Open Letter to Oakland’s Environmental Voters

Guest blog by Lora Jo Foo, one of the founders of the No Coal in Oakland Movement, an environmental and racial justice activist, and a well-respected Sierra Club member.

In these times of crises-the threatened environment, growing economic inequality and overt racism, we need real bridge builders like Nikki Fortunato Bas to help us move Oakland and the Bay Area forward. She has a 28-year track record of working on environmental justice issues and a clear commitment to the environment articulated in her platform.  She also has the endorsement of critical organizations and leaders covering the Bay Area.

Here are just a few examples of some accomplishments her leadership has brought to Oakland and beyond:

***As Executive Director of the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, she led the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, reducing diesel pollution in West and East Oakland, then went on to run the national Partnership for Working Families (Partnership) where she expanded the coalition to the nation’s largest ports-improving working conditions for truckers & air quality for communities in Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York/New Jersey, Seattle/Tacoma and of course, Oakland.

***Nikki developed and launched the We Make This City campaign as leader of the Partnership to renew public infrastructure-creating quality jobs in the clean energy economy.

***As far back as 1990, Nikki led CalPIRG’s get-out-the-vote campaign for California’s “Big Green” and “Forests Forever” initiatives and forged ground-breaking collaborations between the environmental and immigrant rights movements as a leader of the Political Ecology Group.

***She has been endorsed by a long list of environmental leaders including- Rebecca Solnit, Miya Yoshitani, Annie Leonard, Al Weinrub, Chris Jackson, Jess Dervin-Ackerman, Gopal Dayaneni, Lisa Hoyos, and Mari Rose Taruc.

**View her video about a Greener Oakland with Rebecca Solnit, a nationally acclaimed climate activist.

Contrast this list of accomplishments and public advocacy to the lack of “leadership” by the incumbent.

***Showed no leadership in passing the ordinance against coal exports coming through Oakland and had to be lobbied hard over a 14 month period into even voting for it.

***Only claim to fame over these last (almost) 4 years, is a ban on plastic straws. He has shown no interest in fighting for the folks living in squalor on the streets, and his much vaunted push for tiny houses has resulted, over this same period, in the building of two units.

Scientists have told us we have 12 years to turn our environment around so it’s imperative that we elect bold leadership at all levels of government-leaders like Nikki who understand the transformative nature of creative collaboration-and how to implement these goals. Unfortunately, due to the arcane national rules of the local environmental club, the incumbent was endorsed but local and national environmental advocates agree-Nikki Bas is the leader we need.


Lora Jo Foo



1 Comment on "Open Letter to Oakland’s Environmental Voters"

  1. Hi Pam — can you please make it an editorial policy put the office in question in the title (“Nikki Fortunato Bas for Oakland District 2!”), so that one can tell immediately if it pertains to something they even vote on? Thanks!

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