There are eight (8!!) candidates running for AD18 Assemblymember. This is a powerful, state-level position that typically only comes up for grabs every 12 years – so anyone with any political ambition or interest will run when the opportunity arises!
Janani Ramachandran (Oakland)
- The only Oakland candidate
- Also apparently the only candidate to file her campaign finance information??
- Endorsed by Oakland politics legend Gene Hazzard, someone admired here at the #oakmtg (Appreciation) Club
- Some other notable individual endorsements: Alfred Twu, Randy Shaw, Desley Brooks
- Notable organization endorsements: ILWU NCDC, Indivisible East Bay, Wellstone Democrats, Oakland East Bay Democratic Club
- Rents in Oakland
Malia Vella (Alameda)
- Alameda City Council member
- Was more endorsed than any other candidate until Mia Bonta’s campaign website went live
- Very odd endorsement list mix: Jovanka Beckles and Libby Schaaf and Don Perata?
- Notable organization endorsements: Oakland Rising Action, SEIU, Coalition for Police Accountability
- At June 5 East Bay For Everyone candidate forum, Vella noted that she advocated for 25% affordable units for developing in Alameda. This type of advocacy work usually causes new housing developments to be cancelled.
Mia Bonta (Alameda)
- Name recognition: married to recently-resigned AD18 Assemblymember and newly-installed CA Attorney General Rob Bonta. What will this mean for legislators she doesn’t like? we only know enough to ask, not enough to speculate!
- Alameda Unified School District Board president
- CEO of the controversial Oakland Promise
Has a campaign page with no bio, no platform, no endorsements - but many ways to donateNow has a campaign website! possibly updated now that she’s graduated from Emerge California? (She last-minute backed out of a June 5 candidate forum because it overlapped with her program graduation)
- Heavily endorsed at state and national and local levels - most notably, Barbara Lee rarely endorses (and even scolded candidates last election for implying an endorsement).
- Endorsed by Oakland City Councilmembers for Districts 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7
Victor Aguilar (San Leandro)
- Current (and first openly gay) San Leandro City Councilmember 39:24
- (June 5 East Bay For Everyone candidate forum / 43:18 - “Do you support the move to de-police traffic enforcement, and what legislative actions would ensure safe streets without armed police?) Has been advocating for giving subsidies to lower income San Leandro residents who receive traffic tickets, calls for working with San Leandro police so policing is done with compassion
- Public health professional
- Cares a lot about public health policy
James Aguilar (San Leandro)
- Includes high school civic accomplishments in his “About Me”
- This is probably ok given that happened 3 years ago and he’s currently in college
- (June 5 East Bay For Everyone candidate forum / 54:52) Based on his experience as a legislative intern, thinks there are unnecessary barriers to scheduling meetings with legislators and their offices
- Rents in San Leandro
- Token Republican on the ballot
- Ran in previous 2018 and 2020 AD18 elections
- No party preference according to SOS but lists http://themilitant.com/ as his website on https://www.acgov.org/rov_app/candidatelist?electionid=243
- Out of all candidates, has not accepted the voluntary expenditure limit
There have been a number of candidate forums, and more are coming up still!
You may be particularly interested in the (June 5 East Bay For Everyone candidate forum) which asked candidates (39:24) “Do you support the move to de-police traffic enforcement, and what legislative actions would ensure safe streets without armed police?". (Note: two candidates did not answer this question: Mia Bonta backed out of this forum entirely, and Janani Ramachandran had to leave the forum early.)
Oakland East Bay Democratic Club - AD18 Candidate Forum - May 20 (result: endorsement for Janani Ramachandran)