Incumbents will be facing newcomers for four seats on the seven-member Oakland Board of Education that will be on the November ballot.
Great Oakland (GO) Public Schools, whose political advocacy group, has been a major donor in recent board elections, is sure to have a big impact on this year’s races.
GO’s advocacy group is endorsing three of the incumbents, Jody London, Jumoke Hinton Hodge and James Harris.
Four years ago, GO backed Roseann Torres when she first ran for office, but this year the organization is backing charter elementary school teacher Huber Trenado against her in District 5.
District 1 School Boardmember Jody London will face Don Macleay.
London, a member of the board since 2009, works with local government and nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, communication, and advocacy on environmental sustainability and energy issues.
Macleay is a longtime activist with the Oakland Greens and ran for office twice before in Oakland.
Incumbent Boardmember Jumoke Hinton Hodge, who represents District 3, which includes West Oakland, is running against three challengers: Benjamin Lang, Lucky Narain and Kharyshi Wiginton.
A member of the board since 2009, Hinton Hodge is a community and youth development consultant. She holds a B.A. in Black Studies and English from Oberlin College.
Narain is an attorney in Oakland.
Lang, who also ran for school board in 2012, has worked as a substitute teacher in Oakland and as director of educational technology for Orinda’s public schools.
Wiginton has worked as Youth Leadership Coordinator at McClymonds High School Youth and Family Center. She was a founder and former artistic director at P.R.I.S.M. Dance Company.
District 5 Boardmember Roseann Torres is being opposed by school activist Michael Hutchinson, charter school elementary teacher Huber Trenado and Michael Hassid.
Hutchinson, an Oakland native who has worked as a school employee, ran for school board in the last election and speaks out regularly at school board meetings.
Huber Trenado, a former Oakland student, teaches at Lazear Elementary School.
Hassid lives with his wife and two children in the Fruitvale District. He has worked for over 14 years advising a wide variety of nonprofit organizations on how to use their resources to improve public education.
School Board President James Harris, representing District 7, will face community activist and parent Chris Jackson.
Harris is an Oakland native, a former teacher, and a small business owner. He was a founding board member of Great Oakland (GO) Public Schools, a local nonprofit that works in Oakland schools.
Jackson is a social worker who works with the formerly incarcerated on parole or probation. He is a parent of a kindergartener who is going into an OUSD school