Rebecca Kaplan

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Challenger


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 [1]. She is the first openly LGBTQ individual to serve on the Oakland City Council [7]. From 2002-2008, Kaplan served as At-large Director on the AC Transit Board of Directors [3]. 

Kaplan lives in Oakland with her wife and newborn daughter [6]. 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 [2]. 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 [9].

Key Issues

Public Safety

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 [2].


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 [2].


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 [2].


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 [2].


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 [2].


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 [2].


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 [7].

Reproductive Rights

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 [8].

Gun Policy

Kaplan wants to reduce gun violence by passing gun control laws, including universal background checks and controls on assault weapons [5].


314 Action Fund; 350 Bay Area Action; Alameda County Democratic Party; Alameda-Contra Costa Physicians Committee (ACCPAC); Alameda Labor Council; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA); Alameda Progressives; Bayard Rustin Coalition; Black Women Organized for Political Action PAC (BWOPA PAC); Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers Local 3; Brownie Mary Democratic Club; Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County; CNA/NNOC; Committee of Interns and Residents, SEIU Healthcare; CWA Local 9415; East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club; East Bay Young Democrats; Equality California (EQCA); Fire Fighters IAFF Local 55 (Oakland and Alameda County) and Local 689 (City of Alameda); Hayward Area Democratic Club; HONOR PAC; IBEW Local 595; IFPTE Local 21; International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 8 PAC; John George Democratic Club; Laborers Local 304; MGO Democratic Club; National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW); OCEP; Operating Engineers Local 3; Our Revolution, East Bay; Oakland Rising Action; Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte; San Leandro Democratic Club; SEIU Local 1021; SEIU 2015; SEIU UHW; Sheetmetal Workers Local 104; Teamsters Joint Council 7; U.A. Local 342; UNITE HERE; Victory Fund; Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club; Malia Cohen, California State Board of Equalization Chair; Mark Leno, ret. State Senator; Carole Migden, ret. State Sentaor; Delain Eastin, ret. California State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Bill Quirk, CA Assembly Member; Sandre Swanson, ret. CA Assembly Member; Scott Haggerty, ret. Alameda County Supervisor; Richard Valle, Alameda County Supervisor; Hank Levy, Alameda County Treasurer; Alysse Castro, Alameda County Superintendent-Elect; Emerita Sheila Jordan, Alameda County Superintendent; Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Alameda County Board of Education Director-Elect; Jean Walsh, Alameda County Transportation Board; Beth Kenny, Alameda Commission on Persons with Disabilities; Dee Rosario, East Bay Regional Parks Director; Trish Spencer, City of Alameda Councilmember; Nick Pilch, Former Albany Mayor; Elihu Harris, ret. Oakland Mayor; Nikki Bas, Oakland City Councilmember; Carroll Fife, Oakland City Councilmember; Noel Gallo, Oakland City Councilmember; Dan Kalb, Oakland City Councilmember; Sheng Thao, Oakland City Councilmember; Wilson Riles Jr, Former Oakland City Councilmember; Andreas Cluver, Oakland Port Commissioner; Michael Colbruno, Oakland Port Commissioner; Mike Hutchinson, Oakland Board of Education Director; VanCedric Williams, Oakland Board of Education Director; Bevan Dufty, BART Board Director; Lateefah Simon, BART Board Director; Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley Mayor; Gus Newport, Former Berekely Mayor; Kate Harrison, Berkeley City Councilmember; Ben Bartlett, Berkeley City Councilmember; Soli Alpert, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Vice Chair; Andy Kelley, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Member; Teddy King, Piedmont Mayor; Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Supervisor; Pauline Cutter, San Leandro Mayor; Kevin Dowling, San Leandro City Councilmember; Victor Aguilar Jr, San Leandro City Councilmember; Ed Hernandez, Former San Leandro City Councilmember; Jim Prola, ret. San Leandro City Councilmember; James Aguilar, San Leandro School Board President; Diano Prola, San Leandro School Board Director; David Canepa, San Mateo County Supervisor; Barbara Halliday, Hayward Mayor, Francisco Zermeno, Hayward Council Member; Hon. Kevin Dowling; Rocky Fernandez, Regional Director, California Democratic Party; Igor Tregub, Chair, Alameda County Democratic Party; Hon. Judy Appel; Michael Barnett; Wendy Bloom; Cat Brooks; Patricia R. Brooks; Hon. David Campos; Julia Caplan; Reverend Ken Chambers; Rev. Boona Cheema; Gay Cobb; Rick DaSilva; Eddie Dillard; Linda Dittesl Clarissa Doutherd; Howard Egerman; Kitty Epstein; Jack Fleck; Mike Ghielmetti; Pastor LJ Jennings; Dale Sky Jones; John Jones III; LaNiece Jones; Siavash Karimzadegan; Isaac Kos-Read; Michael Lighty; John Loh; Hon. Bobbi Lopez; Rabbi Dev Noily; Geoffrey Pete; Rob Raich; Sue Reinhold; Christiana Remington; Randy Shaw; Pastor J. Alfred Smith, Sr.; Hon. Barisha Spriggs; Keith Uriarte; Lisa Williams; Jim Wunderman; Oakland Tribune; Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club; League of Conservation Voters East Bay; East Bay Express


1 Ballotpedia
2 Rebecca Kaplan for Alameda County Supervisor
3 City of Oakland
4 Twitter
5 Facebook
6 Bay Area Reporter
7 SF Chronicle
9 Local Wiki