With 130 house parties, nearly 1400 signatures gathered and a team of over 500 volunteers, Buffy Wicks has set her sights on becoming the next 15th District Assemblymember.
Wicks, an American political strategist, credited along with Marshall Ganz and Jeremy Bird as the architect of Barack Obama’s grassroots organizing model, previously served on the senior staff of Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
She also served as Deputy Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement. Beyond the White House, she’s worked in the labor movement, on women’s issues, and as a children’s rights advocate.
Like many, Wicks has many concerns for the country’s future with President Donald Trump in office.
“We are in a scary moment in our country’s history, and I feel lucky to be raising my baby daughter in a progressive community like ours that rejects President Trump’s hateful rhetoric and harmful policies,” said Wicks. “But we can’t let what’s happening in Washington define us.”
“Here in California, we have a real opportunity not just to resist, but to put forth bold, progressive public policy that reflects our shared values and builds a more just and equitable society. California should be the leader in showing America what progressive governance can be.”
Wicks says she wants to lead the fight by organizing and building coalitions.
“I’m ready to work toward providing all of our families the best future possible.”
Wicks track record includes a host of progressive causes including organizing the Bay Area’s anti-Iraq War protests, working for Howard Dean, campaigning against Walmart, helping pass the Affordable Care Act, launching a national women’s economic policy initiative, and leading the California Kids Campaign to fight for more funding for public schools.
According to Wicks, the California State Legislature is at a 20-year low with women representation at a mere 22%.
“This shows how policies impact women and leadership starts by sending more women to Sacramento. We need to prioritize paid family leave, education funding for both K-12, early childhood and funding for childcare.”
Wicks supports a full 12-weeks paid leave for the birth of a new child, or care for an ill loved one. “Women are often the bread winners of the family and we need more policies to ensure a level playing field like universal childcare, fair pay and quality access to reproductive healthcare.”
Wicks plans to quickly build more affordable homes in walkable and transit oriented neighborhoods and protect tenants from displacement.
“I support expanding rent stabilization, Renters Tax Credit and the creation of a legal defense fund for those facing unfair evictions,” she said.
Wicks also supports California as a sanctuary state and says law enforcement is best used by catching dangerous criminals and not threatening to deport the undocumented. “We must reject the politics of hate and fear—our strength is our diversity.”
As a gun control advocate, Wicks was happy to have friends Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and husband, astronaut-author Mark Kelly kick off her campaign rally in February at her headquarters in Berkeley.
Last weekend at Salute Restaurant in Richmond, Wicks was supported by Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. Next week, she is scheduled to have another event with colleague Valerie Jarrett, who served as senior advisor to former President Obama for both of his presidential terms.
Wicks supporters include the East Bay Express, East Bay Times, The Mercury News, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, CA Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Congressman Ro Khanna, Assemblymember Bill Quirk, State Senator Scott Wiener, Assemblymember David Chiu, Assemblymember Jose Medina, Hercules BART Board Director Lateefah Simon, and Piedmont Vice Mayor Teddy King.