Reimagining Public Safety Taskforce Member Bios

The Task Force is comprised of two co-chairs, two co-facilitator organizations and 17 appointed members whose bios you can find below.

Date Posted: September 16th, 2020 @ 9:03 AM
Last Updated: October 7th, 2020 @ 5:50 PM

Co-Chairs

Co-Facilitators

PolicyLink

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting
Up What Works®.

PolicyLink seeks to deliver and scale results in the following arenas:

  • Equitable Economy: Promote economic inclusion and ownership to eliminate poverty, shrink
    inequality, and increase mobility.
  • Healthy Communities of Opportunity: Create and maintain opportunity-rich communities in all
    neighborhoods and all regions of the country through strong networks and social capital,
    equitable development, and infrastructure investments that enable low-income people and
    communities of color to thrive.
  • Just Society: Build power and expand agency to ensure that all systems and institutions are just,
    free of racial bias, and lead to a vibrant democracy where all, especially the most vulnerable, can
    participate and prosper.

PolicyLink succeeds by weaving together four essential functions:

  • Advocacy that advances policy change at all levels of government and across sectors.
  • Applied research and communications that build public and political will for inclusion, justice,
    and broadly shared prosperity.
  • Constituency and network engagement that empowers leaders to advance equity.
  • Implementation capacity that connects local innovations to policy; and provides stakeholders
    with needed data and tools.

For more on PolicyLink, please visit

www.policylink.org

About the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR)

The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) works to reduce incarceration and violence,
improve the outcomes of system-involved youth and adults, and increase the capacity and expertise of
the organizations that serve these individuals. NICJR provides technical assistance, consulting, research,
organizational development, and advocacy in the fields of juvenile and criminal justice, youth
development, and violence prevention. NICJR works with an array of organizations, including
government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropic foundations.

For more on NICJR, please visit www.nicjr.org

Appointed Members

ANNE MARKS, District 1 Appointee

"I'm thrilled to appoint Ms. Anne Marks to this groundbreaking task force. As the long-time executive director of Youth Alive, Anne leads a nationally recognized organization on refining and implementing effective violence prevention and intervention strategies. An LGBTQ community leader and former City of Oakland employee who developed the original city ballot measure directed violence prevention plan, she understands public sector budgets, gun violence as a public health issue, and policing in Oakland."

- Councilmember Dan Kalb

DAVID KAKISHIBA, District 2 Appointee

“David Kakishiba is a longtime children’s advocate and public education leader championing education and health equity for children, youth, and families most impacted by poverty, violence, and trauma. For over forty years, David has served as the Executive Director of the EBAYC, a non-profit youth development organization providing support and guidance to a racially, culturally, and language diverse membership of 2,500 children and youth in Oakland and Sacramento. He is the author of Oakland’s Kids First! Initiative, which voters passed overwhelmingly in 1996. Today, Kids First! provides $20 million annually for children services throughout Oakland without raising taxes.

As Oakland School Board President, Kakishiba led the District out of State receivership and its return to local governance. In 2014, he authored Measure N, a school parcel tax measure that provides $12 million annually to high schools to enable every student access to a high-quality college-going career pathway. Measure N overwhelmingly passed in 2014, and Linked Learning Alliance of California awarded Kakishiba its first Educator Champion Award for this effort. David Kakishiba resides in Oakland’s Eastlake neighborhood with his wife Isabel Toscano, a longtime Oakland High School teacher.”

- Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas

ANTOINE TOWERS, District 3 Appointee

Hello, my name is Antoine Towers. I am the Chairman of the Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition, appointed by Council-member McElhaney to represent District 3 on the RPSTF. As a born & raised Oakland resident, I’ve lived and experienced all of the different sides and perspectives of Oakland within my 41 years of life. The Coalition was established in efforts of radically reducing violence by building alliances, creating opportunity for community involvement and by bringing the communities needs to City Council. I chose to join this Taskforce to continue those efforts with high belief that collectively we can create situations that will help the city of Oakland be a safer place for everyone to live in. Thank you

BROOKLYN WILLIAMS, District 4 Appointee

“Public safety is a top priority for me, especially when we talk about our children and families. This is why I am excited to announce the appointment of Brooklyn Williams as the District 4 representative for the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force,” announced Councilmember Sheng Thao, District 4, “Brooklyn has worked for decades to help elevate young voices, tackle childhood trauma, and help youth in our juvenile justice system. Her expertise, experience, and commitment to equity will be an excellent addition to this important task force.”

- Councilmember Sheng Thao

MARIANO CONTRERAS, District 5 Appointee

“Mariano Contreras is a life-long Oakland resident and the current chairperson of the Oakland Latino Taskforce. Mariano has been active in key neighborhood issues like public safety, education and political representation. Mariano has demonstrated his commitment and leadership through action to have a safe, healthy and socially responsible city. Mariano knows Oakland extremely well, has the professional and community experience, makes our children and families a priority, and will serve as a excellent representative on the Reimaging Public Safety Taskforce.”

- Councilmember Noel Gallo

KEISHA HENDERSON, District 6 Appointee

Keisha Henderson is an Oakland native, and brings to the council her authentic experience as an African-American woman who grew up in Oakland, has lived all over the city, and currently resides in the East Oakland flatlands. She acknowledges that there is more Oakland can and should be providing to the young Oakland natives who are looking for increased opportunities to thrive, realize their potential, and establish promising futures. In addition to pursuing a communications degree and raising twin daughters, Keisha has assumed a leadership role with her neighbors and the in the local NCPC to improve safety and life outcomes in her neighborhood by organizing community cleanups. In her statement of interest Ms. Henderson committed to paying attention to the data and fully educating herself on the culture ad demographic differences that pertain to different needs in certain districts or neighborhoods.

- Councilmember Loren Taylor

REYGAN CUNNINGHAM, District 7 Appointee

From 2012-2018 Reygan was the Director of the Oakland Ceasefire strategy. During that time Oakland experienced significant reductions in gun homicides and shootings. A recent independent evaluation conducted by Northeastern University demonstrated a 31.5% reduction in gun homicides, and a 43% reduction in non-fatal gang shootings that could be directly attributed to the Ceasefire strategy. Reygan and her team have received numerous awards for this ground-breaking and lifesaving work including a resolution from the Hon. Rob Bonta of the California State Assembly.

Prior to this position with the City of Oakland Reygan served as the Public Safety Legislative Analyst to the Oakland City Council, Complaint Investigator to the Citizens’ Police Review Board, and Public Safety Director to the Mayor of Oakland.

Reygan is a proud graduate of the Oakland Unified School District, and holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law, a Bachelors of Arts degree from Spelman College, and completed the Leadership for the 21st Century Executive Education course at Harvard University. She is currently a Senior Partner at the California Partnership for Safe Communities and lives in her hometown of Oakland, California.

JAMES BURCH, At-Large Appointee

“James Burch is the Policy Director of the Anti Police-Terror Project and the President of the National Lawyers Guild Bay Area. For the last five years, he has lead APTP's DefundOPD campaign to divest fifty percent of the Oakland Police Department's budget and invest that money into a wide array of community programs and improvements.”

- Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan

PAT KERNIGHAN, Mayor’s Appointee

“Pat Kernighan was elected three times to serve on the Oakland City Council as the representative from District 2, and served as Chair of the Finance Committee. She is an expert in the intricacies of Oakland’s budgeting process, as well as the operational jurisdictions of partner government agencies. She is an attorney, and co-authored the seminal measure to implement ranked-choice voting in Oakland.“

- Mayor Libby Schaaf

NIKKI UYEN THUG DINH, Safety and Services Oversight Commission Appointee

“Has over a decade of professional experience in the domestic violence, community violence and social justice fields as a nonprofit attorney, case manager and funder. Her experience also includes lived experience as a daughter of refugees and as a mom to two young children. She hopes to bring her voice, as well as those of her community, to speak to public safety and services prevention efforts in Oakland.”

CAROL WYATT, Community Policing Advisory Board Appointee

“Has lived in the Clawson-McClymonds area since 2007. When she moved to Oakland, the area's crime rates were all rampant, as a property owner as well as a resident, she wanted to see changes in the community, while still respecting it's historical and community values. She began working with West Oakland Neighbors, a community group that was long in existence, and became Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council chair for Beat 7x. She has watched the crime indices drop, by working with area police officers, particularly the Crime Reduction Team and Community Resource Officers.”

GINALE HARRIS, Police Commission Appointee

“For the last 26 years, Ginale Harris has committed herself to Social Justice issues, by serving the community that she lives and works in. She grew up in a marginalized community, which lead her to become involved in community wrap around services that contributed to her success as a citizen of the Bay Area, and resident of Oakland's District 7. Since the age of 11 years old, she was a frequent participant of many community services, such as, case management, leadership development, and social justice. In 1994 she was hired as a parole & probation case manager/advocate, by the nonprofit agency that she had received so many services from. Years later, Ginale Harris, became the Director of Violence Prevention services and has been referred to as a Gladiator. Ginale Harris served as advocate for the community her entire career and is committed whole heartedly to the work and to the people she serves.”

IVAN GARCIA, Youth Advisory Commission Appointee

"Ivan Garcia, the current Co-Chair of the Oakland Youth Commission, has extensive experience with city initiatives being in his second term on the Commission and having served as an intern in the Mayor’s office. As a scholar who has direct experience with having a family member in prison, Ivan has integrated his personal life with public service through becoming a youth activist who seeks to create equity and access for low-income families, the LGBTQ community, and black indigenous people of color communities. I am confident that he will carry these skills and knowledge with him into the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force."

- Carina Lieu, Youth Leadership Development Coordinator

LOSALINE MOA, Youth Advisory Commission Appointee

"Losaline Moa, a second-generation Oakland resident and Tongan-American female, is serving her first term on the Oakland Youth Commission. Prior, Losaline participated in the Helix Summer Medical Program at UC Berkeley, where she collaborated with other youth on a presentation to Kaiser examining mental health in the East Bay homeless population. She is currently the President of Skyline High School's Tertulia Club, which promotes mental health awareness on campus. Losaline embodies a well-rounded perspective on systems-analysis - grounded by her public health training and cultural lens - which I believe will serve the community well as she joins the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force."

- Carina Lieu, Youth Leadership Development Coordinator

BRENDA ROBERTS, Budget Advisory Commission Appointee

Brenda Roberts is the former City Auditor for Oakland. She has called this city her home for more than 30 years. She raised her 3 daughters here and is a committed and dedicated member of the Oakland Community. She brings to the table her expertise in budget management and finance, as well as her strongly held belief that good government is one that is fair to all and works for the good of its residents. She is excited to collaborate with her fellow Task Force members and to contributing her skillsets to this Task Force. She looks forward to work that will bring about solutions to meet the needs of the people of Oakland and for the betterment of Public Safety, respectful of Equity and Social Justice for all of the people of Oakland.

"Brenda Roberts has a deep understanding of city operations and our financial challenges. Her financial expertise and commitment to public safety are strong and will no doubt prove invaluable during the Task Force deliberations."

-Councilmember Dan Kalb, District 1

GUS NEWPORT, Co-Chair's Appointee

Gus Newport is the former mayor of Berkeley (1979-1986). During his time he re-organized the Berkeley Police department, ushered in rent control which went to the Supreme Court and was passed, created a community clinic, and hired mental health workers to assist the police and to aid the homeless with their problems and needs. He was the Martin Luther King Fellow at MIT, where he taught a course on public policy and community development. He was also an SR. Fellow at Yale, Uc Santa Cruz U MASS Boston and Portland State. Gus delivered the commencement speech at Heidelberg University, his Alma Mater. Tiffin , Ohio, May 2009 and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree. He also served on two United Nations Committees, The Committee Against Apartheid and the Committee on the Question of Palestine.

JOHN JONES III, Co-Chair's Appointee

“John Jones III is currently on staff for Just Cities as the Director of Community and Political Engagement. As a father of three and third generation East Oakland resident, John is also a formerly incarcerated advocate seeking to transform his community. After being un-sheltered and unemployed for eighteen month, John became involved in community organizing and advocacy to empower himself and others by utilizing his personal story of pain, trauma, faith and transformation to inspire young people, as well as fight for policy change.”