Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks is up for re-election as Oakland City Council District Six representative, and as one who has witnessed how hard she works for the people who live in her area of concern, she really does deserve your support. Re-elect Desley Brooks for Oakland City Council District Six.
I will get this out of the way: by pattern of analysis, a number of people who have attacked Councilmember Brooks don't have great track records of friendships with outspoken and smart black women who don't stroke their egos. Period. Fact. End of story.
They're scared to death of Desley, and show it in many ways. This includes some younger adult black men, who should be completely ashamed of how they've talked and written against her – more because it has become a kind of thing to do among some of those who are in Oakland or in San Francisco media, white, and can't even find District Six on a map!
(And for those who ask “Where's Desley Brooks” during the Oakland election campaign, if you really knew her, you'd know that she was tending to the needs of a family member. That's all I'll say. My prayers.)
They can't stand one fact: Desley Brooks has been in office since 2002; it's 2018. Her District Six has re-elected her three times. That's saying something: that she gets the job of representing them done, and does it well.
Note that no one attacking her has said their reasons are because she's not doing a good job in her area; it's all about their fragile (and in some cases racist and sexist) egos. “Desley was rude to me,” one person I know said. Oh, poor baby. So many people are so knee-jerk sensitive today, and because of social media, it's epidemic!
And did I mention that most of her detractors don't live in District Six? (By contrast, I lived in District Six from 1989 to 1991, and in the same place Bruce Lee lived in decades earlier at 3039 Monticello Avenue; now I live in Adams Point.)
District Six is a big place in Oakland, and stretches from the flatlands and Havenscourt neighborhood, to Millsmont and Mills College, and up into the hills and Leona Heights Park.
In this District Six, Councilmember Brooks has worked to make sure there were jobs for everyone, and even once had a process of bringing in African American interns for short stints in her office, just so they could have the experience of working for the City of Oakland on their resume!
And, of equal note, Desley has a record of fighting a battle to get more work for black contractors. I don't see or hear any of the other candidates doing that. And shamefully, Councilmember Brooks has fought a lonesome battle in an Oakland city that once stood tall to help the African American construction worker.
Folks, there are black Oakland politicians who seem alergic to the very idea of hiring qualified, smart, African Americans to work for them – that's not Desley, and those folks know who they are.
Few outside District Six talk about what Desley has done for District Six. For example, they don't talk about how Desley helped Eastmont Town Center (the place I still call Eastmont Mall) to remain a viable part of the District Six economic community.
They don't talk about Desley's initatives: Arroyo Summer Concert Series, Comedy on the Green at Arroyo Park, Easter Extravaganza and Schools Out Fair, Eastmont Pad Site Project, District 6 Heartlands Merchants Group, Foothill SDS Walk, Foothill/Seminary Revitalization Project, KaBoom Projects, Main Street, Schools' Out Family & Children's Resource Fair, So You Think You Can Hoop 3 on 3 Basketball Competition, and the 66th Avenue Business Park Project. That's a lot, folks!
As Desley writes on her City Council Page “As an elected official my main function is to be a representative for my constituency, advocate for their needs, and support the voices of the communities I have the privilege of serving.” Not one of her detractors has presented even a small bit of evidence that she's not done that.
I like Desley. She's not subtle. You know where you stand with her. She shares her ideas and her hopes for a better future. She's cool. And, as you can see, she tells it like it is...
Yes, we argue sometimes, but then I argue with my godsister, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, too! (And whos' a lot like Desley Brooks, and I've told her that as far back as 2013!) Heck, I argue with everyone in Oakland! I love it! Long-time Oaklanders have a history of arguing with each other, then calling each other friends – that's life in Oakland. We're all family that way, it just seems like some of us forgot that.
All of that has zero to do with one fact: Desley Brooks represents District Six. This is no knock on any of the other great people running, but they're all in this for the wrong reason: they're in it more because of Desley and not because of District Six.
I've not figured out who my rank-choice lists will be, and I will still continue to present the cases of the other District Six candidates because you need as much information as you can access before you decide who to vote for. But I have to say that the person who will be at the top of my District Six list is Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media