In the face of fear and grief, we also celebrate what we have won for our communities. We have held the line in Oakland, in Richmond, and in California. While the rest of the country has confirmed our worst fears, California continues to lead the nation because we mobilized voters to win progressive victories that benefit our families: tenant protections, elected officials who reflect the communities that elected them, restored funding for schools, and much more.
APEN is proud to ally with partners across the state – and with you – to engage the rising electorate—API, Latinx, Black, formerly incarcerated, immigrant, refugee, and young voters. From your ballot to your block, your votes won victories that will make a huge positive impact in our neighborhoods.
“As a first-time voter and a first-generation immigrant, I’m active in mobilizing my city to vote because I believe in the power of youth to transform our communities. As youth, we struggle for quality job opportunities, ending violence against youth and people of color, and to live in a safe and healthy environment free of pollution”—Puja Dahal, APEN Youth Leader
In Oakland, we won Measure JJ: Protect Oakland Renters by a landslide—nearly 75% of voters supported. Measure JJ was truly a people-powered victory led by APEN members and Oakland residents impacted by evictions and threatened by gentrification. Read our Campaign to Protect Oakland Renters Victory Statement here.
“As voters, we are taking care of our neighbors. Our neighbors are experiencing harassment from their landlords and facing the threat of eviction. We decided that we needed to put tenant protections on the ballot, and we made sure that Measure JJ can provide some relief for our neighbors suffering from Oakland’s housing crisis.”—Longtime Chinatown Leader, Lisa Chan
Oakland tenant’s rights supporters Dan Kalb, Rebecca Kaplan, and Noel Gallo won their respective City Council races. Lateefah Simon won her race for BART Board District 7 with an inspiring campaign that highlighted transit justice, police accountability, and the needs of low-income and disabled riders.
In Richmond, we won more tenant protections with Measure L: Fair and Affordable Richmond. And we celebrated Melvin Willis and Ben Choi, who won hard fought races for Richmond City Council.
In California, the emerging electorate passed legislation that uplifts, supports, and protects communities of color:
- Prop 55 will help restore funding to schools and services;
- Prop 56 will protect young people from getting addicted to tobacco and restore funding to Medi-Cal, and
- Prop 57 is the next step in reversing the damage of mass incarceration.
In our cities and our state, we are making power and democracy work for us. The next four years will test our collective resilience. But our victories demonstrate what we have always known—we need people power to win.