Barbara Parker-A Lifelong Advocate for Equal Rights

Barbara Parker

By Post Staff City Attorney Barbara Parker is running to continue her leadership as Oakland’s history-making attorney. Barbara Parker learned at a young age that justice doesn’t come easy, “we must fight for it”, she says. She credits her strength as an advocate from her parents who escaped the brutality of the segregated south, moving to Seattle where she was born. “My parents were proud, active union members and taught me that we must always fight for equality.” Inspired by leaders like Martin Luther King, at age 12 Parker led a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in her home town. The first generation in her family to attend college, she was one of the few African American women admitted to Harvard Law School in the 1970’s, fighting minority discrimination every day. Since graduating in 1975, she’s served in two major law firms and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, and as a member of the State Judicial Council. Spending the last 21 years in the City Attorney’s office, Parker started as a line attorney, and worked her way up to Chief Assistant, where she served for 10 years until becoming City Attorney in 2011. John Russo, Oakland’s former City Attorney, says Parker is imminently qualified academically and has the legal insight and experience to keep Oakland on the right track. Fully committed to justice, Parker shut down two hotels that were running child prostitution rings this year. She’s fighting to protect a woman’s right to choose, and fighting back against big banks and foreclosures. Parker, commenting on her 35 year legal career, says “It’s always been about justice, and it always will be.” Parker is running for a full term as City Attorney in the November 6 election. She has received the endorsement of Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb.
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