Dana and her cat in her home art studio.

Dana and Mr. Rusty in her home art studio.

The Oakland City Council race is almost over, and as we head toward the finish line, Dana King has a strong lead in Oakland’s District 2. A Binder poll has her winning by 35 points and she is officially endorsed by both the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and the Oakland Tribune. I checked in on how the race is going, how Dana’s feeling about it, and what her plans are for Oakland.

Dana’s plans for District 2 include a big focus on quality-of-life crimes like graffiti and trash dumping. “Some people poo-poo it as so simplistic but it speaks to the holistic issue of crime. It’s a gateway crime.” She even informed me of the SeeClickFix app, where you can snap a picture of dumped trash on your block, and it will be hauled away within 24 hours. I’m excited that I can now efficiently remove the mattresses that frequent my District 2 street, where they sometimes sit for over a week, taking up precious parking spaces. Dana also intends to decrease pollution from the 880 corridor and implement an Urban Relief tree-planting program.

Dana never imagined she would be entering politics. As you know from my last article about her, her background is in broadcasting and visual art. But she spent many years reporting about politics and the world, and is a committed member of our community.  “I don’t come to this position knowing everything in the world, but I have the ability to do research and find best practices. I’m not a politician, this is a job of service for me.”  She speaks of “a positive vibration” she feels in Oakland and is energized by the City Council race. She has learned so much, met so many badass Oaklandites, and is grateful for it all, and makes sure to show it with a daily prayer of gratitude at noon.

Source: facebook.com

Dana King’s parents.


Dana has only lived in Oakland for a few years but she knew it was home right away. Growing up in the Midwest as a child of interracial marriage, she didn’t see herself anywhere. Her parents had to get married in Mexico since their marriage was illegal in the U.S. at the time.“Oakland is the first city where I see little kids who look like me and it lets me know we are progressing and truly makes me hopeful and happy.”

Dana hopes you will all vote in the upcoming election. She is dismayed that the primary election had only a 19% voter turnout. “Just vote!” she implores, “You don’t have to vote for me, just vote.” She sees voting as a right but also her personal honor and privilege, as the great-granddaughter of freed slaves on her father’s side and with relatives who escaped Nazi Germany on her mother’s side.

Dana is committed to making our city safer and cleaner, and keeping it beautiful and diverse. “If people feel good about where they live, they feel good about their city, and engage and spend money here. It becomes a happy spiral instead of a death spiral.” A recent campaign email summed up Dana’s values: “Everyone deserves to feel safe no matter where they live, work, shop, play or pray. I will continue to deliver my message of inclusivity, collaboration and getting the job done.”

 No matter which Oakland district you call home, let’s all show up at the polls on November 4th. We love Oakland enough to take a few minutes out of our Tuesday to vote, right? Right.


To learn more about Dana King, visit danakingforoakland.com

To make sure you are registered to vote, click here.