Mission

The Black Lives Voter Guide helps Black and allied voters support equal rights and justice for Black and brown people in Oakland. The Guide consolidates the perspectives of Black social justice organizations across Oakland, to help educate voters on the candidates believed to be the most progressive change agents and the measures expected to best uplift people in marginalized communities. With a consolidated voice, we can drive meaningful change toward a more equitable, peaceful, and united Oakland.

The Project

The Black Lives Voter Guide fills an important unmet need: Endorsements for city and state elections, derived from the wisdom of Oakland’s Black activist community. Now more than ever, many Black and allied voters want to support the candidates and policies that would best uplift Black lives — but don’t know exactly how. Most voters don’t have the time to research candidates and down-ballot races and draw their own conclusions.

Our solution? We talked to leaders from more than a dozen Black social justice organizations in Oakland that focus on social justice, youth development, health, housing, and economic equity — including the Brotherhood of Elders Network, 100 Black Men, East Oakland Youth Development Center, State of Black Education Oakland, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency, Urban Strategies Council, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Oakland East Bay Alumnae Chapter, and several others. 

We took what we learned and created a list of endorsements that presents the consensus point of view on which candidates and measures/propositions would best support Black lives in Oakland and beyond. If there was no clear consensus on a race, the guide says so. The endorsements in the Black Lives Voter Guide represent our research findings, and are not a direct endorsement by any one of the participating groups.

Joining the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement, we strive to make a tangible difference with our voter guide. The surest path to change is often at the local level, which is why we’ve focused on Oakland and California. We acknowledge that everyone is struggling with COVID-19, which only compounds the problems our most vulnerable brothers and sisters were already facing. These times call for progressive leadership, not half-steps and empty campaign promises. As voters, we can hold our elected officials accountable to represent the will of the citizens in our community, not their own personal interests.

We encourage Black, brown, allied, and new voters to use the Black Lives Voter Guide to inform their vote. We are stronger together.

 

My Story

I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, raised by my mom, a social worker, in a neighborhood very similar to East Oakland. I’ve lived in the Bay for 20 years, and in Oakland for 11. This is home. The night we started protesting after George Floyd was murdered, I felt a tap on the shoulder from my ancestors telling me it was time to step up and get involved. I’m inspired by my brothers and sisters who have been putting in work, fighting for equal rights and justice. I’m inspired by our local artists who bring awareness to the movement, and I’m inspired by the allies who stand with us.

It has been a privilege to use my professional expertise in research, analysis, consulting, higher education, and marketing as I carried out my vision for the Black Lives Voter Guide, with lots of help.

When my kids are older, and I tell them about this movement and all the challenges we faced during this time, my story won’t be that I huddled in my comfort zone and waited for someone else to do something. I choose to be an active participant in the liberation of systemically marginalized people.

I hope you appreciate this work, and use it to inform your vote. Please look up a local Black social justice organization you believe in, and contribute to its efforts. Power to the people!

Kevin Hill, Founder

In the Media

How your vote affects Black lives: Berkeley professor creates Black Lives Voter Guide (ABC7 News)

Voter Quotes

“I just went through the guide and I love it. It is clear, easy to navigate, and motivating.”

 

“Thank you for the guide. As a white senior citizen, I realize I’ve been part of the problem.”

 

“I love how you summarize divergent opinions.”

 

“Incredibly helpful to have trustworthy guidance on the local elections”

 

“Today an unhoused neighbor ran my doorbell, ballot in hand, not knowing how he wanted to vote on any issue except the presidency. I used your voter guide to walk through the entire ballot with him. It was so great to consult a source we trusted to help guide our decisions. Thank you!”

 

“This is brilliant. Could you please do this for Los Angeles as well?”

 

“Used your voter guide last night to vote! Thank you for putting your passion into action, and helping others around you do the same.”

Inspired by

special thanks

First and foremost to my ancestors, whose energy I felt coursing through me as I worked on this project the last several months.

And to my wife, whose unwavering support made this possible. Thanks Jenny!