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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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City of OaklandCandidate for City Council, District 4

Photo of Sheng Thao

Sheng Thao

Chief of Staff
11,736 votes (54%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Tackling the homeless and housing crisis, including: housing the unhoused immediately, expanding good paying local jobs, and implementing transit oriented development.
  • Public safety, including: strengthening community policing and implementing a rapid response system; pass a strong and effective vegetation management plan
  • Infrastructure, including: filling potholes, under grounding, libraries, parks and green spaces.



Profession:Chief of Staff on the Oakland City Council
Chief of Staff, Oakland City Council At-Large, City of Oakland (2014–current)
Assistant to Student Parent Center, UC Berkeley (2011–2014)
Research and Planning Assistant, Merritt College (2008–2010)


UC Berkeley B.A., Legal Studies (2013)

Community Activities

Board member, Redwood Heights Association, Oakland (2018–current)
Board member, Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) (2018–current)
Vice President, Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County (2016–current)
Member, Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club (2016–current)

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Sierra Club
  • Oakland Firefighters
  • California Nurses Association

Organizations (31)

  • Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
  • Oakland Chamber of Commerce *#2
  • Building Trades Council of Alameda County
  • Teamsters Joint Council 7
  • Black Young Democrats of the East Bay
  • Green Party
  • Oakland Builders Alliance *#2
  • Block By Block Organizing Network
  • National Union of Healthcare Workers
  • SEIU 1021
  • Alameda Labor Council
  • Operating Engineers Local 3
  • Oakland Rising
  • Transportation Workers Union Local 505
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
  • Carpenters Local 713
  • IFPTE Local 21 *dual
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local 104
  • Painters, Local 1176
  • Carpet & Lino Layers, Local 12
  • Glass workers, Local 169
  • Painters, Local 3
  • International Machinists and Aerospace Workers
  • Plumbers & Steamfitters, Local 342
  • Electrical Workers, Local 595
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555
  • John George Democratic Club
  • Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club
  • Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County
  • Laborers Local 304

Elected Officials (15)

  • Dee Rosario, East Bay Regional Parks Director
  • Nancy O'Malley, District Attorney for Alameda County
  • Fremont Mayor, Lily Mei
  • Chris Peeples, AC Transit Board At Large
  • Berkeley Mayor, Jesse Arreguin
  • Noel Gallo, Oakland Councilmember
  • Assemblymember Rob Bonta
  • Alice Lai Bitker, former Alameda County Supervisor
  • Supervisor Richard Valle
  • Fiona Ma, Board of Equalization
  • Aimee Eng, Oakland School Board President
  • Mayor of Milpitas, Rich Tran
  • Kris Worthington, Berkeley Councilmember
  • Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland Councilmember
  • Supervisor Scott Haggarty

Individuals (10)

  • Cal Stanley, President of Boys & Girls Club of Oakland
  • Josie Camacho, Former Secretary Treasurer for Alameda Labor Council
  • Preston Turner, Chair of the Melrose High Hopes Neighborhood Council
  • Daniel Swafford, Executive Director of Montclair Village Association & Laurel District Association *dual
  • Corinne Jan, CEO Family Bridges, Oakland
  • Robert Brackins II, Founder of 100 Black Men, East Bay Chapter
  • Annie Lam, Founder of API Lead
  • Vince Crudele, Oakland Vegetation Management Supervisor
  • Rev. Allen Buford
  • Rev. Debra Avery

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of Oakland (2)


Which of the local Oakland ballot measures do you think is the most critical and why?

1) Eviction controls, 2) Tax on vacant property, 3)  Increased/graduated real estate transfer tax, 4) Cannabis tax, 5) Hotel wages & work requirements, 6) Children’s Initiative.

No answer provided.
What can you do as a City Council member to address the issue of homelessness in Oakland?
Answer from Sheng Thao:

The issue of homelessness in Oakland needs to be addressed immediately. Through the state's surplus funds, Oakland will be receiving over $8 million to help address the homeless crisis. The city can use these funds to purchase an older vacant or near vacant hotel or single room occupancy building, where there will be showers, flushing restrooms and running water available, and begin tranistional housing of the unhoused immediately. Using this as a centerpoint, the city can then partner with the County and non-profit organizations to bring wrap-around services such as mental health, treatment services, job placement, and permanent housing case workers. The program should also include a 6 month post-permanent housing support, where case workers help ensure that each person/family that have been transitioned into permanent housing are supported and succeeding, this will decrease the rate of families falling back into being unhoused. 

At the same time we must invest in expanding good paying jobs, specifically union jobs. In order for families to stay housed, we must have good paying local jobs available by investing in our job training centers, OUSD and others to give our residents access to opportunities. Moreover, Oakland currently has a retail leakage, the city must do more to attract good businesses, which will help with expansion of local jobs, and retain our retail tax revenue; instead of continuously taxing our property owners.

Moreover, we must expand our housing stock. I'm proud to be working on legislation for a public lands policy, with the goal of using public lands for public good, this will include building affordable housing on public lands where it is viable. I will also continue to work towards implementing teacher, first responder and work-force housing, including to make it easier for homeowners to put in place accessory dwelling units. The city must also zone for transit oriented development, and build at all income levels, including affordable housing. 

The homeless crisis is not just an Oakland problem, it's a national issue and here in the Bay Area we must work together as a region to tackle this problem. I look forward to continuing my work with elected officials throughout the Bay Area, many who have endorsed my campaign, to leverage for resources at the State and Federal level. 

Who gave money to this candidate?

To see who is funding campaigns in Oakland, visit Open Disclosure Oakland.

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