Public Policy

Tadios Belay at his office. (Photo by Semany Gashaw)

Horn of Africa Human Rights Network offers its community a hand

In the corner of the Ethiopian Community Center in Oakland sits a young lawyer, waiting for his clients to arrive. It’s past lunchtime, and the delicious aroma of Ethiopian food still lingers in the air....
Ralph Spinelli, left, and the cover of his book, Prison As Punishment. Photos courtesy Ralph Spinelli.

Second chances: An ex-convict’s path to higher education

On an early October morning in 1990, Ralph Spinelli swung open the back door of a large restaurant as he shoved his other hand into the pocket of his lightweight windbreaker, pretending to hold a...
Volunteers at the Lift Up Oakland campaign headquarters work to support Measure FF to increase the minimum wage. Photo by Alex Kekauouhah.

Voters say yes to boosting the minimum wage, higher sales tax and reclassifying some felonies

As election results rolled in after the polls closed last night, advocates for several major policy changes celebrated victories at the state, county and local levels, including a statewide initiative that reduced penalties for certain...
Mayor-elect Libby Schaaf, right, is shown with husband, Salvatore Fahey, son, Dominic, 9, and daughter, Lena, 7, after casting her ballot at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters Office, Nov. 4, 2014. Photo by Deana Mitchell.

Libby Schaaf declares victory, minimum wage hike and parcel taxes pass

As results from Tuesday's election continue to come in, mayoral candidate Libby Schaaf claims an early lead in first choice voting. Additionally, Measures N, Z, BB and FF all receive the necessary votes to pass.
Oakland City Councilmember Dan Kalb, the main force behind Measure CC, speaks to a reporter.

Kalb urges yes on CC, beefing up Oakland’s Ethics Commission

On election night, Oakland voters will weigh in on Measure CC, a charter reform measure designed to provide the Oakland Public Ethics Commission with increased powers and responsibilities in monitoring City Hall.
School Board Candidates Interactive Map

School board candidates present backgrounds, qualifications

Three Oakland school board members are vacating their spots on the Board of Education this fall, making room for a field of first-time school board candidates racing toward the November 4 election.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones speaks about Prop. 45 at UC Berkeley. Gabriel J. Sanchez

Hikes in health insurance rates could be denied by state commissioner if Prop. 45 passes

Proposition 45, a November ballot measure empowering the state’s elected insurance commissioner to rule on health insurance rate hikes, is drawing heated debate and hefty donations from Oakland groups with a stake in health care.
Lift Up Oakland volunteers gather after door-to-door walk

Lift Up Oakland volunteers go door to door for minimum wage ballot measure

The campaigners were part of a fall neighborhood-by-neighborhood effort, organized by the volunteer organization that calls itself the Lift Up Oakland Coalition, to persuade voters to approve Measure FF, which would raise the minimum wage...