Embracing The Billionaires’ Agenda

While Oakland parents and our community have decried out-of-town Billionaires spending big in our school board races, including former Republican Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, the Super PAC that received the contribution, and the candidates benefiting from it, have not.

In fact:

  • The Board Chair of GO Public Schools Advocates, the Super PAC that received Bloomberg’s $300,000 said the organization is “proud” to have received the contribution.
  •  Jumoke Hinton-Hodge, who has benefited from GO’s Super PAC spending to the tune of $45,856, told the East Bay Times that she and GO’s Billionaire donors “have similar values.”
  • GO-endorsed candidates James Harris & Huber Trenado, who have benefited from Bloomberg and other big-money contributions from GO’s Super PAC at current totals of $85,434 and $65,568 respectively, have claimed no knowledge of the spending. However, they also haven’t denounced this big money, or the agenda it brings to Oakland.

So, this begs the question: what are Michael Bloomberg’s values?

As Mayor, Michael Bloomberg sought and received control of the schools from the elected school board. Under mayoral control:
  • Nearly 140 schools were closed, including many that had been opened during his tenure.
  • Only 13% of students of color graduated from high school ready for college (according to NY Department of Education data).
  • Mayor Bloomberg famously declared that doubling class sizes “would be a good deal for students”.
  • Bloomberg also disparaged parents who were protesting the closure of their children’s school as lacking in formal schooling and therefore unable to “understand the value of education“.

Are these education policies that GO is proud of and Director Hinton-Hodge shares? Will James Harris or Huber Trenado denounce them?

Mayor Bloomberg was also responsible for the racist “Stop and Frisk” policy in New York that resulted in 4.4 million often innocent people of color being harassed. The practice was found unconstitutional because 83% of those stopped were people of color, despite only representing 58% of the population. In a study of stops in 2011, 9 out of 10 of the stop and frisk victims were not arrested.
When will GO Public Schools Advocates, Jumoke Hinton-Hodge, James Harris, and Huber Trenado denounce these donations, and the agenda they are trying to push on Oakland schools?
Oakland deserves better than this. Vote for The People’s Slate on Tuesday.

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