Desley has been a champion in bringing jobs to the unemployed, housing to the homeless and a better quality of life for residents in District 6. She believes we need to clean our streets, invest in our parks and schools and give people the hope and opportunity to stay in the city they were born in, find work, raise a family, and not be forced out.
When Desley learned that children and seniors were going hungry in her district, she started a monthly food distribution program.
When families didn’t have access to clean clothes and children wouldn’t go to school, Desley had washing machines and dryers installed in schools, recreation centers and churches; and then started a free washer program.
To bring together her diverse district and break down racial tension, Desley built community by hosting concerts, investing in building quality recreation spaces, starting a Farmers market and hosted numerous holiday events.
In 2016, Councilmember Brooks equity agenda became more of a reality when she proposed, drove and passed California’s 1st Department of Race and Equity. This Oakland department focuses on areas of race and equity, civil rights, and equity within project implementation and how all other city departments operate using equity as a standard practice to promote social and racial injustices within the city and potentially the entire region.
Has Councilmember Desley Brooks has been a thorn in the sides of many in City Hall?
Yes, Desley has made sure the Community’s voice is heard. Now, more than ever, long-time Oakland residents need to join with Desley to overcome years of growing income inequality; the combination of red tape, bureaucratic delays, and increasing influence of special real estate, Wall Street and now tech interests who increasingly control City Hall and ignore the needs of current residents.
Everyone who has worked with Desley, knows that she has a track record of delivering and winning for her constituents.
Join Desley in helping to achieve equity and opportunity around economic, housing and quality of life issues.
Achieving Economic Equity and Opportunity:
Desley is a leader on making sure her district residents earn a living wage and has opened up new employment sectors for Oakland residents in retail, cannabis, construction, and community services. Desley’s work has consistently focused on lifting people out of poverty through economic opportunity.
Economic equity means everyone has an equitable opportunity to feed their family, regardless of where they live. Please find time to help Desley continue to achieve this vision in 2019 and beyond.
Desley’s Current Priorities to Deliver on Economic Equity and Opportunity
Desley has been a strong advocate and supporter of Oakland’s public employees who staff our libraries, clean our neighborhoods, provide recreation, social, and emergency services.
Desley believes that protecting opportunities to get out of poverty and in to the middle income jobs begins with protecting the right to organize and establish labor unions.
"Equity also means expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners across all communities. That's why Desley has worked tirelessly to bring the new Walgreens Plaza to East Oakland. Both a community space and a retail shopping center, the plaza will contain several new businesses and bring dozens of new jobs.
Desley doesn’t wait. In February 2017 the groundbreaking was held and Desley organized the first holiday celebration by Christmas to show the value of the new Walnut Plaza as a center for family activities and a safe place for young and old to gather.
"Economic equity is also at the heart of the Cannabis Equity legislation Desley wrote, which helps make sure Oakland residents can be meaningful stakeholders in the multi-billion-dollar green rush. More skills, more jobs, more opportunities.
Desley’s work made National News. You can read about this important legislation in an excerpt from Rolling Stone Magazine, July 18, 2017 below:
Last March, after a year of city hall meetings, public input and revisions, Oakland City Council approved a final version of the Equity Permit Program and opened it up to applicants at the end of May. This pioneering protocol for distributing marijuana licenses prioritizes minority communities who have been unfairly impacted by the War on Drugs.
"When you look across this country, the people who are making money in respect to cannabis and recreational marijuana are white men," says Oakland City Councilmember Desley Brooks, who spearheaded the creation of the new program. "The people who have historically gone to jail for the same activity are predominantly African-American and Latino."
Check out the article here:
"While the Oakland’s Mayor said “we shouldn’t raise people’s hopes,” Desley has made access to good paying jobs one of her top priorities for her District.
This is especially urgent when we are in the middle of a massive construction and jobs boom and there are long waiting lists of Oakland residents wanting to get trained and placed in the high paying jobs.
Desley believes that we need to disrupt the status quo and do whatever it takes to make sure these jobs are filled by Oaklanders. This is why she pushed forward a proposal to fully fund the few vital job training centers that Oakland uses, but refuses to fund at the level needed.
Desley’s goals are to not only achieve full, stable and long-term funding for job training, placement and retention but to hold the city and developers to their commitment to hire at least 50% from our neediest neighborhoods."
Highlights from Desley’s past accomplishments to achieve economic opportunity include:
Desley advocated for the establishment of the city’s Debarment Program, designed to exclude businesses who fail do deliver for Oakland from consideration for city contracts for a range of offenses and conduct.
When it comes to making sure that the city’s economic development programs benefit minorities and women-owned businesses, Desley’s advocacy for Hire Oakland policies has been imitated by her colleagues.
The need for a higher level of accountability motivated her to craft and then lead the establishment of the Department of Race and Equity.
Desley championed the interests of small and local businesses by authoring the city’s Prompt Payment Ordinance, legislation to secure funding for and implementation of the City's one stop contracting software.
She authored the goundbreaking Oakland Army Base $10 Million Remediation program which specifically provides Oakland contractors the ability to serve as the Prime Contractor on those remediation contracts.
Desley 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.