Rebecca Kaplan received a JD from Stanford Law School, an MA in Urban and Environmental Technology from Tufts University, and a BS from MIT. Kaplan currently serves as the Oakland Vice-Mayor and as the member at-large of the Oakland City Council since 2009 . She is the first openly LGBTQ individual to serve on the Oakland City Council . From 2002-2008, Kaplan served as At-large Director on the AC Transit Board of Directors .
Kaplan lives in Oakland with her wife and newborn daughter . She is also a Bible scholar fluent in Old Testament Hebrew, and has delivered sermons and taught bible classes in synagogues and churches throughout Oakland. She has served on the Alameda County Transportation Commission Board, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board . Kaplan currently serves on several committees, including ACTC Countywide Transportation Plan and Transportation Expenditure Plan Steering Committee, Alameda County Waste Management Authority, Alameda County Source Reduction Recycling Board, and AC Transit Bus Rapid Transit Policy Steering Committee .
Kaplan supports strengthening fire safety initiatives, updating public safety buildings to state of the art facilities, and improving public safety communication infrastructure. She has contributed to the development of Oakland’s civilian crisis responder MACRO program, which sends trained civilians to mental health and other non-violent situations .
Kaplan wants to strengthen Oakland’s public health and hospital systems by preventing hospital closure and loss of services, expanding job training and recruitment programs, expanding community access to health services, and expanding access to healthy food. She wants to use partnerships with community and government organizations to expand public access to health clinics and vaccinations .
Kaplan wants to protect the environment by implementing clean air initiatives, decreasing pollution, and investing in zero-emission and electric trucks, buses, and trains. She supports efforts to address and combat environmental racism, and wants to focus environmental improvement efforts on hard-hit and underserved communities .
Kaplan wants to improve pedestrian safety, bikeability, regional connectivity, and truck corridors and rail systems. She wants to expand on her previous work to replace high-polluting diesel engines with zero-emission vehicles and expand transit and electric vehicle programs. She previously advocated for zero emission vehicle technology, and bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements .
Kaplan wants to expand and protect affordable housing access by expanding rapid-build housing projects, supporting transit-oriented development, utilizing public land, including affordable housing in large development projects, and supporting the use of land trusts. She wants to ensure underserved populations such as the LGBTQ and African American communities have access to housing. Kaplan wants to address homelessness by expanding coordination between City and County efforts, using hotels, dorms, and other buildings to rapidly house homeless individuals, allowing community based organizations to more easily provide housing and services, and improving the handling of RV sites. She has previously been involved with projects and policies such as a vacant property tax to fund homeless services. Kaplan was a tenant’s rights attorney and helped pass “Just Cause for Eviction”, which prohibits property owners from terminating tenancy without just cause .
Kaplan wants to promote economic growth by expanding free public wifi availability and access, streamlining permits, expanding and strengthening job training and pre-apprenticeship programs, and promoting local contracts. She supports investing in blight remediation programs such as mattress pickup, affordable and rapid housing projects, community health programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment services .
Kaplan wants to protect same-sex marriage by repealing Proposition 8, an anti-LGBTQ state constitutional amendment that passed in 2008 but was overturned by federal lower courts. LGBTQ acitivists worry that proposition 8 could once again become CA law if SCOTUS overturns Obergefell v. Hodges, which protects the right to same-sex marriage .
Kaplan wants to protect access to reproductive health care including abortion and contraception. She supports establishing Oakland as a sanctuary city for individuals seeking abortions, and providing funding to make reproductive healthcare more accessible .
Kaplan wants to reduce gun violence by passing gun control laws, including universal background checks and controls on assault weapons .
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