Oaklanders elected Sheng Thao to represent City Council District 4 in November 2018, and Thao has served Oakland for four years now. As a current city councilmember, she holds strong working relationships with fellow progressive councilmembers – an important requirement to avoid contention or stalling on policy implementation as mayor. Thao has committed to lift up and contract with Black-, Indigenous-, and people of color-owned businesses in Oakland, which are some of the businesses most impacted by the pandemic. As a renter, survivor of domestic violence, parent, and a refugee, one of Thao’s biggest commitments is to create a regional strategy to build more affordable and moderate-income housing, and to increase vouchers. Her accomplishments these past four years include: working with and uniting labor and business to secure millions in funding for housing and homelessness services; helping to save Oakland’s Head Start program and protecting other free early childhood education and family services for low-income Oaklanders; supporting our most undervalued city workers and services by expanding Oakland’s paid sick leave policy; leading on wildfire prevention and emergency preparedness; and voting to increase funding for parks and recreation. Thao has had challenges with being accountable to a strong base of community organizations and we hope she will work directly with progressive community organizations to develop a clear plan to address root causes of violence; find additional funding for programs like MACRO, community crisis response alternatives, and violence disruptors; and run a city administration that is responsive to the needs of all Oaklanders. That said, a lot of outside money is trying to buy this race to ensure those with a platform similar to the current administration continue to reign our Town, and Thao offers the best path forward.