a faux choice between a Leninist and a Marxist. Here the former has an irritating personality and wants to keep about 143 district schools operating, and the (hopefully less irritating) latter favors 147.

    If you plan to waste your time and vote in your district school board contest, be sure to reject any candidate who won’t solemnly pledge to work to:

    reduce OUSD to the minimum number of schools, hours, services, etc required by law.

    end discriminatory school admission policies, such as those which favor students who have a sibling already enrolled in a school, students from the neighborhood, etc.

    charge sponsors of enrolled students the maximum out-of-pocket (tuition, activity fee, etc) permitted by law.

    seek all possible exemptions to expensive, protectionist state regulations, ie credentials, prevailing wages, and so forth.

    reduce the Superintendent’s (and the Board’s) compensation to the minimum allowed by law

    require that all OUSD teachers who have school-aged kids of their own enroll at least half of them in an OUSD school that is no better than the one their parent teaches in

    DEFEAT PROP 30, Jerry Brown’s tax increase on the poor to bail-out the public unions

    Regardless of individual platform, you should summarily dismiss any contestant who holds a regular, full-time job in (or contract with) the public sector, as that person is constitutionally INELIGIBLE to serve (Article 3 §3)