Great Oakland Public Schools (GO), a nonprofit network of educators, families and community leaders, has endorsed four candidates for the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education in the November 4th general election.
The endorsed candidates are Aimee Eng (District 2), Nina Senn and Saleem Shakir-Gilmore (District 4), and Renato Almanzor (District 6).
GO’s Board of Directors made the endorsements after a comprehensive process of gathering feedback from over 100 teachers, parents, and other community members and thoroughly reviewing the qualifications and positions of each candidate. GO hosted candidate forums where they fielded questions from community members, and surveyed candidates on their platforms and experience.
“Aimee, Nina, Saleem, and Renato are thoughtful advocates for Oakland students and longtime community members,” said Mary Prime-Lawrence, OUSD middle school teacher, parent of three Oakland public schools students, and Vice President of the GO Board.
“All these very strong candidates will bring valuable skills and perspectives to our school board,” she added.
District 2 Candidate Aimee Eng, a fifth-generation Oaklander and the granddaughter of Oakland’s first Asian-American elected official, has devoted her professional career to expanding educational opportunity for children in the East Bay. As the Senior Program Officer at the Thomas J. Long Foundation, Ms. Eng manages a $30 million education initiative to improve student outcomes. She has direct experience working with programs related to many of Oakland’s most critical issues, including college readiness and access, early childhood education, and chronic absenteeism
District 6 candidate Dr. Renato Almanzor is the proud parent of a Skyline High graduate and has been active in the Oakland education community for over 15 years. Almanzor’s deep experience includes serving on school site councils at Oakland elementary, middle, and high schools; teaching as a professor in CSU East Bay’s educational leadership for social justice doctoral program; coaching Oakland principals and teachers on how to improve schools; leading community engagement programs at Oakland Unified School District as the Director of Family & Community Office; and, training Bay Area nonprofit leaders in organizational development
GO’s dual endorsement in District 4 with Nina Senn and Saleem Shakir-Gilmore provides two strong top choices for voters in the election’s ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to rank up to three candidates when marking their ballots.
Senn’s work as a mediator involves bringing together parties facing difficult issues and helping them navigate towards win-win solutions. Over the past seven years, she has volunteered with Oakland schools to institute Restorative Justice programs.
Shakir-Gilmore is an Oakland native and parent. He has Saleem taught middle school science, served as Executive Director of a youth development organization, and was a faculty member in the education department at Holy Names University. In recognition of his expertise and commitment, Shakir-Gilmore was appointed as the Chair of the Measure G Oversight Committee, which is charged with overseeing over $20 million for retaining great teachers, reducing class sizes, and maintaining libraries
These four endorsements will mobilize hundreds of volunteers to contact voters about the candidates. In 2012, GO endorsed three candidates in the Oakland school board elections and each won their race.
For more information about each candidate and GO, visit www.gopublicschools.org