About Council Member Desley Brooks

Desley Brooks is the current Councilmember for District 6 of Oakland, CA.  She has consistently been the go to progressive leader that many community, faith, housing, senior, youth and other community serving institutions have gone to pass policies and win deeper investments in their community. 

Why She is Running in 2018

Desley is running for re-election November 2018 because she wants to continue to be the voice for the community to get the services and resources they need.

Many community residents have joined to support her because now more than ever we must come together to challenge broken systems and municipal processes that continue to maintain the status quo. We support Desley because our residents and long time Oakland community deserves more of what she has already delivered. 

Desley has been called a creative problem solver who is passionate about delivering for those most in need while making the most of what we have. 

Desley Brooks Legacy of Success as Oakland Council Member

Since being elected in 2002, Council Member Desley Brooks has been consistently committed to improving the quality of life for the residents in her District and the City of Oakland. To that end, she has dedicated her energies to improving public safety, increasing economic development, improving the physical environment of District 6, and advocating on behalf of seniors, children and youth.
She authored the legislation which established the City’s Department of Race & Equity which has been a foundation for her equity work to guarantee equal investment and opportunity for all in her district.

Economic Equity

She has worked to revitalize the District's neighborhoods and commercial corridors. She has been an innovative legislator and has championed the interests of small and local businesses.  Examples like the soon to be opened Seminary Point are already seeing economic revitalization.  She was one of the earliest leaders in the Oakland movement to raise the minimum wage and authored the City’s groundbreaking Equity Program to ensure that people of color would have ownership opportunities in the Cannabis industry.  This legislation has become a national model. She has been a strong advocate for Oakland contractors and local hiring in Oakland.  She authored the goundbreaking Oakland Army Base $10 Million Remediation program which specifically provided Oakland contractors the ability to serve as the Prime Contractor on those remediation contracts.


Councilperson Brooks understands that the number one issue facing a many Oaklanders is the lack of affordable housing.  She knows that we must look for comprehensive approaches to address this problem.  To this end, Councilperson Brooks has worked to help Oakland residents achieve self-sufficiency.  She championed the establishment of the Oakland Community Land Trust which provides permanently affordable housing; and she helped to establish the Oakland Individual Development Account (IDA) program which is a matching savings program for housing/educational/transportation goals of low-income residents.  She also authored the Vacant Property Ordinance and the Non-Owner Registry Ordinance.  She helped get Measure JJ on the ballot to protect renters and was one of the few elected officials to push for greater accountability of the banking industry to keep people in their homes.

Public Safety

Councilperson Brooks’ has provided leadership on a number of public safety initiatives.  She initiated and funded Oakland Police Department’s (OPD) Crime Analysis and Mapping project; she secured funds for Crime Analysts positions within OPD; she successfully got Shot Spotter reactivated in Oakland and then secured funding for the program’s expansion throughout the flatlands of Oakland; she initiated the successful partnership of OPD and the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department on Shot Spotter -- the first such partnership in the country; she initiated and successfully secured Council approval which established the LED Lighting program.  This program will improve public safety by changing and improving the quality of 30,000 street lights across the City.

Creating Community

Desley has spent countless hours working to bring new and revitalized parks, community serving programs, special family and senior events, and family holiday celebrations.  She is most proud of the Millsmont Farmers Market as a new place for many in District 6 to gather, have access to healthy foods and support local vendors.  Recently she helped secure over $10 million to guarantee the revitalization of Rainbow Recreation Center.

Other Important Policies: She authored the City's Prompt Payment Ordinance; secured funding for and implementation of the City's one stop contracting software; and advocated for the establishment of the City's Debarment program. She pushed for the Abandoned Waste Pilot Project in District 6 to address chronic dumping. She also worked with Waste Management to establish the Bulky Waste Dumpster Project and proactive pick-up. She worked with CalTrans to clean and maintain the on and off ramps in District 6. She has pushed to increase traffic safety in her district including most recently her securing a traffic signal on Keller from the developers of Oak Knoll, getting Skyline re-striped, and much.

The District 6 Community Desley Represents

Council Member Brooks has been a strong advocate for her diverse district which stretches from the City's eastern border in the Oakland hills to the 880 Freeway and is generally bounded on one side by Redwood Road /Kingsland/Bancroft/ 51st Avenue and on the other side by Keller/82nd/69th.

Additional Roles

Council Member Brooks serves as the Chairperson of the City of Oakland's Public Safety Committee; and is a member of the Council’s Public Works Committee. She serves as member of the Alameda County Lead District Joint Powers Authority. She is formerly the Assistant California State District Director of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials; Treasurer of the California League of Cities Black Caucus. She formerly served as an Executive Board member of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and is a member of the Regional Planning Committee and the Finance & Personnel Committee of ABAG. She is a member of ABAG’s Regional Airport Planning Committee, and the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) Appeal Committee. She formerly served as: an Advisory Board Member for the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. She also served as a Board Member of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority where significant accomplishments were achieved through her leadership.

About Desley

Council Member Brooks is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and moved from Seattle, Washington to Oakland in 1989. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington and a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University. She was formerly the Chief of Staff to Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration & Naturalization Service; Assistant District Council with the Department of Housing & Urban Development; Staff Attorney with the Washington State Legislature; and a Public Defender with Northwest Defenders.