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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
Local

City of OaklandCandidate for Mayor

Photo of Pamela Price

Pamela Price

Civil Rights Attorney
20,794 votes (13.1%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Respond to the Homelessness Crisis with Compassion & Urgency to Create Safe Clean Shelter Spaces for Unhoused Residents ASAP & Provide Basic Sanitation, Health & Safety Services for Encampments
  • Respond to Our Affordable Housing Crisis by Finding Innovative Ways to Increase Housing Stock, Prioritize Public Land for Public Housing & Invest in Anti-Displacement Strategies
  • Respond to The Lack of Public Trust of OPD by Working to End Unconstitutional Policing, Reform Discipline Standards, Renew Our Commitment to Community Policing & Improve Violence Prevention Efforts

Experience

Experience

Profession:Civil Rights Attorney
Civil Rights Attorney, Pamela Y. Price, Attorney at Law (1991–current)
Member, Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee — Elected position (2016–current)
Director of Special Projects, SF Bay Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (2015–2016)
Executive Director (Interim), SF Bay Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (2007–2007)

Education

University of California at Berkeley School of Law Juris Doctorate (J.D.), Law (1982)
University of California at Berkeley School of Law Master of Arts (M.A.), Jurisprudence & Social Policy (1982)
Yale University Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Political Science (1978)

Community Activities

Board Member, Friends Foundation International (2006–current)
Board Member, Black Women Organized for Political Action (2016–current)
Member, East Bay Women's Network (2016–current)
Member, Consumer Attorneys of California (2012–current)
Board Member, SF Bay Area Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (2006–2014)

Biography

Pamela Price was born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Political Science in 1978.  While at Yale, she spent her Junior Year Abroad in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa.  Pamela is a survivor of the Ohio juvenile justice and foster care systems. She was arrested at age 13 in a civil rights demonstration. She became an emancipated minor at age 16. She made it from the streets of Cincinnati to Yale College by the grace of God.

Pamela Price first made history in 1977 as the lead plaintiff in the landmark case of Alexander (Price) v. Yale, the first sexual harassment case filed under Title IX. The case established that sexual harassment in education is illegal and led to the establishment of grievance procedures at every level of education. In June 2012, upon the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, Price and her co-plaintiffs in Alexander v. Yale were honored as one of the Nine Most Influential Actors in Title IX History by the national American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). 

Price attended Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) where she received her J.D. and a Master’s degree in Jurisprudence & Social Policy in 1982. She started her career as a Criminal Defender in Bayview Hunter’s Point in San Francisco. In June 1991, she founded her own firm in Oakland. Her Firm successfully represented victims of sex and race discrimination in difficult cases and trials.  

In 2002, Price made history in the case of Morgan v. Amtrak, 232 F.3d 1008 (9th Cir. 2000), 536 U.S. 101, 112 S.Ct. 1516 (2002). Price is one of only a handful of African-American women to argue a case in the United States Supreme Court. After first losing at trial, Price won the appeal first in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and then in the U.S. Supreme Court. In May 2004, her Firm obtained a jury verdict for $500,000 on behalf of Plaintiff Abner Morgan after ten (10) years of litigation and two (2) trials. For her groundbreaking efforts in Morgan, including her victory in the U.S. Supreme Court, Price was named the 2002 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in Employment (CLAY Award). 

Every year since 2004, Price has been named one of the top 5% of Northern California “Super Lawyers” by San Francisco Magazine. For many years, she served with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of San Francisco (LCCR), including as the Interim Executive Director, Co-Chair of the LCCR Board of Directors and as the Director of Special Projects. Price has received numerous awards including the National Bar Association’s Heman Marion Sweatt Award, the National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Chapter Champion of Justice Award, and the Charles Houston Bar Association’s Clinton W. White Advocacy Award (1993, 2001).  In 2014, she ran an inspiring campaign for the California State Assembly. In 2016, she was elected to the Alameda County Democratic Party Central Committee by a landslide. In 2017, Assemblymember Rob Bonta and the Calfornia Legislative Women's Caucus honored Price as the Woman of the Year for Assembly District 18.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • California Nurses Association
  • Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA)
  • International Longshoremen & Warehouse Union (ILWU)

Organizations (10)

  • Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce
  • Block By Block Organizing Network
  • John George Democratic Club
  • Our Revolution East Bay
  • Oakland Post Newspapers
  • Oakland East Bay Democratic Club
  • Evolve-CA
  • Our Revolution Contra Costa
  • Niagara Movement Democratic Club
  • Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club

Elected Officials (2)

  • Jovanka Beckles
  • Rebecca Kaplan

Individuals (15)

  • Dorothy King (Everett & Jones)
  • Hon. Sandre Swanson (Ret.)
  • Rev. J.Alfred Smith, Sr.
  • Angela Davis
  • Robert L. Harris, Esq.
  • Fania E. Davis, Esq.
  • Melody Davis
  • Nancy Harvey
  • Dennis Middleton
  • Eloise Middleton
  • "Mama Lisa" Felder
  • Coach Alphonzo Jackson
  • Andrea Luna
  • Geoffrey Pete
  • Bishop JW Macklin

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of Oakland (3)

Describe measures you would take to address the issue of homelessness in Oakland?
Answer from Pamela Price:

I will attack the homelessness crisis with urgency and compassion. We will:

• create clean & safe shelter spaces using City-owned buildings and vacant land;

• create clean & safe shelter spaces in partnership with landlords, nonprofits & churches;

• provide basic sanitation, health and hygiene services to encampments;

• provide logistical assistance to those in need to make the transition from being unhoused to being housed working with our unhoused residents;

• provide storage spaces to assist in the transition from being unhoused to becoming housed;

• improve access to safety net and emergency services for people on the verge of becoming unhoused; 

• stem the flow of displacement with flexible temporary financial assistance;

• take a firm stand against illegal evictions;

• set goals & deadlines & engage all of the City’s resources to meet the deadlines;

• implement Measure W (taxation of vacant properties) and direct those funds to homelessness relief efforts;

• work with our neighborhood associations to identify areas and opportunities for homelessness relief efforts;

• educate and engage our business community as partners in our relief efforts; and

• pursue new funding resources to create a regional home preservation fund for lower-income seniors and disabled residents

How would you address the problem of adequate funding of public employee pensions?
Answer from Pamela Price:

I would immediately establish a short term plan to paydown our unfunded liabilities while we work on a long-term solution to the problem. In my budget priorities, I would allocate as much funding as possible to slow the pace of increase. I would look for areas of inefficiencies in our operations where we could reduce our costs and direct any additional funds to our pension obligations. 

There are structural problems in the way buildings are inspected in Oakland.  How would you go about changing the fire and building inspection programs to ensure that inspections are completed?
Answer from Pamela Price:

Based on the information provided in the wake of the Ghostship fire and my own personal experience as a downtown building owner, we need to increase staffing in the building and fire inspection departments and require that inspections take place in a timely manner, and that results are tracked to ensure compliance and follow-up inspections. I would also consult with experts in the field to ensure that we are following best practices and using our resources in the most efficient manner. I would look for ways to use our technological advances to support our efforts in providing safe facilities for our businesses and residents.

Who gave money to this candidate?

To see who is funding campaigns in Oakland, visit Open Disclosure Oakland.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

The Fight Against Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment

Summary

Pamela Price is a pioneer who led the fight to define sexual harassment and speak out against sexual assault. She has been honored as a trailblazer for her leadership in this area by the ACLU Nstional and the African-American Policy Forum.

On a cool September morning, I watched Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony and cried. As she described Judge Kavanaugh's attempted rape of her as a 15-year old girl, I was triggered and traumatized. My tears just started to flow. From the deep pain of a 13-year victim of sexual assault. Long before I became the lead plaintiff in Alexander v. Yale, I was like Christine Blasey Ford, innocent and unsuspecting. By the time I joined the Alexander case, I knew the challenges that girls and women faced from being abused by men and boys. Yes, #METOO.

The Kavanaugh hearings have been a disgrace. The treatment of Dr. Ford and the rush to confirm Judge Kavanaugh are shameful. This is not justice. As Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw reminded us this week, 27 years ago, Anita Hill faced discrimination on two fronts, sexual and racial. She was treated shamefully. She did not get justice. The people of this country did not get justice. And Anita Hill was not the first, nor the last.

Women face threats of sexual violence and/or discrimination every day. Women in the workforce, stay at home mothers, students, and homeless women. People of color face threats of racial violence and discrimination no matter what their socio-economic status. In Oakland, an unhoused woman was evicted from the Mayor's "Tuff Shed" program because she defended herself against sexual assault by her assigned male roommate.

This is why it is so important to elect women, to elect people of color, and to elect leaders who have the passion and experience to successfully fight on our behalf. Before I came to California, it was my honor to help lead "the way for sexual harassment to be recognized as sex discrimination." As a civil rights attorney, I have spent almost 30 years fighting to get justice and results for those who have stood up against discrimination in both education and employment, especially other women.

As Mayor of Oakland, I will continue that fight in City Hall.

- There will be no tolerance for discrimination or abuse in our police force, or in any part of city government.

- I will work to end homelessness and provide women with protection, and services to protect them from abuse.

- I will be a champion for equality in employment and affordable housing to ensure results for ALL Oaklanders!

Oakland Police Department Must Be Reformed Now

Summary

The Oakland Police Department has a troubling history of corruption and cover-ups that undermines public safety and makes it nearly impossible to restore public trust. Oakland needs a strong Mayor who will "hold bad cops accountable for bad acts."

On July 12, 2017, Judge Thelton Henderson decided not to place a receiver in charge of the Oakland Police Department. 

In 2003, OPD agreed to a Consent Decree known as the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA). It was only supposed to last 5 years. In 2012, receivership was threatened because OPD failed to hold officers accountable for using excessive force against Occupy Oakland demonstrators. Instead, in December 2012, the Court appointed a Compliance Director to ensure successful compliance with the NSA.

A 2013 comprehensive study of U.S. Justice Department Oversight of Local Police since 1994 does not mention any police department that has ever been placed under receivership.

This time, again, the lack of accountability goes to the highest levels. Now we know why former Chief Sean Whent really resigned.  The Swanson-Barron Court report issued on June 21, 2017 exposes the cover-up from the initial investigators all the way to the Mayor’s office.

Let’s Connect the Dots

Here’s a brief timeline of how we got here:

9/25/15 – Officer Brendan O’Brien is found dead with a “suicide note” disclosing OPD’s sex trafficking activities

9/26/15 – O’Brien’ suicide note is circulated to OPD Command Staff, including Chief Sean Whent

9/30/15 – Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Homicide investigators interview Jasmine and blame her for O’Brien’s suicide

10/1/15  – Internal Affairs Division (IAD) opens an investigation

10/7/15 –  CID Lieutenant reports that the CID investigation is closed

10/30/15 – IAD does a single interview with Jasmine by telephone

2/10/16 – IAD investigator provides a draft report to OPD supervisors

3/8/16 – Court Monitor learns of sexual misconduct allegations

3/23/16 – Judge Henderson issues Order re: potential violations of the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA)

6/10/16 – Chief Whent resigns as reports of a cover-up explode

1/4/17 – Anne Kirkpatrick is hired as new OPD Chief

5/1/17  – Kirkpatrick promotes Lois, Coleman & Holmgren

6/21/17 – Swanson-Barron report released exposed details of the cover-up

7/10/17  – Kirkpatrick defends her decision to promote Lois, Coleman & Holmgren and  holds a secret promotion ceremony

Who Made the Decisions?

According to the East Bay Express, Deputy Chief John Lois was the head of OPD’s Bureau of Investigations. In October 2015, he approved the closure of two criminal investigations of police misconduct within a week, despite obvious evidence of wrongdoing. He has been promoted to Assistant Chief of Police, the second-highest position in the department.

Capt. Kirk Coleman was in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in October 2015. Task 28 of the NSA requires the CID Commander to notify and coordinate promptly with the DA’s Office regarding possible officer criminal misconduct. OPD failed to notify the DA. Coleman was promoted to run Internal Affairs, putting him in charge of all police-misconduct cases.

 Lt. Roland Holmgren was the head of OPD’s homicide unit in October 2015. Two homicide investigators, Sgts. Bradley Baker and Jason Andersen, blamed Jasmine for O’Brien’s suicide in their interview, and watched her destroy evidence to protect other officers. Holmgren watched this interview. Holmgren then closed the homicide investigation within a week. He was promoted to Captain and will be in charge of the CID.

Who Was Kept In The Dark?

When Kirkpatrick came to Oakland in January 2017, she had to rely on someone to tell her what was really going on inside OPD. Presumably that person was the Mayor who hired her. Perhaps the task was delegated to City Administrator Sabrina Landreth who oversaw OPD for 6 months. When Kirkpatrick proposed to promote these 3 men in May, you think someone would warn her that they were implicated in covering up sex trafficking by police officers. Instead, it appears that Kirkpatrick was kept in the dark. Worse case scenario, she was told and promoted them anyway.

At the same time, according to the Court’s report, police and City officials kept the District Attorney in the dark. The Mayor claims she told District Attorney O’Malley about the investigation in May 2016. The earliest news of a DA investigator implicated in the misconduct, former OPD Capt. Rick Orozco, broke in June 2016. According to the East Bay Times, Orozco, a 20-year OPD veteran, was let go a month later. According to other reports, Orozco was the second DA employee implicated in the misconduct.

Not surprisingly, the first 2 recommendations in the Swanson-Barron report are designed to improve the reporting of potential officer criminal misconduct to the DA’s Office.

Who Will Hold OPD Accountable?

In September 2016, DA O’Malley was asked and said she did not intend to investigate anyone for obstruction of justice. Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan called the question again.  She is not alone. Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo also says that the everyone responsible for mishandling the Guap case, including the top leadership, should “face the music.”

The challenge to holding anyone accountable may be the statute of limitations. The statute for misdemeanor crimes is generally 1 year. Possible misdemeanors in this case include destroying or concealing evidence, preventing a witness from testifying or interfering with a police officer which is considered obstruction of justice. Conspiracy to obstruct justice can be charged as a felony. The statute of limitations for the felony charge is 3 years. The alleged cover-up began in October 2015. So, the DA is either out of time or time is running out.

The new Chief faces a similar problem. The time to complete an investigation of police misconduct is 1 year. So, the question is whether anything done so far constitutes an investigation of the top OPD brass. If so, when did it begin. The Chief is also either out of time or running out of time.

Judge Henderson left the matter in the City’s hands. If Chief Kirkpatrick really wants to “transform” OPD, she needs to start at the top.

Viable Steps to Address the Housing Crisis

Summary

Oakland Natives Give Back asked Pamela to lay out what steps she will take to address the housing crisis, particularly in light of its impact on education in Oakland.

As Mayor, I commit to the following urgent measures to address the hu­manitarian crisis that has overtaken Oakland. We will:

1.     create clean & safe shelter spaces using City-owned build­ings and vacant land;

2.     create clean & safe shelter spac­es in partnership with landlords, nonprofits & churches;

3.     provide basic sanitation, health and hygiene services to en­campments;

4.     provide logistical assistance and mental health services to those in need to make the tran­sition from being unhoused to being housed working with our unhoused residents;

5.     provide storage spaces to assist in the transition from being un­housed to becoming housed;

6.     improve access to safety net and emergency services for people on the verge of becom­ing unhoused;

7.     set goals & deadlines & engage all of the City’s resources to meet the deadlines;

8.     implement Measure W (taxation of vacant properties) and direct those funds to homelessness relief efforts;

9.     implement Measure X (in­creased real estate transfer tax) and direct those funds to home­lessness relief efforts;

10.            work with our neighborhood as­sociations to identify areas and opportunities for homelessness relief efforts;

11.            educate and engage our busi­ness community as partners in our relief efforts;

12.            stem the flow of displacement with flexible temporary financial assistance;

13.            take a firm stand against illegal evictions

14.            prioritize the funds from Mea­sure HH (Sugar Tax), the Tran­sient Occupancy Tax (TOT), the State Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District, major banks operating locally, and significant reduction of our over-investment in our police department, includ­ing overtime, settlements for misconduct and/or negligence and excessive salaries to pro­vide affordable housing; and

15.            pursue new funding resources to create a regional home pres­ervation fund for lower-income seniors and disabled residents.

Videos (2)

— October 2, 2018 Pamela Price for Oakland Mayor

Oakland is experiencing a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. Homelessness has increased by 39% in the last 2 years. 

— November 2, 2018 Pamela Price for Oakland Mayor 2018

Pamela Price issues a call to action to end discrimination and abuse at all levels of government and for her 48,000 supporters to finish the job.

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