Community group wants OUSD board to slow down on D4 appointment

A letter from the Block by Block Organizing Network to OUSD Board of Education chairman David Kakishiba asking for a little more public access to the appointment process that will fill Gary Yee’s District 4 seat. The board is planning to appoint a replacement by June 12 and already closed the applications last week. Here is a list of the candidates with one change: Carlos Carmona sent me an email this weekend explaining that he was disqualified due to his “residency.”  Here is the letter:

Dear Mr. Kakishiba,

We are writing as Oakland citizens to ask you to assure that the process of filling the District 4 opening on the Board is transparent and allows for input from concerned members of the community. We appreciate that the Board wisely decided not to hold a costly election to fill a year-and-a-half vacancy. However, we believe that six people alone should not decide whom to choose without input from the electorate. We hope that you assure that the criteria for your selection are clear and that the public has opportunity to express concerns and opinions.

It is our recommendation that the Board hold at least one special meeting (a town hall, if you will) where a panel of representatives of the public have a chance to ask questions of all the candidates. Given your timeline, we hope that that meeting will be held on an evening (or weekend day) between May 29 and June 12 – the sooner the better, of course.

The people deserve to have a voice in the process of selecting someone to fill a seat that is normally an elected position.

Yours truly,

Evans Daniels

Sharon Rose

Sheryl Walton

Co-chairs, Block by Block Organizing Network


Oakland schools, students step up to host candidate forums

Life Academy school board candidate forum
photo courtesy of Preston Thomas, Life Academy

Students at Oakland’s Life Academy of Health and Bioscience interviewed District 5 city council and school board candidates Thursday night in a public forum they organized.

Principal Preston Thomas described the event as “totally authentic and student-led.”

“This was a great example of what it means to be a full service community school,” he wrote in the email he sent to me afterward.

If you missed it, here are some other election-related events: Continue Reading