Sheng Thao Breaks Through
The new Oakland city councilmember representing the hills is the first Hmong-American woman elected to that office in the state.
By Patrick Hoge
Published: March 04, 2019
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Sheng Thao was elected in November 2018 to the Oakland City Council, representing District 4. She Chairs the Rules & Legislation Committee and is a member on the Finance & Management, Public Works, Education Partnership and City Port Liaison Committees. Councilmember Thao is also one of Oakland's appointed representative at the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
As a single mother, Sheng put herself through college while working and raising her son. She graduated as Valedictorian from Merritt College and transferred to U.C. Berkeley, where she earned her degree in Legal Studies. During her time at U.C. Berkeley, she co-founded the Bear Pantry, a food access program for students with families who could not afford to buy healthy food.
Sheng has many years of experience on the Oakland City Council as a senior legislative staff member and as Chief of Staff. She managed multiple city budgets focused on balancing a transparent and responsible budget and found creative ways to fund public safety, transit, and capital improvement projects.
Sheng has been appointed by her colleagues to serve in a leadership position as the Chair of the Rules and Legislation Committee, and is a member of the Finance, Public Works, Education Partnership and City/Port Committees. Sheng has also been appointed to be a representative for the City of Oakland at the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
Sheng lives in the Laurel District and enjoys spending time with her 12-year-old son, Benedict, who is an avid classical cellist, they enjoy biking through Joaquin Miller Park in her District, and camping in the Stanislaus and El Dorado forests with her family.