To have a truly prosperous future for California, our Black students and communities must thrive.


Schools & Communities First is a once in a generation opportunity to address structural inequities that have plagued our people and our state, for decades. Black and communities of color have been the hardest hit by disinvestment, all while corporations and wealthy real estate investors have exploited property tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share. Today, our people stand to gain the most by reclaiming $12 billion dollars every year for our classrooms and our neighborhoods. 


In honor of Black History and Black Futures month, the list of over 100 Black Leaders for Schools & Communities First is comprised of the state's most prominent and important Black figures - from educators, clergy, youth activists, small business entrepreneurs, nonprofit directors, workplace leaders, philanthropists, and elected officials.  We are proud to include renowned Black leaders like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, and CEO of the Silicon Valley Minority Business Consortium Walter Wilson. 


Black futures depend on re-investment in the resources we need to thrive. Schools & Communities First will help build a new legacy in California we can all be proud of. 

Akbar Bibb, Vice President, Region A, SEIU 1021
Alicia Garza, Principal, Black Futures Lab; Co-founder, Black Lives Matter
Alison Collins, Commissioner, San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education
Alysia Bonner, President, SEIU Local 521
Amber Childress, Trustee, Alameda County Board of Education
Angela Normand, Board Director, California Teachers Association
Dr. Annette Walker, Board President, Hayward Unified School District
Andre Spearman, Member leader, Faith in Action East Bay
Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder in Residence, PolicyLink
Anthony Thigpenn, Founder & President, California Calls
April Verrett, President, SEIU Local 2015
Barbara Lee, U.S. Congressperson (CA-13)
, read her letter in support here

Ben Bartlett, Council member, City of Berkeley
Rev. Ben McBride, Co-Director, PICO California
Rev. Benjamin Briggs, Director of Civic Engagement, Congregations Organized for Prophetic
Engagement (COPE)
Bill Freeman, Board Director, California Teachers Association
Bobby Welch, President, Association of Santa Clara County Educators
Brandon Sturdivant, Co-Director, Mass Liberation

Byron K. Reed, Senior Vice President of Community Development, Board Director, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber
Carl Williams, President, California Federation of Teachers Council of Classified Employees
Carolyn Webb de Macias, Board member, Community Coalition South LA
Catherine Bracy, Co-Founder & Executive Director, TechEquity
Chris Wilson, Associate Director, Alliance San Diego
Christina Livingston, Statewide Executive Director, Alliance of Californians for Community
Empowerment (ACCE)
Clarissa Doutherd, Executive Director, Parent Voices Oakland
Connie Rice, Civil Rights Attorney; former Western Regional Counsel for NAACP LDF
Crystal Irvine, member, African American Caucus, SEIU Local 221
Rev. Damita Davis Howard, Assistant Pastor, First Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist
David Isom, Board member, Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District
Dereck Smith, Executive Vice President, SEIU Local 2015
DeWayne Sheaffer, Board Director, California Teachers Association
Dina Walker, President & CEO, BLU Educational Foundation
Drucilla Willis, member, African American Caucus, SEIU Local 221
E. Toby Boyd, President, California Teachers Association
Edward Robinson, Trustee, Kern County Employees Retirement Association
Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Executive Director, The Education Trust West
Eric Payne, Trustee, State Center Community College District
Erika Jones, Board Director, California Teachers Association
Folorunso Ashaolu, Education Advocate & Mentor, Fathers & Families of San Joaquin
Fred Blackwell, President & CEO, The San Francisco Foundation
Gaye T. Johnson PhD, Professor of African American Studies, UCLA

Gloria Bruce, Executive Director, East Bay Housing Organizations
Gloria Walton, Executive Director, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education
Gregory Freeland, Associate Dean, Inclusion & Research/Creative Scholarship, California
Lutheran University
Holly Mitchell, State Senator 30th District
Iris Trammel, member, African American Caucus, SEIU Local 221
Ismahan Abdullahi, National Deputy Director, Muslim American Society - Public Affairs & Civic Engagement
Jackie Byers, Executive Director, Black Organizing Project
James Head, President & CEO, East Bay Community Foundation
Jamileh Ebrahimi, Youth Organizer, RYSE Youth Center
Jan Robinson Flint, Executive Director, Black Women for Wellness
Jennet Stebbins, Trustee, Delta Community College of San Joaquin
Jennifer Esteen, Vice President of Organizing, SEIU Local 1021
John Dobard, Director of Political Voice, Advancement Project
Joseph Bryant, President, SEIU Local 1021
Jovanka Beckles, retired Council member, City of Richmond
Julius B. Thomas, Director for California, National Education Association
Justin Cummings, Mayor, City of Santa Cruz
Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator (D-CA)
Kalimah Salahuddin, Trustee, Jefferson Union High School District
Karen Bass, U.S. Congressperson (CA-37)
Keith Brown, President, Oakland Education Association
Keith Carson, Supervisor, County of Alameda

Khalid Alexander, Founder, Pillars of the Community
Kim Carter, Founder, Time for Change Foundation
Kimberly Ellis, Founder, UnBought- UnBossed; former Executive Director, Emerge California
Kirk Samuels, Civic Engagement Coordinator, Community Coalition South LA
Kyra Greene, Executive Director, Center on Policy Initiatives
L. Karen Monroe, Superintendent, Alameda County Office of Education
L. Lacy Barnes, Senior Vice President, California Federation of Teachers
La Tonya Harris and Janel Bailey, Co-Executive Directors, Los Angeles Black Worker Center
Lamar Thorpe, Council member, City of Antioch
Larry Griffin, Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs, IFPTE Local 2
Lateefah Simon, District 7 Director, Bay Area Regional Transit (BART)
Leslie Cooper Johnson, Vice President of Organizational Development, Community Coalition
South LA
Linda Dent, Vice President, SEIU Local 721
London Breed, Mayor, City of San Francisco
Loren Taylor, Council member, City of Oakland
Ludovic Blain, Director, California Donor Table
Malkia Devich Cyril, former Executive Director, Center for Media Justice
Marcus Williams, Vice President Region E, SEIU Local 1021
Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Council member, City of Los Angeles
Maurice Goodman, Trustee, San Mateo County Community College District
Maya Walker, Executive Board member, Association of Educational, Office, and Technical
Employees of Hayward; State Council Representative, California Teachers Association
Melvin Willis, Council member, City of Richmond
Michael Lawson, President & CEO, Los Angeles Urban League
Michael McAffee, President & CEO, PolicyLink
Michael Tubbs, Mayor, City of Stockton
Neva Walker, Executive Director, Coleman Advocates
Nicole Taylor, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Patrisse Cullors, Co-founder of Yes on R and Black Lives Matter Global Network
Pauline Brooks, Vice President, California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA)
Pecolia Manigo, Executive Director, Bay Area Plan Action Network
Pete White, Founder & Executive Director, Los Angeles Community Action Network
Pharaoh Mitchell, Founder, Community Action League- Antelope Valley Chapter
Ramla Sahid, Executive Director, Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans
Renee Crawford, Vice President, Stanislaus County Chapter SEIU Local 521
Riley Talford, Chapter President, SEIU 521 Fresno County; Board member, Fresno County
Employees’ Retirement Association
Robert Ellis, Board Director, California Teachers Association
Robert Paige, Youth Program Director, Urban Peace Movement
Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, Council member, City of El Cerrito
Dr. Ruby Durias, Chair, Education Committee Ventura NAACP; retired math teacher
Saa'un Bell, Strategy Director, Californians for Justice
Pastor Sam Casey, Executive Director, Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement
Sandra Davis, Small business owner, Oeste
Shamann Walton, Supervisor, County of San Francisco
Shana McDavis-Conway, Co-Director, Center for Story Based Strategy
Shanell Williams, Board Trustee, San Francisco Community College
Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director, The Participatory Budgeting Project
Shelly Gupton, Board Director, California Teachers Association

Sheryl Lane, Executive Director, Building Blocks for Kids- Richmond
Stephane Medley, Director of Education and Justice, RYSE Youth Center
Steven Pitts, Associate Director, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education
Stevon Cook, Commissioner, San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education
Stevonna Evans, Council member, City of Adelanto
Susan Burton, Founder & President, A New Way of Life Reentry Center
Sydney Kamlager, State Assemblyperson 54th District
Taisha Brown, Chair, California Democratic Party African American Caucus
Tamisha Walker, Executive Director, Safe Return Project
Taunya Jaco, Director for California, National Education Association
Teresa Cox, Trustee, Ohlone Community College Board
Tony Thurmond, Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of California
Tonya Bealey, Chair, African American Caucus SEIU Local 1000
Tshaka Barrows, Chief Executive Officer, The W. Haywood Burns Institute
Tyler Okeke Youth activist, Power California; college student
Tyller Williamson, Council member, City of Monterey
Vanessa Moses, Executive Director, Causa Justa: Just Cause
Walter Wilson, CEO, Minority Business Consortium- Silicon Valley
Wendy Sims-Moten, Trustee, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Pastor William D. Smart, President & CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of
Southern California
Y-Vonne Hutchinson, Founder & CEO, ReadySet
Yvonne Walker, President, SEIU Local 1000
Zachary Norris, Executive Director, Ella Baker Center ED; Author of "We Keep Us Safe"
Zerihoun Yilma, Associate Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Zima Creason, Board member, San Juan Unified School District Board of Education

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Paid for by Yes on 15 - Schools and Communities First sponsored by a Coalition of Labor Groups and Social Justice Organizations Representing Families, Students and Essential Workers.

Committee major funding from:

California Teachers Association

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy

SEIU California State Council