News

Desley Brooks Faces Four Challengers In District 6 Election

Monday, October 29, 2018
 – 
Bay City News Service

Desley Brooks has represented District 6 in East Oakland for 16 years but faces a tough battle with four challengers in the Nov. 6 election.

Brooks has been sued for her behavior at least twice in recent years and two of her opponents allege that her combative style of governing has made it hard for her to accomplish positive things for the district, which includes the Eastmont, Havenscourt, Maxwell Park and Millsmont neighborhoods.

Natasha Middleton, a management analyst in the Alameda County Probation Department, said, "A lot of things are not getting done because of distractions and disruptions" involving Brooks.

"We can't have someone unethical in office and we need to work together to solve our problems," Middleton said.

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The Express' November 2018 Endorsement Guide

October 17, 2018
 – 
The Editorial Board

In this contest, candidates Natasha Middleton, Mya Whitaker, and Marlo Rodriguez are running as a slate, urging voters to select them first, second, or third in ranked choice voting. And we agree that they're the top three candidates and that all would represent a significant upgrade over incumbent councilmember, Desley Brooks.

But we give Middleton and Whitaker the slight nod for our co-endorsement for first choice. Middleton, a management analyst at the Alameda County Probation Department, is extremely thoughtful, and we believe she will especially effective in helping Oakland deal with its homeless issues. And we think Whitaker, an East Oakland native and political newcomer, would be a fierce advocate for District 6.

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Four candidates take on embattled East Oakland councilwoman

October 11, 2018
 – 
Ali Tadayon

As criticism mounts against District 6 City Councilwoman Desley Brooks, four candidates, none of whom has held public office, seek to unseat her in the November election.

Brooks, who has served 16 years on the City Council, has been under fire for a 2015 altercation with former Black Panther leader Elaine Brown. A civil jury in 2017 found that she committed elder abuse by pushing Brown to the ground, and ordered the city to pay $2.2 million to Brown in damages and legal fees.

Brooks on Tuesday filed a claim against the city of Oakland alleging the City Attorney’s Office botched its case representing her, Brown poked her in the chest and called her derogatory names before the push occurred. Afterward, Brown went out to her car to supposedly retrieve a weapon, the claim said.

On top of that, the Oakland Public Ethics Commission is investigating whether Brooks violated city ethics rules by allegedly failing to report money she received from the Millsmont Farmers Market — a claim made by her former aide Sidney Wilson. Wilson also alleged Brooks verbally and physically abused him.

Mayor Libby Schaaf has accused Brooks of turning city hall into a “toxic environment.” District 4 city Councilwoman Annie Campbell Washington — who has disagreed with Brooks on several issues — is stepping down because of that “toxic” tone, though she didn’t specifically call out Brooks for causing it.

Brooks had a recent spat with council members over her proposal to allocate city funds to private job-training centers. The proposal failed after its legality was questioned.

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Women in Oakland’s District 6 form voting bloc to defeat Desley Brooks

October 8, 2018
 – 
Steven Tavares

OAKLAND DISTRICT 6 BATTLE LINES SHAPE UP

During an endorsement meeting at the East Bay Express two weeks ago, the four challengers seeking to end Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks’ long reign in District 6 hinted a strategy for using the city’s ranked choice voting system was forthcoming. The plan released Monday is asking voters to, of course, omit Brooks, but also Loren Taylor, the field’s most well-funded candidate. All three women in the District 6 race–Natasha Middleton, Marlo Rodriguez, and Mya Whitaker–issued a press release Monday announcing their voting bloc. “We are united in our belief that District 6 residents need a change in leadership at City Hall. It’s time for a new District 6 councilmember. And we are united in our confidence that each of us is qualified to serve and would best represent the district on the issues that matter most to District 6 residents.”

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Natasha Middleton Wants to Give District 6 New Leadership

September 21, 2018
 – 
Jordan Rosenfeld

Natasha Middleton, a management analyst at the Alameda County Probation Department, has lived in Oakland for 25 years, and brings an extensive background in public policy administration and criminal justice reform to her bid for Oakland City Council District 6, or East Oakland.

She’s running in the district she has called home since 2009 because, she said, “I’m very aware of the challenges [in this district]. We have not seen enough significant changes over time, and we deserve more.”

Middleton’s previous public and political service includes serving on the board of the Family Violence Law Center, as the vice president of fundraising for Montera Middle School, on the board of the League of Women Voters, as a Delegate for Congressional District 13 at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and most recently, on Oakland’s Public Safety and Services Violence Prevention Oversight Commission.

Economic development is one key issue on which she’s staking her campaign. “[District 6 is] underdeveloped for the area,” she said. Middleton points to a dearth of grocery stores, or even farmer’s markets with easy access. “With a car, you have an advantage,” she said. “If you are limited to public transportation or don’t have the means, such as people with disabilities, how do you access food and necessities?”

She believes development has to be done right, however, and is a proponent of “50 percent local hire” and would like to see more of it; that’s why she supports union project labor agreements (PLAs) that help ensure more local hiring and livable wages. “Labor unions train their members using professional and safe measures, and make sure that people are getting paid livable wages,” she said. “Union jobs are the best way to go about that.”

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Natasha Middleton Gets CA State Assemblymember Tony Thurmond Endorsement In Oakland City Council District Six Race

September 10, 2018
 – 
Oakland News Now

Natasha Middleton, candidate for Oakland City Council District 6, announced the endorsement today of California State Assemblymember Tony Thurmond.

“I enthusiastically endorse Natasha Middleton for Oakland City Council, District 6,” said Assemblymember Thurmond. “As a former city councilmember with two terms in the state legislature, I can say with confidence that Oakland needs policy-focused leaders like Natasha Middleton to partner with state and regional leaders to solve our complex problems.”

“It is a special honor to have earned Assemblymember Tony Thurmond’s endorsement,” said Middleton. “His work on behalf of families, children, and the most vulnerable among us is inspiring. His laser focus on improving public education for all Californians is unparalleled. Oakland has benefitted from the Assemblymember’s leadership and I am proud to have his support.”

Middleton is the only candidate for District 6 to have earned the endorsement of the entire California legislative delegation representing Oakland: State Senator Nancy Skinner, State Assemblymember Rob Bonta and State Assemblymember Tony Thurmond.

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Assemblymember Rob Bonta Endorses

August 31, 2018
 – 
NatashaForOakland.com

Breaking news from Rob Bonta: “I am proud to endorse Natasha Middleton for Oakland City Council, District 6. Natasha is a highly qualified public policy expert who knows the issues facing District 6. She will fight passionately for solutions in her district while making sure that all of Oakland will thrive.”

I am a proud resident of California's 18th Assembly District and even more proud to have earned the endorsement of my Assemblymember, and the Assistant Majority Leader, Rob Bonta. In fact, I've always said I'm “policy proud” because the Assemblymember's legislation is always grounded in sound public policy. I am inspired by the Assemblymember's passion for justice and equality and honored to have his support.

Thank you, Assemblymember Bonta!

State Senator Nancy Skinner Endorses!

August 20, 2018
 – 
NatashaForOakland.com

More great news and a huge endorsement! State Senator Nancy Skinner just endorsed, saying, “Natasha is a public safety expert and highly competent professional. She will be a great asset to the Oakland City Council.”

This means a lot – not only because Senator Skinner is my state senator, but also because of her tremendous leadership on public safety and other issues vital to Oakland and our district. Thank you, Senator Skinner!

Oakland City Leaders Aim To Unseat Councilwoman Desley Brooks

April 17, 2018
 – 
Christin Ayers | KPIX

... Natasha Middleton is also running for Oakland City Council.

“The one thing that is representative of a term limit is called an election and that’s why I’m running,” Middleton said.

Middleton, a policy expert and an analyst at the Alameda County Probation Department, got a big endorsement Tuesday too, from Vice Mayor Annie Campbell Washington.

Middleton’s campaign slogan: “Let’s fight the problems – not each other.”

She said, “The people of Oakland want to get their problems solved and they grow tired of seeing so much strife.”

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Oakland City Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington Endorses Natasha Middleton for District 6 City Council Seat

April 17, 2018
 – 
NatashaForOakland.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 17, 2018

OAKLAND – Oakland City Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington announced her endorsement today of Natasha Middleton for Oakland Council, District 6.

“Natasha Middleton is the serious leader Oakland needs in District 6,” said Campbell Washington. “Natasha will bring people together so we can solve problems, not create them.”

Middleton is running to replace Councilmember Desley Brooks in the November 6, 2018 election.

“It’s an incredible honor to have earned the support of Councilmember Campbell Washington,” said Middleton. “Councilmember Campbell Washington is a role model as a leader – she advocates fiercely for her district while uniting Oaklanders to move our whole city forward.”

Middleton continued: “I’ve seen local government work when we put aside the drama and distractions. I’ve seen it on the ground with my work with our Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils. And I’ve seen it when Councilmember Campbell Washington brought Oakland together to beat Big Sugar and pass the soda tax. I look forward to fighting the problems in District 6 and all of Oakland, not fighting each other.”

About Natasha Middleton

Middleton is a management analyst for the Alameda County Probation Department, where she advances policy reforms affecting young people and adults in the criminal justice system. She served on the Public Safety & Services Violence Prevention Oversight Commission and the Family Violence Law Center board of directors.

Earning a master’s degree in public policy at Mills College, Middleton wrote her thesis on priority-based budgeting as one solution to Oakland's chronic financial challenges. Her client was the Budget Advisory Committee for the City of Oakland.

Middleton is a mother who raised her son in Oakland. She has an active community life, volunteering to feed the homeless, helping to increase the number of elected and appointed women officials and working with the League of Women Voters to increase voter registration education.

Learn more at www.NatashaForOakland.com.

Two challenge Desley Brooks for Oakland council seat

February 28, 2018
 – 
Ali Tadayon, East Bay Times

The most recent candidate to announce her candidacy is Natasha Middleton, who works as a management analyst for the Alameda County Probation Department, according to a news release from her campaign. The Mills College graduate and mother has served on the Public Safety and Services Violence Prevention Oversight Commission, which oversees Measure Z spending. In the past, she has sat on the boards of the Family Violence Law Center and the League of Women Voters. She was also Mayor Libby Schaaf’s community liaison when Schaaf was a council member.

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Sensing Desley Brooks is vulnerable, opponents join race to stop her re-election

February 26, 2018
 – 
Steven Tavares , East Bay Citizen

On Monday, Natasha Middleton, a management analyst for the Alameda County Probation Department, announced her bid for Brooks' District 6.... “Let’s fight the problems, not each other,” Middleton said in a statement. “Oakland needs more leaders who are focused on finding solutions.”

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Press Release: Community Leader Natasha Middleton Announces Candidacy for Oakland City Council, District 6

February 26, 2018
 – 
NatashaForOakland.com

OAKLAND – Natasha Middleton announced her candidacy today for Oakland City Council, District 6. Election Day is November 6, 2018.

“Let’s fight the problems, not each other,” Middleton said. “Oakland needs more leaders who are focused on finding solutions.”

Middleton said her focus would be on many of the chronic problems facing the residents and small businesses of District 6.

“Today, seniors are pushed out of their homes and families are priced out of our neighborhoods,” said Middleton. “Young girls are bought and sold for sex on International Boulevard. The shootings never seem to stop. And Oakland’s economy is booming, yet young people of color need jobs.”

Middleton is a management analyst for the Alameda County Probation Department, where she advances policy reforms to benefit young people and adults in the criminal justice system. She served on the Public Safety & Services Violence Prevention Oversight Commission and the Family Violence Law Center board of directors.

Earning master’s degree in public policy at Mills College, Middleton wrote her thesis on priority-based budgeting as one solution to Oakland's chronic financial challenges. Her client was the Budget Advisory Committee for the City of Oakland.

Middleton is a mother who raised her son in Oakland. She has an active community life, volunteering to feed the homeless, helping to increase the number of elected and appointed women officials and working with the League of Women Voters to increase voter registration education.

Learn more at www.NatashaForOakland.com.