The purpose of the Screening Panel is to review applications for the City’s independent Redistricting Commission and develop a qualified pool of 30 applicants that reflect the geographic, racial, ethnic and economic diversity of the City of Oakland. The Screening Panel is comprised of three members with one of each of the following: a retired judge, a current law or graduate public policy student and a representative of a 501(c)(3) non-profit good government organization. All Screening Panel members must meet the same eligibility requirements as those individuals applying and who will be selected to serve on the 2020-21 Redistricting Commission.
The 2020-21 Screening Panel appointments were announced in January 2020 and are as follows:
The Honorable Brenda F. Harbin-Forte
Retired Judge Brenda F. Harbin-Forte was appointed to the Alameda County (Oakland) Municipal Court in 1992, and became an Alameda County Superior Court judge in 1998. She retired in November 2019, after 27 years on the bench, with experience ranging from civil jury trials, criminal jury trials, the drug court, Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court, Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division, and full-time settlement judge for civil and family law cases.
Her leadership positions in California’s judiciary include service on the California Judicial Council, and serving as the first African American woman Dean of the B.E. Witkin Judicial College and Chair of the New Judge Education Committee. She is a consultant on various bench books and bench guides for judges, and has planned and taught judicial education courses in California, Nevada, New York, Fiji, Jamaica, and Panama.
Judge Harbin-Forte received her law degree from U.C. Berkeley’s (Boalt Hall) Law School in 1979 and was admitted to the California Bar that same year.
Alicia John-Baptiste is the non-profit representative on the panel and is the President and CEO of SPUR, a San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association. She is responsible for defining the overall vision and strategy for the organization. Alicia served for three years as SPUR's deputy director, overseeing policy and strategic initiatives and running the organization day to day. Prior to joining SPUR, she held senior public administration and public policy roles for the City and County of San Francisco, including chief of staff positions at both the San Francisco Planning Department and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Ms. John-Baptiste holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University.
Alexis Lozano is a graduate student at Mills College pursuing a joint Master’s in Public Policy and Business Administration. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science—Public Service from University of California, Davis. For six years, she has worked at EveryOne Home, a non-profit in Alameda County, coordinating the effort to end homelessness. Before EveryOne Home, she worked with elected officials at the local, state and federal level. Ms. Lozano is committed to enhancing the opportunity for individuals to prosper and for communities to thrive.