The Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party and Movement has announced its endorsement of several candidates in local races in the upcoming election.

In the races for Oakland School Board seats, PFP Alameda backs the slate of candidates endorsed by Action 2020, a citizen’s group dedicated to improving Oakland’s public schools. These candidates include Stacy Thomas (in District 1); Cherisse Gash and VanCedric Williams (District 3); Mike Hutchinson (District 5); and Ben “Coach” Tapscott (District 7). The party also endorses Sam Davis for school board director.

Brief profiles of these candidates run below.

Sam Davis for Oakland School Board Director
Sam Davis is a former Oakland Unified School District teacher and currently is parent to a public-school student. Sam promises to “put families, teachers and school site staff back at the center of decision-making in our district.”

Sam has also been endorsed by SEIU Local 1021, the Oakland Education Association teacher’s union and the Alameda County Democratic Party. Visit the campaign’s official website at

Stacy Thomas for Oakland School Board, District 1
Formerly a volunteer with Centerforce Youth Court restorative justice program, small business owner Stacy Thomas assisted Action 2020 in a fight for school board reform after the Henry J. Kaiser Elementary School and Rotts International Academy were closed.

Stacy has earned the endorsement of Oakland Rising Action, among others. Click here to visit her campaign’s official website.

Cherisse Gash for Oakland School Board, District 3
Cherisse Gash comes from a family of educators going back four generations. Cherisse looks forward to putting her experience as a volunteer for PTA groups and the African American Male Achievement program for the public.

As she says, “It’s time for a School Board member in District 3 that actively engages, interacts and supports the student body.” She has been endorsed by Oakland Not For Sale, among others. Visit Cherisse’s official campaign website at

VanCadric Williams for Oakland School Board, District 3
As the election for Oakland School Board members is done by ranked-choice voting, PFP and Action 2020 puts forth VanCedric Jones as a second choice for the district 3 seat. If elected, VanCadric promises accountability, full service to the community and emphasis on racial and social justice. He has a wide range of endorsements from SEIU Local 1021, the Oakland Education Association teacher’s union, the Building & Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, Bay Rising Action and the Alameda County Democratic Party.

Mike Hutchinson for Oakland School Board, District 5
Action 2020 writes that Mike Hutchinson “is a long-time education activist and many of us in the struggle around education have learned much from him. He is a fighter who is aggressively knowledgeable about the details of education and school board policy and is committed to the idea that every child deserves a quality education. He is staunchly opposed to the charter school movement and groups that wish to use Oakland as a testing ground for privatization.” Click here for the Facebook page of Mike’s campaign.

Ben “Coach” Tapscott for Oakland School Board, District 7
Way back in 1968, Ben Tapscott became the first-ever African-American basketball coach in Oakland – and this was merely the beginning of the coach’s work for Oakland schools. In the 50 years since, Coach has been involved in issues from clean drinking water to the increasing encroachment of charter schools.

For this campaign, Coach is emphasizing the importance of improving literacy in Oakland’s high schools. He has been endorsed by the Alameda Labor Council AFL-CIO, SEIU Local 1021, the Oakland Education Association teacher’s union, East Bay DSA and the Oakland/Berkeley chapter of Black Women Organized For Political Action, among others. For the campaign’s official website, visit

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