Lead East Bay

Lead East Bay is an Oakland Rising program to identify, recruit, and train the future progressive appointed and elected officials of the East Bay. Our goal is to identify, train and assist progressive leaders in achieving critical public leadership roles throughout our region - elected and appointed positions, as well as staff roles for elected officials and on campaigns. 

We focus on deep community roots and the network of support and accountability that participants will have, whether they end up in appointed or elected positions.  We believe that no decision-maker – no matter how skilled, passionate or principled – can be effective and build the political will necessary to make change, without these things.

We seek to reverse the trend of public leaders losing their focus on the values, goals and communities that brought them into leadership in the first place, and becoming reactive to political winds and paths of least resistance.  We intend to build deep and lasting partnerships for grassroots activists while preparing them to succeed as values-based, goals-driven, accountable public decision-makers.

Through this program we gradually expect to see:

  • more accountability among elected and appointed officials to communities of color,
  • more inclusive decision-making within public agencies (involvement of low-income communities of color in the decisions that affect them),
  • more political power for working class communities of color in the East Bay, and
  • a leadership development ecosystem that is more focused on the needs of the movement rather than individual leaders.

We believe that getting the right leaders into public leadership roles is critical in tackling the persistent issues in our region, such as the lack of affordable housing, which plague communities of color and contribute to the growing inequality in the Bay Area. We are excited to work with leaders who want to be part of addressing these problems.

LEB leaders meet once a month for training, and also participate in a variety of campaigns across Alameda County. Trainings cover the various ins and outs of running a campaign including field outreach, base building, and fundraising. Additionally, the cohort receives trainings on the political lay of the land and context for the current political climate. This fall we devoted a full day to Race, Power & Privilege and how we can sharpen our approaches to governance to advance racial justice. Facilitated by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, the session examined various forms of power and how they interplay with race and economics so that we can change the narrative and shift power into the hands of our communities.

If you are committed to racial and economic justice and have ever thought about serving on a board or commission, running for office or working for an elected official, this program may be for you.

For more information, contact info@oaklandrising.org.

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