Sheng Thao

Key Facts

Party N/A; nonpartisan election
Status Challenger


Sheng Thao received a B.A. in Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the Oakland City Council President Pro Tem, representing District 4 [1]. She previously worked at Merritt College as a Research Assistant and as a Program Analyst at UC Berkeley. She also worked as a Commissioner for the Alameda County Transportation Commission, and as a Board Member for the Chabot Space and Science Center. She has served as a Council Aide, and later Chief-of-Staff for the office of Oakland’s Councilmember at-large [2]. 

Thao is the daughter of Hmong refugees and is a single mother to her son Ben [1]. She is currently facing allegations that she had city council staff work on her mayoral campaign while on the clock as government employees [7].

Key Issues

Public Safety

Thao hopes to use alternatives to an armed police response for those in mental health crises. She also wants to continue to implement the anti-gang violence ceasefire program. She wants to increase funding for police training and academies. She also hopes to diversify the police force by hiring more women of color and Oakland residents [1].



Thao wants to build at least 30,000 new housing units, make public land available for housing development, strengthen rent control and expand it to cover 4-plexes and ADUs, and increase tenant protections. She wants to prioritize building dense, transit-oriented affordable housing [1].



Thao advocates for free early childhood education and family services for low-income Oaklanders and wants to prevent school closures in Black and Latino neighborhoods. She wants to create a school to work pipeline with apprenticeships and workforce programs [1]. 


During the pandemic, Thao extended the sick leave policy, and passed legislation to help laid-off workers get their jobs back when the state reopened during COVID. She also supports Oakland’s eviction moratorium to help renters during COVID and co-founded the Oakland Mutual Aid Collective to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) [1].


Reproductive Rights

Thao supports protecting access to reproductive health care [1].


She wants to raise taxes on big corporations and reduce taxes on small businesses to fund affordable housing, homeless prevention, parks, libraries, and street paving [1].


Thao wants to provide on-demand mental health and addiction treatment, expand safe RV parking sites, and establish fully funded encampment clean up and sanitation teams [1].


Thao wants to expand Oakland’s guaranteed income pilot program, which provides cash assistance to low-income families and expand the City’s summer jobs programs to transitional age youth. She supports implementing Project Labor Agreements for workers on City projects and investing in job training through partnerships with nonprofits, apprenticeships programs, and local community colleges. She wants to streamline the permitting process for opening small businesses, create a legacy business program, provide funding to support landmarks like Fairyland and the Oakland Feather River Camp, and increase police foot patrols in commercial districts [1].


Thao wants to ban coal exports from the Port of Oakland, create a public power option, and implement tax breaks to incentivize green building and manufacturing. She wants to strengthen climate resilience by under-grounding utilities, expanding emergency services, and streamlining rooftop solar and microgrids. She wants to promote environmental justice by expanding fresh food access and increasing equitable bus and transit programs in East and West Oakland, increasing parks and green spaces in formerly redlined neighborhoods, and providing support to low-income residents to make their homes more energy efficient [1].


Thao wants to streamline the approval process for speed limit reductions and traffic calming measures, establish a network of protected bike lanes, and expand the Bus Rapid Transit System [1].


Thao wants to create a regional wildfire prevention authority to coordinate preparation, resources, funding, and response, secure funding and city staffing for hillside clearance, and hold PG&E accountable for clearance work. She wants to lobby State Department of Insurance to take action to prevent insurance companies from canceling homeowner policies or raising rates for individuals who live in high-risk fire areas [1].


Alameda County Democratic Party; Planned Parenthood Advocates Mar Monte; Oakland Firefighters Union; Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter; California Nurses Association; Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club; John George Democratic Club; East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club; Alameda Labor Council; Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 1021; Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Healthcare Workers West; Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 2015 (Long Term Caregivers); National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW); Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council; Oakland Tenants Union; United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 5; International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Northern California District Council; Teamsters Joint Council 7; Transport Workers Union of America; Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Local 192; Northern California Carpenters Regional Council; Carpenters Union, Local 2236; Carpenters Union, Local 713; LiUNA Laborers, Local 304; Operating Engineers, Local 3; International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 595; Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare; Sheet Metal Workers, Local 10; Iron Workers, Local 37; Plumbers and Steamfitters, Local 342; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance; Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) Action; 350 Bay Area Action; Our Revolution; Our Revolution East Bay; East Bay Action; Oakland Rising Action. California Working Families Party; Block by Block Organizing Network; Vote Mama; Rob Bonta: California Attorney General; Fiona Ma: California State Treasurer; Former California State Treasurer and Controller John Chiang; Ro Khanna: C: Congresswoman; Judy Chu: Congresswoman; Dr. Richard Pan: State Senator; Dave Min: State Senator; Anthony Rendon: State Assembly Speaker; Eloise Gómez Reyes: State Assembly Majority Leader; Mia Bonta: Assemblymember; Ash Kalra; Assemblymember Alex Lee; Evan Low: Assemblymember; Phil Ting: Assemblymember; Miguel Santiago; Kevin McCarty: Assemblymember; Nate Miley: Alameda County Supervisor; Richard Valle: Alameda County Supervisor; Scott Haggerty: Alameda County Supervisor  Melissa Wilk: Alameda County Assessor; Phong La: Alameda County Assessor; Alysse Castro: Alameda County Superintendent of Schools-Elect; Amber Childress: Alameda County Board of Education Member; Jean Quan: Former Oakland Mayor; Nikki Fortunato Bas: Former Oakland Mayor ; Rebecca Kaplan: Former Oakland Mayor; Dan Kalb: Oakland Councilmember; Dick Spees (Ret.): Oakland Councilmember; Nancy Nadel (Ret.) Oakland Councilmember; Roseanne Torres (Ret.): Oakland Councilmember; David Kakishiba (Ret.): Oakland Councilmember; Emeritus Jahmese Myers: Oakland Planning Commissioner; Michael Colbruno: Oakland Port Commissioner; Brian Hofer: Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission Chair; Sokhom Mao: Former Oakland Citizens’ Police Review Board Chair; Cindi Napoli-Abella Reiss: Peralta Community College Board President; Dyana Marie Delfín Polk: Peralta Community College Board Vice President; Nicky Gonzalez Yuen: Peralta Community College Trustee ; Karen Weinstein (Ret.): Peralta Community College Trustee N; Mark Williams: AC Transit Director ; Rocky Fernandez (Ret.): AC Transit Director; Elizabeth Echols: East Bay Regional Park District Board Member; Marguerite Young: East Bay Municipal Utility District Director; Michael Barnett: Alameda County Democratic Central Committee Member; Gabriel Quinto: El Cerrito Mayor; Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto (Ret.): El Cerrito Mayor; Rita Xavier: San Pablo Mayor; Ellen Kamei: Mountain View Mayor; Farrah Khan: Irvine Mayor; Terry Taplin: Berkeley Councilmember; Rigel Robinson: Berkeley Councilmember; Sophie Hahn: Berkeley Councilmember; Jenny Wong: Berkeley City Auditor; Soli Alpert: Berkeley Rent Board Vice Chair; Andy Kelley: Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner; Paola Laverde: Berkeley Rent Board Commissioner; Courtney Welch: Emeryville Councilmember; Shawn Kumagai: Dublin Vice Mayor; Aisha Wahab: Hayward Councilmember ; Corina Lopez: San Leandro Councilmember; Victor Aguilar: San Leandro Councilmember; David Bonaccorsi (Ret.): Fremont Councilmember; Hal Gin: Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Trustee; Lance Kwan: Ohlone College Board Member; Connie Chan: San Francisco Supervisor; Jane Kim (Ret.): San Francisco Supervisor; John Avalos (Ret.): San Francisco Supervisor; Jenny Lam: San Francisco School Board Member; Otto Lee: Santa Clara County Supervisor; Tara Sreekrishnan: Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee; Juslyn Manalo: Daly City Vice Mayor; Gina Papan: Millbrae Vice Mayor; Amourence Lee: San Mateo Councilmember; Mai Vang: Sacramento Councilmember; Sean Yang: Elk Grove School Board Vice President; Ruscal Cayangyang (Ret.): Vallejo School Board President; Rachelle Arizmendi: Sierra Madre Councilmember; Cynthia Alvarado: CalWorks Coordinator, Laney College; David Caven: Teacher, Horace Mann Elementary; Bill Delucchi: Education Activist; Dr. Karen Hossfeld: Professor of Sociology, San Francisco State University; Tanya Ilarde: Psychology Faculty, Merritt College; Gregory Kalkanis: Teacher Substitute, Oakland Unified School District; Maire Lanigan: College Counselor, UC Berkeley; Roya Massoudi: School Psychologist, West Contra Costa Unified School District; Jennifer Shanoski: Instructor, Peralta Community College District; Judith Stacey: Professor of Sociology; Nat Williford: Teacher, Oakland Unified School District; Jeremy Wolff: Teacher, Oakland Unified School Distric; John Zaro: Teacher, Oakland Unified School District; Richard Allen: Owner, Degrees Plato, Oakland; Kimberly Anakata: Public Service Consultant, Anakata Consulting LLC; Alexis Gevorgian, Affordable Housing Developer: Rick da Silva, Commercial Services Group, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce; Michael Ghielmetti: Founder and President, Signature Development Group; Don Johnson, Owner, Mischief Gift Shop, LaurelGabriel Kra, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Prelude Ventures; Arty Larpnamphe: Co-Owner, Daughter Thai, Montclair; Jose Ortiz: Owner, La Perla Restaurant; Geoffrey Pete: Owner, Geoffrey’s Inner Circl; David Petlin: President, Montclair Village Association; Daniel Swafford, Executive Director, Montclair Village Association and Laurel District Association; Adam Tobin: Executive Director/CEO, Chabot Space and Science Center; Linda Dittes: Business Agent, AFSCME 57 (Ret.); Rudy Gonzalez: Executive Director, SF Building Trades; Dolores Huerta: Co-Founder, National Farmworkers Association; Steven Lavoie: Member Leader, SEIU, Local 1021; Michael Lighty: Healthcare Policy Consultant, California Nurses Association; Rikki Thomas: UFCW; Mary Virginia Watson: Organizer, NUHC: Kim Beavers: Membership Representative, California League of Conservation Voter; Opie Bellas: Chair, Friends of Dimond Park; Michael Kaufman: No Coal in Oakland Coordinating Committee, Communities for a Better Environment; Amelia Marshall: Board Member, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park; Dale Risden: President, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park; Peter Ton: Environmental Attorney, Ton Law P.C; Reverend Ken Chambers: Interfaith Council of Alameda County; Pastor Billy Dixon Jr:, Co-Chair, Oakland Ceasefire; Bishop George Matthews III, Genesis Church; Aimee Allison, President, She the People; Jay Ashford: District 4 Budget Advisory Commissioner; Doug (Art) Blacksher: Host, Black Business Roundtable Podcast Show; Vincent Casalaina: Chair, Wellstone National Political Committee; Macy Cornwall: Former Chair, Montclair Neighborhood Council; Susannah Delano, Executive Director, Close the Gap California; Stephanie Dominguez Walton: Community Advocate, Abortion Rights Activist, Member of the Latino Task Force, Oakland


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