East BayElection

Loren Taylor in, Desley Brooks out as District 6 councilmember


Entrepreneur and management consultant Loren Taylor was elected to be the new councilmember for District 6 in East Oakland in Tuesday’s five-candidate election, ending incumbent Desley Brooks’ 16-year tenure in the seat.

In the first round of balloting, Taylor got 39 percent of the vote, Brooks had 27.4 percent, foster youth counselor Mya Whitaker got 12.8 percent, Alameda County Probation Department management analyst Natasha Middleton had 12 percent and registered nurse Marlo Rodriguez got 8.5 percent.

After five rounds of ranked-choice tabulations, Taylor finished first with 61.5 percent and Brooks finished second with 38.9 percent.

Taylor, who was endorsed by Mayor Libby Schaaf, said in his ballot statement:

“I’ll push for job training and neighborhood revitalization, ending the pushing and pricing out of Oaklanders by building and preserving affordable housing and aggressively fight to end homelessness.”

Middleton and Rodriguez both criticized Brooks for being a divisive figure on the City Council and making it hard for her to accomplish positive things for the district, which includes the Eastmont, Havenscourt, Maxwell Park and Millsmont neighborhoods.

Earlier this year, a judge ordered Brooks to pay former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown $1.2 million in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages for the injuries she suffered when Brooks attacked her at the Everett & Jones BBQ restaurant near Jack London Square on Oct. 30, 2015, when the two women got into an argument about a public housing project in West Oakland.

Brooks said in her ballot statement, “For 16 years I’ve been an effective council member with one clear goal – improve the lives of District 6 residents with policies, programs and investments that deliver equity and opportunity to guarantee Oaklanders remain in Oakland.”

Brooks has missed recent City Council meetings and candidate forums but said in an email that she’s been taking care of a family member who had major surgery.

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