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Candidate for OUSD School Board Director - District 3

Maximo Santana

Maximo Santana

OUSD School Board Director

Fun dude who cares about equity but might not be ready to make it happen



TL;DR: Fun dude who’s actually thinking about equity during distance learning


Maximo Santana has lived in Oakland since he graduated from college in 2014. He taught at American Indian Public High School and West Oakland Middle School. He currently works for Pandora, the music streaming company.

Official Platform: Equity (but how?)

Maximo Santana’s official platform is updated to reflect COVID-19’s effect on OUSD. He thinks student attendance under the pandemic reflects inequities. He also wants to make sure students can still get supportive services – like counseling – during distance learning. Finally, he wants to introduce a new teacher pay structure that looks complicated and tricky to implement without unintended incentive consequences.

Notable Supporters



Main vibe: Goofy idea guy who might not be ready for prime time. We love Santana’s irreverent style and funny podcast, but as we at the #oakmtg (Appreciation) Club know, humor doesn’t always go down very well in self-serious Oakland politics. He’s notable for being one of the only candidates to shift his priorities toward thinking about COVID and online learning, but we wonder if he’s as up-to-date on OUSD’s recent acrimonious past. We like how he openly talks about the need for OUSD’s four first-year board members to receive proper education and training before starting their roles on the Board, but we also think other candidates may have already put in more legwork to understand what they’ll need to do so they’re ready for day one.

Candidate Forums

You can view the recorded candidate forums for this race here: