Outgoing City Attorney John Russo appointed Barbara J. Parker Acting City Attorney on June 10. Parker has 20 years of experience at the Oakland City Attorney’s office, the last 11 as the second-in-command, representing the Office at virtually all of the Oakland City Council meetings. Russo praised Parker for her “extensive expertise as an attorney providing legal counsel at all levels of government – federal, state and local – and in the private sector to corporations and law firms.” He also indicated that “she has the temperament and skill to serve all members of the council on an equal basis.”` She is a native of Seattle, Washington where her parents migrated to escape legalized oppression in the segregated, rural South and the brutalities of sharecropping and farming. Parker graduated from Harvard Law School in 1975 at atime when only 10% of the student body was female and approximately 10% of her entering class was African American. Parker received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. Prominent African American community leaders such as Oakland City Council President Larry Reid, Rev. Harold Mayberry of First AME Church, Donald Hopkins, former Dean at U.C Berkley and Asdministrative Director for Congressman Ronald V. Dellums and Robert L. Harris, Attorney at Law and Past President of the National Bar Association, have expressed support for Parker’s appointment as has Sally Elkington, President-Elect of the Alameda County Bar Association.
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