The Registrar has spoken: District 4 voters elected Mike Hutchinson for School Board. Now, Nick Resnick must honor the will of the voters and support the recertification of the election

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters (“Registrar”) told the Board of Supervisors yesterday that it had incorrectly configured its electoral software and that when the software was properly configured, in accordance with the Oakland City Charter, Mike Hutchinson was the winner of the Oakland Unified School Board Election for District 4. Yet candidate Nick Resnick, who had previously been incorrectly certified as the winner of this seat before the error was identified, issued a statement making clear he does not accept the correct outcome and has hired an attorney to help him thwart the law and the will of the voters. Mr Resnick must put his personal interests aside and honor the vote of the people.

The Oakland Unified School Board has acknowledged that it has much work to do to build trust with the OUSD community. At a special new board member orientation this week, OUSD’s consultant Dr Franco talked about Ethical Leadership and Building Trust and said that key to building trust is to demonstrate “at all time qualities that will evoke confidence and trust.” If candidate Resnick insists on being seated on the OUSD school board when everyone in the community knows that he was only certified due to a technicality he will undermine rather than evoke confidence and trust. For the good of our community, candidate Resnick must work with the rightful winner, Mike Hutchinson, to ensure that the legal winner is seated as the next District 4 school board member, much as Director Hutchinson congratulated candidate Resnick when the result was incorrectly certified, despite having apparently lost by only 42 votes. As urged by Dr Franco, candidate Resnick must “let right be done.”


Every child in elementary school will learn a fundamental rule about the order of operations in mathematics: PEMDAS. When given a set of numbers, you must follow the PEMDAS Order of Operations to find the correct answer, and if you fail to use PEMDAS using those same set of numbers, your answer will be incorrect. Every math teacher (even former ones) understand this basic concept and every child will learn it over the course of their studies. 

When setting up the software for this election, the Registrar’s office forgot about the Order of Operations – the “PEMDAS” in this situation. They failed to apply the rule (as codified in the Oakland City Charter) which determines how you tabulate the results, so that when they finished counting all of the votes and applied the Order of Operations, they got the wrong answer. Once the correct Order of Operations was applied, the correct answer was revealed and we all now understand that was a majority of votes for Mike Hutchinson. It’s that simple. 

Candidate Resnick wants the Registrar to pretend that no mistake was made

The disappointment that Candidate Resnick must feel is understandable, and the fact that this preventable error was not discovered earlier needs to be investigated fully and appropriate action taken to ensure that it never happens again. But doing what is right is more important than Mr. Resnick’s disappointment, and it is clear that by law Mike Hutchinson received a majority of votes and should be seated as the next school board director in District 4. 

In a statement posted on Candidate Resnick’s campaign facebook page he makes a variety of anti-democratic objections to the correction of the results, none of which addresses the simple fact that using the correct “order of operations” means that Mike Hutchinson is the rightful winner:

  • “We question the authority of the Registrar to conduct a re-tabulation” – in other words, once the Registrar became aware that a mistake was made, they shouldn’t have investigated to see if it impacted the outcomes of our election. Winning is everything for candidate Resnick (who lost another election in 2016 for community college board), even if it is on a technicality which deprives voters of the legitimate result.
  • “There was no proper public oversight of the Registrar’s process, which by their own admission was initially flawed. A recount includes a more thorough review of all ballots and not just the ballots the Registrar chooses to include, as was done here.” Candidate Resnick admits that the process that resulted in his certification as the winner was “flawed” and claims that public oversight of a “recount” is required. To be clear, this is not a recount of ballots, they have been publicly counted in accordance with the law. This is taking those same votes cast and applying the correct order of operations to get the correct result.
  • “We question the validity and integrity of the revised results provided by the Registrar. If there were mistakes the first time, there is also a chance there are mistakes the second time.” The Registrar has already admitted that a mistake was made in certifying candidate Resnick as the winner because the tabulation wasn’t done in accordance with the Oakland city charter. Applying the proper “order of operations” ensures that no mistake is made the second time. The Registrar made clear on Thursday there were only two choices for how to tabulate the “suspended” ballots at issue here and the first choice was wrong. There is no question about whether the retabulation is correct and questioning the “validity and integrity” of the results is outrageous.
  • “This unfortunate situation brings to light the errors that can happen in any election race where rank choice voting is utilized and I want to ensure that our election processes are fair.” To be clear, candidate Resnick was certified as the winner because of Ranked Choice Voting that he now claims to be error-filled and unfair.  Mr Resnick received less than 40% of the first-place votes, before the application of ranked choice voting. He is only now complaining that the result is not “fair” because the correct Ranked Choice Vote result is not in his favor. 
  • “We question whether the new results accurately reflect the intent of the voters who filled out the ballots in question.” The process for determining how “suspended” ballots are tabulated is set forth in the Oakland City Charter, but now candidate Resnick wants to substitute his judgment for the law. 
  • “Registrar unilaterally moved up” and “second guessed” voter intention. Wrong. The corrected result was based on the clear and unambiguous intent set forth in the Oakland City Charter, and while the Registrar has much to account for, he is not substituting his judgment for that of the voters in the way that candidate Resnick has done.
  • “When voters are confused about the voting process or when the process isn’t transparent, voters lose faith in the results and mistrust the process.” There is no indication that voters were confused, and the Registrar of Voters was very transparent in explaining the process at yesterday’s meeting. In our “stop the steal” electoral environment, it is irresponsible for candidate Resnick to stoke the flames of distrust when in reality he just doesn’t like the outcome.

This entire incident has been painful and confusing and should never have happened. Those who made this mistake have acknowledged that fact and are correcting the mistake by making this information public once it was determined that applying the law properly would have resulted in a different outcome. Certainly, it would have been easier and less embarrassing for the Registrar’s Office to have just ignored it altogether, and to use the excuses that candidate Resnick is proposing to allow an anti-democratic outcome to this election. Instead, we know what we know, and we must do the right thing. 

Mr. Resnick must let right be done

This was always going to be an historic election, regardless of the outcome. On the ballot were a trans-identified parent and two Black candidates. Whoever won would be a first for District 4, which is majority white and more conservative than other districts in Oakland and which has never elected either a Black candidate nor an openly trans-identified elected official, to our knowledge. According to an article in the Bay Area Reporter (Ballot count blunder means trans dad didn’t win Oakland school board seat :: Bay Area Reporter (, candidate Resnick’s “status as the Oakland Unified School District’s boardmember-elect for the District 4 seat meant Resnick was set to become the first transgender person elected to oversee a K-12 public school district in California. And it made him only the second trans man elected to an education post in the Golden State.” District 4 and Oakland should take great pride in this accomplishment. 

But as instructed by Dr Franco in her training about “ethical governance” it is time for us all to “let right be done.” Under the Oakland City Charter and the order of operations specified therein, Mike Hutchinson has won this election and Nick Resnick must honor the outcome as corrected. Parents United urges the following actions:

  • Mr. Resnick should immediately notify the Registrar of Voters, Mr. Hutchinson and the Superior Court in which Mr. Hutchinson has been forced to file a complaint that he acknowledges Mr. Hutchinson is the duly elected District 4 School Board representative and will support the recertification of this election in Mr. Hutchinson’s favor;
  • Mr. Resnick should decline to take the Oath of Office set to be administered on Monday, January 9th; 
  • The Alameda County Registrar of Voters as a Real Party in Interest to the complaint must ask the Superior Court to recertify the election with Mr. Hutchinson as the winner; and 
  • The Alameda County Board of Supervisors must vote to pay the costs and attorney’s fees incurred by Mr. Hutchinson in challenging the certification which was necessitated by the mistake of the Registrar.

We look forward to Mr. Resnick, and all interested parties, doing the right thing.

Don’t vote for more of the same for Oakland School Board


Oakland voters have had a bad habit of electing Oakland Unified School District (“OUSD”) school board members who are endorsed by past board members (or in the case of Gary Yee – re-electing them) who then continue to make the same top-heavy, fiscally irresponsible decisions about the budget and policy that have gotten us into trouble in the past. This year, we must make better choices and elect a new kind of board member who is ready to challenge that top-heavy structure so that we are putting money into classrooms and not into what the Alameda County Grand Jury defined as a “broken administrative culture.”

Way too much money has been spent in Oakland to elect (and re-elect) school board members who continue to overspend centrally and underinvest at school sites and protect the status quo of the “Broken Administrative Culture”. Past members endorsing the next members and billionaires from out of town including Michael Bloomberg, Big Oil heiress Stacy Schusterman, Arthur Rock and former mayor Jerry Brown dumping money into PACs to flood our mailboxes with glossy fliers have resulting in us repeating the mistakes of the past over and over again. A misleadingly named PAC pretending to be Oakland’s teachers has spent nearly $130,000 in the last week alone to push just two candidates, who also happen to be the candidates endorsed by all of these board members responsible for the Broken Administrative Culture.

We cannot afford more of the same, we need to elect candidates NOT endorsed by the former candidates who have done so much harm to our students. These are the revolving door candidates who are on the ballot this year to continue the wasteful policies of the past:

Instead of making the same mistakes, vote with actual Oakland Teachers!

The OUSD School Board plan to thwart democracy in District 6

On May 2, 2022, Oakland was taken by surprise when Oakland Unified School District (“OUSD”) Board Director Shanthi Gonzales suddenly resigned with 8 months left in her term, leaving a legacy of draconian school closures and disdain for parents and teachers. It was clear that certain members of the Board were not as surprised as we were, but it wasn’t immediately clear how coordinated and undemocratic the process was going to be. Now, thanks to an ethics complaint filed by a District 6 voter, the depth of the deception undertaken by this OUSD School Board is becoming clear, as laid out in an article in the Oakland Post yesterday.

Ultimately, the Board conducted a charade of an appointment process, forcing community members who were willing to step into the void left by Director Gonzales’ resignation to go through a lengthy process that was never going to result in any other outcome than the one that ultimately did – the anointing of a successor to Director Gonzales, hand-picked BY Director Gonzales and her allies, to continue her legacy of destruction for the remainder of her term, and if they could manipulate it, the four years after. And so the board appointed Kyra Mungia who works in the Oakland Mayor’s Office of Education through a variety of fellowships paid through the Oakland Education Fund. A tangled mess of privatization entities that will create (and actually have already created) conflicts for Ms Mungia as a board member who also has interest in entities coming before the board. The Oakland Post dug into those privatization connections here: School Board Candidate is Mayor’s Staffer with Privatizer Connections | Post News Group

School Board President Gary Yee admitted in a board meeting on June 14, 2022 when he was defending Director Gonzales against claims that she had abandoned her responsibilities that Director Gonzales had already bought a house outside of Oakland and that “she actually stayed on in her house [in Oakland] for an extra month so we could prepare for this process [of appointing a new school board member].” What exactly was President Yee hinting at? A look at the timeline of the events might help.

  • Approximately April 1st, Shanthi notifies at least President Yee of her intention to resign her position and agrees to stay an additional month to help the board “prepare for the process” of appointing a successor (per President Yee’s comments on June 14).
  • April 21, 2022: Kyra Mungia files her Candidate Intention Form to run in District 6.
  • May 2, 2022: Shanthi Gonzales announces her resignation, effective immediately
  • May 3, 2022: Shanthi Gonzales contributes $1000 to Kyra Mungia’s campaign for School Board in District 6 and files an immediate form 460 reporting the contribution
  • May 11, 2022: Board votes to implement an appointment process for the vacancy
  • June 29, 2022: Board engages in performative selection process that results in the appointment of Kyra Mungia to the District 6 post
  • June 30, 2022: Kyra Mungia sends out a fundraising email using Shanthi Gonzales’ list of constituent email addresses which Ms Mungia acknowledges she was given by former Director Gonzales

So the extra time that Shanthi Gonzales gave the board was to cue up a candidate, seed her campaign, load her up with valuable constituent data and conduct a sham appointment process that resulted in the chosen candidate of Shanthi Gonzales being elevated to an incumbency to give her a leg up in the November election. That is NOT honoring the democratic process. 

All of this extra support has given Ms Mungia a definite head start in the electoral process, but we now know that it has also given her a bit of an ethical problem. A concerned District 6 resident dug into this information and has filed an ethics complaint against Ms Mungia alleging a variety of possible ethical violations, the most obvious of which is her failure to declare in her own 460 filed on August 1st, 2022 the $1000 contribution from Shanthi Gonzales’ campaign funds. In addition to the cash contribution, Ms Mungia also received an “in kind” contribution from Ms Gonzales in the form of the constituent email list that Ms Mungia received from Ms Gonzales. Mailing/email lists are extremely valuable to candidates and Ms Mungia is required to declare that “thing of value” as an “in kind” or non-monetary contribution. FEC | Candidate | Types of contributions None of Ms Mungia’s filed 460s contain any contributions from either Ms Gonzales or Ms Gonzales’ campaign committee, which is a clear violation of state election law and which the Ethics Complainant suggests may have been done in order to hide the very clear coordination between Ms Mungia, Shanthi Gonzales and some sitting OUSD board members. As stated by the complainant in the Ethics complaint “The above chronology appears to be evidence of a pre-meditated coordinated campaign between Ms. Mungia and Ms. Gonzales, and her allies on the School Board, to offer incumbency advantage to their preferred candidate for the upcoming election for the D6 position, and to hide such pre-meditated coordination from public scrutiny.” Ms Mungia now claims that she didn’t “deposit” the check because she (mistakenly) believed it was over the limit, but there is no indication that she returned it to former Director Gonzales’s campaign account (which is now closed) so whether she cashed it or not is immaterial.

The most disturbing aspect of this whole thing is that it has been a carefully planned and surreptitiously executed attempt to manipulate the democratic process. This continues a long pattern in Oakland of not trusting Oakland’s parents and voters to make good choices but instead flooding those races with misleading campaign information supporting candidates hand-picked by board members and funded by billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Stacy Schusterman, former mayor Jerry Brown and others who do not care about what is best for Oakland’s kids, but about privatizing our district. Ms Mungia has already benefited from $63,300 in spending by Jerry Brown and Oklahoma Oil Billionaire Heiress Stacy Schusterman with a misleading Political Action Committee pretending to be our Oakland Teachers.

This must stop now. Ms Mungia should step down from her seat and cease her campaign for school board, but we know that won’t happen. Instead, it is up to the voters to hold Ms Mungia and the Board accountable by voting her OUT of the office she was manipulated into.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

Don’t be Fooled by Fake Unions and “paid for” Slates – support the candidates actually endorsed by our teachers and community orgs

Two candidates are working overtime to trick voters by buying their way onto a slate of candidates and “endorsements” created by a staffer in the mayor’s office and that includes one candidate who has publicly called the slate out for misleading voters.

Both Nick Resnick (District 4) and Kyra Mungia (District 6) have paid to be included on the slate mailer put out by “East Bay Voter Guide for More Housing” that falsely implied shared values with Greg Hodge, but also explicitly calls for a “NO” vote on Measure W – “Fair Elections Act” which would limit candidate spending and provide voters with “Democracy Dollars” that they could use to support their candidates. This program has worked successfully in Seattle to increase candidate diversity and voter participation.

In addition to this fake Slate, both Resnick and Mungia are benefitting from a fake Union created to trick voters into believing that Resnick and Mungia are supported by our Oakland Teachers Union, which they are most certainly not. As we wrote earlier in our piece entitled “What does it mean to be a “charter candidate” our teachers are so popular, the charter industry created a PAC entitled “United Teachers of Oakland” entirely funded by charter leader and former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown in order to convince voters that Resnick and Mungia are backed by the union.

Nick Resnick and Kyra Mungia, and the charter backers that support them know that they cannot win if they play by the rules, so they are using misleading slates and pretend unions to defeat the ACTUAL candidates endorsed by our beloved teachers. Don’t be fooled, vote for these candidates #1 and #2 on your ballots.

District 2: and

District 4:

District 6: and

What does it mean to be a “charter candidate”?

There is a lot of talk right now in Oakland School Board Electoral Politics about what it means to be a “charter candidate”. Both Nick Resnick and Kyra Mungia proclaim that they are not “charter candidates” because they don’t support adding new charter schools, but despite that, they are supported by Charter School Leaders, Charter School Supporters, Charter School Funders, Charter Supporting PACs and, for Nick Resnick, out of town billionaires who support Charter Schools. And GO Public Schools donors. Not only are they directly funded by Charter School Supporters, they also are being supported by a new Political Action Committee (“PAC”) entirely funded by former Mayor/Governor Jerry Brown who started two high profile charter schools in Oakland and still sits as the Chairman of one of those charter schools (Oakland Military Institute “OMI”).

This PAC has not a single Oakland teacher associated with it, yet it is misnamed “United Teachers of Oakland supporting Resnick and Mungia” in hopes of tricking Oakland voters into thinking that these candidates are supported by Oakland’s beloved teachers, which they most certainly are not.

If your campaign is being pushed by all of these folks, you MUST be the charter candidate…

Don’t be tricked, choose the candidates who are ACTUALLY endorsed by Oakland’s Teachers. Make sure your vote counts by ranking BOTH of your chosen candidates #1 and #2, and not voting for Resnick and Mungia.

#OUSD #nobillionaireboughtboard #vote

Parents United Endorses Chris Jackson for Board of Education in District 7


Parents United for Public Schools believes that this election of 2016, where four of the seven school board seats are on the ballot, presents a unique opportunity to elect strong, independent leaders who will work with parents, students, teachers and community to strengthen and transform our public schools.

We need community-driven change, strong accountability and a board that understands its role is to create policy and direct its Superintendent to carry it out. We need a board whose budget priority is classrooms and not consultants and central administrators. We need leaders who are willing to invest in proven, community-based reforms that will rebuild strong public schools in every neighborhood and serve every child.

Parents United believes that Chris Jackson is that leader in District 7. Chris is an OUSD parent with a long history of educational activism and leadership who will be a strong voice for parents, students, teachers and community.

Chris Jackson is an Oakland native who has lived in the Bay Area all of his life. As a student at San Francisco State University, Chris fought to give working class and students of color access to affordable college. After graduation, Chris continued his advocacy for youth and education, serving on the San Francisco Youth Commission and was twice elected to the Board for City College of San Francisco where he served as Vice President and the chair of the Budget Committee. In coalition with teachers, students and community, Chris and the Board successfully pushed back against attempts to privatize the college accreditation process.

Chris returned to Oakland to care for his mother, continue his social work to help the formerly incarcerated find homes, training and employment, and raise his children with his wife. When his daughter’s OUSD-run preschool, without parental notice or input, changed the drop-off from 8 to 9:30 (a hardship for many working parents), Chris became concerned that parent voices were not respected in OUSD and, like he has all his life, he decided to become part of the solution by running for School Board.

Chris understands that budgeting is a matter of setting priorities, and he wants to prioritize programs that will benefit our most at-risk students, including smaller class sizes. Chris knows that smaller class sizes matter, yet OUSD spends $35 million LESS (on an adjusted basis) on instruction than comparative Districts, but $13.7 million MORE than average on central administration. Chris is committed to putting those resources back in our classrooms.


Chris also sees the destabilizing role the District’s current school reform model is playing in many of our public schools. The school improvement process has failed to engage parents in ways that make it truly community-led, and the School Board’s decision to continue to grow the number of charter schools has reduced enrollment and funding in many of our public schools. Chris has pledged to work to make sure school improvement efforts are led by school communities and has also pledged to support the moratorium on new charter schools called for by the Movement for Black Lives, the National NAACP and Journey for Justice.

Chris will work to make the budget process more transparent and the district more inclusive of parents, students, teachers and community. Chris understands that change needs to come from the community, not from highly paid consultants or administrators. Like Parents United, Chris is concerned about the influx of corporate money into our school board races through groups like GO Public Schools and the California Charter Association, and has pledged to refuse campaign contributions from corporate-backed charter interests.

For all of these reasons, Parents United for Public Schools believes that Chris Jackson is the candidate in District 7 who will best serve all of our public school students and we are proud to endorse him for the Oakland School Board.

Because Chris doesn’t have the kinds of corporate-backed support that his opponent does, we will win the election the old-fashioned way, by getting out into the streets and talking to voters. To do that effectively, we need your help.

Join Chris and Parents United on September 24th from 10 am to 2 pm for coffee and donuts followed by knocking on District 7 doors to let voters know why we believe Chris is the best choice for School Board. Sign up for the event on facebook or let us know that you can come by emailing us.

Check out Chris’ website for more information about his campaign and ways to help through donations, community door knocking (Saturdays and Sundays) and phone banking (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings):

You can read Chris’ complete answers to our candidate questionnaire here:

Candidate Questionnaire Responses


The Candidate Questionnaire was sent to each of the candidates* in all four districts who were given two weeks to complete the Questionnaire and return it to Parents United. Those candidates who did not return the Questionnaire by the deadline were given an additional 3 days to complete it, should they choose to do so. The responses will be posted here as we issue candidate endorsements, and will be given below in their entirety.

District 7

Chris Jackson

James Harris: Did not respond, despite being offered (and thanking us for) several additional days to complete the survey.


*We were unable to reach one candidate in District 3, Lucky Narain, despite multiple attempts.