Election 2024

Oakland voters being asked to add muscle to the city’s Ethics Commission

In the face of mounting political pressure, the Oakland City Council reversed course Tuesday and voted in favor of a November ballot measure that would beef up the Public Ethics Commission. Citing Oakland’s substantial budget shortfall, the council had previously turned down a proposal that includes a slate of reforms meant to modernize the city’s watchdog agency and give it more investigative muscle. Just under two weeks later, Councilmembers Carroll Fife and Rebecca Kaplan changed their minds. Fife, who called…

‘We think people should be educated voters’: On 100th anniversary, Oakland League of Women Voters recruits new members to mission

A century ago, in the shadow of a newly constructed Tribune Tower, a group of women met at Hotel Oakland to establish an organization that would reflect their nascent civic power. Over the ensuing 100 years, both landmarks would close, but the League of Women Voters of Oakland remains. Last month, on the shore of Lake Merritt, members of the Oakland League celebrated the organization’s centennial. Under strings of shimmering lights and a massive eucalyptus tree, generations of volunteers came…

Mayor Thao speaks out on FBI raid: ‘This wouldn’t have gone down the way it did if I was rich.’

Facing mounting public pressure to address last week’s FBI raid of her home, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao took a defiant tone at a news conference Monday, saying she is not  the target of the investigation and questioning its timing with the campaign to have her recalled. Reading from a prepared 10-minute statement at City Hall, Thao said in a voice shaking with emotion, “This wouldn’t have gone down the way it did if I was rich.” She said a handful…

Ballot measure would increase taxes to raise millions for affordable housing in Oakland

When Alameda County voters go to the polls in November, they may be asked to decide how affordable housing is financed for decades to come. At Tuesday’s Oakland City Council meeting, local and regional housing experts stressed the importance of an upcoming $20 billion regional bond measure that could bring as much as $765 million to Oakland.  “It really is the most ambitious affordable housing program that we have ever embarked upon in the region and even in the state…