We need community -- now more than ever.
We rely on community to celebrate with us when we win, comfort us when we lose, and help us make sense of the world when it seems to challenge our beliefs, expectations or values.
Tuesday night was tough for so many of us -- here in Oakland, across the country and around the world. It was hard for me personally, and hard for all the committed supporters and volunteers in the room with me on Election Night.
Like many of you, I truly believed that Hillary Clinton would win and we would elect our first female president. I valued the progress that her victory would represent for women, equality and democracy. So last night's result was a pretty big shock to my system.
Locally, in my race for Oakland City Council At-Large, we learned that I finished in second place to Rebecca Kaplan. You can see the results here.
I want to congratulate Rebecca Kaplan on her victory, and offer to contribute in any way I can to help build and strengthen our communities here in Oakland.
While I am disappointed in the result, I am incredibly proud of the positive, values-driven campaign we ran to bring more community engagement to the people and more collaborative leadership to the Council.
I can't even begin to express my gratitude to all the people who supported me in this race:
- To my core, volunteer-driven campaign team, who dedicated vast amounts of time and talent to delivering the teamwork that makes the dreamwork;
- To all the friends and supporters who made calls at phonebanks, hosted parties, handed out flyers at Farmer's Markets and festivals, BART stations and coffeeshops, held up signs at street corners, dropped off flyers on doorsteps, shared links on social media and otherwise engaged in meaningful, direct outreach to Oakland voters;
- To the generous donors whose consistent contributions provided me with a powerful platform to share my vision across a diverse media landscape;
- To my endorsers, including Barack Obama, who selected me as one of a small group of former Organizing for America organizers that he endorsed in our bids for local or state office; as well as our tremendous Oakland Mayor, Libby Schaaf, who campaigned tirelessly for my campaign; and
- To all the folks who encouraged me, advised me, prayed for me, voted for me, or challenged me to answer tough questions and become a better candidate.
Finally, I want to thank my incredible wife, Hope Wood, for her love, support, wisdom and joyful partnership on this journey!
In spite of the outcome, I am convinced that we made a difference in this race by focusing our conversations with Oakland voters on the importance of meeting people where they are, of engaging, empowering and uplifting our communities, and working more collaboratively across our city government to address Oakland's key challenges in affordability, public safety and social and economic equity.