Welcome to Oakland Votes, the movement for Black and Pan African voter engagement and education in Oakland.

Oakland Votes!

Our Services

Our leadership team will visit your church, organization, business, or event to register voters, check voter status and  provide voter education.

MEET OUR Digital Marketing and social Media STRATEGISTs

Melvin Cowan

Humanitarian, Scholar, Philanthropist 

​Kim Hess
Digital Marketing, Social Media


mission & vision

Mission to increase voter engagement in Black and Pan African communities through non-partisan policy and voting education.

Volunteer opportunities 

Please contact us to learn how you can support!

PURPOSE

We believe that if the people come together and speak as one, together we can improve conditions for those most affected as well as enhance the quality life for all.

Jarobin Guerra Gilbert
eCommerce, Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Marketing Operations

MEET OUR founder

In Richmond California, we were able to see what can happen when the community is informed and offered an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. It was once believed that big money determines election results. When the people are informed, the people can make the best decisions for themselves.


According to the 2010 Census Black/African Americans in Oakland makup 28% of nearly 406,253 people. This is in comparison to whites whom make up 34.5%, Hispanic/Latino 25.4%, Asian 16.8% and Native American .8%. In the 2014 General Elections in Oakland, 45% of registered voters showed up to the voting polls. It was better than the National turnout 36% and California’s turnout at 32%.


In Oakland, there was a combined turnout between registered voters at polling stations and vote-by-mail ballots of 101,879 voters. At the time, there were 221,073 registered voters in Oakland. 55% of Oakland’s registered voice was not at the table. This is not reflective of all eligible voters. When speaking to Eritrean and Ethiopian communities, we learned that their voices were not being considered. Like many in the African-American community in Oakland, they too along with many other African communities struggle with the voting process. As a result, we have situations like:

*Representing 62% of police stops (significantly higher than any other racial group)

*Black children are hospitalized and die from asthma at three times the rate of white children

*Blacks have the highest mortality rate out of all racial groups in Alameda County

* Black youth (just 29.3% of Oakland’s population) made up, on average, 73.5% of juvenile arrests in Oakland each year between 2006-2012.

*Unemployment for East Oakland residents between the ages of 20-24 were at 34% in 2011

*Black men are more likely to receive a GED in prison than graduate from college

Due to the rising costs of housing and lack of suitable employment opportunities that pay a liveable wage, more Pan African’s are coming to the realization that they may have to leave the City that for so long they have called home. Though this reality sounds bleak and hopeless.


We believe that if the people come together and speak as one, together we can improve conditions for those most affected as well as enhance the quality life for all.