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It’s up to us to stand up

Hello again friends, I’m Michael McDaniel, political director at Families in Action, and I’ve got another update for you.

We are just two weeks away from a very important election so I want to make sure it does not fall off our collective radar. While Tuesday, November 7 is the special election day for the vacant District 5 OUSD school board seat, ballots have already been mailed out and with only one place to drop off your ballot in the entire district, postmarking your ballot by election day and mailing it in is the only other way to cast your vote this time around.

All the projections are saying that voter turnout for this election will be very low. What that really means is Black and Brown people living in the flatlands are expected to not tune-in or even care about who wins the race. The fact that this is a “mail in only” election goes to show just how little opportunity to take part we are afforded. There aren’t familiar and accessible polling places around the district for us to go to. It really is on usso we need to make sure that we tell as many of our D5 friends and neighbors that the time to stand for better quality and outcomes is now. If we dont participate, other people will end up making decisions for us and our children.

Last month, FIA hosted the largest parent and student-led candidate forum in Oakland. You can read about the forum on The Oaklandside. At the forum, candidates Jorge Lerma and Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez were asked a series of “yes” or “no” questions. We compiled their responses here below.

Who do you know needs to learn this information?
Who should you share this with?

On the this page, you can also read brief bios of each candidate we compiled through our research and conversations with each candidate.

Over 250 powerful parents, students, community members, and school board members came together to hear from District 5 school board candidates at the 2023 FIA Candidate Forum.

The next District 5 school board member will have a 14-month term where they will be the deciding vote on impactful decisions for Oakland education as a whole — and charter schools in particular. We all need to be as engaged as possible. Thank you all again for taking the time to read this and I will be back again soon with another update.


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