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Councilmember Brooks Profile
Council Member Desley Brooks is committed to improving the quality of life for the residents in her District and the city of Oakland. To that end, she has dedicated her energies to improving public safety, increasing economic development, improving the physical environment of District 6, and advocating on behalf of children and youth. She has worked to revitalize the District's neighborhoods and commercial corridors. She has championed the interests of small and local businesses by authoring the City's Prompt Payment Ordinance; by securing funding for and implementation of the City's one stop contracting software; and advocating for the establishment of the City's Debarment program. She has been a strong advocate for Oakland contractors and Hire Oakland. She authored the goundbreaking Oakland Army Base $10 Million Remediation program which specifically provides Oakland contractors the ability to serve as the Prime Contractor on those remediation contracts.
Councilperson Brooks’ has provided leadership on a number of public safety initiatives. She initiated and funded Oakland Police Department’s (OPD) Crime Analysis and Mapping project; she secured funds for Crime Analysts positions within OPD; she successfully got Shot Spotter reactivated in Oakland and then secured funding for the program’s expansion throughout the flatlands of Oakland; she initiated the successful partnership of OPD and the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department on Shot Spotter -- the first such partnership in the country; she initiated and successfully secured Council approval which established the LED Lighting program. This program will improve public safety by changing and improving the quality of 30,000 street lights across the City.
Councilperson Brooks has worked to help Oakland residents achieve self sufficiency. To that end, she championed the establishment of the Oakland Community Land Trust which provides permanently affordable housing; and she helped to establish the Oakland Individual Development Account (IDA) program which is a matching savings program for housing/educational/transportation goals of low-income residents. She also authored the Vacant Property Ordinance and the Non-owner Registry Ordinance.
Her diverse district stretches from the City's eastern border in the Oakland hills to the 880 freeway and is generally bounded on one side by Redwood Road /Kingsland/Bancroft/ 51st Avenue and on the other side by Keller/82nd/69th. Council Member Brooks has been a strong advocate for her District.
Council Member Brooks serves as the Chairperson of the City of Oakland's Life Enrichment Committee; and is a member of the Council’s Finance and Budget Committee. She serves as member of the Alameda County Lead District Joint Powers Authority. She is the Assistant California State District Director of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials; Treasurer of the California League of Cities Black Caucus. She is also an Executive Board member of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), and a member of the Regional Planning Committee and the Finance & Personnel Committee of ABAG. She is a member of ABAG’s Regional Airport Planning Committee, and the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) Appeal Committee. Council Member Brooks is also a member of Patten University Advisory Board. She formerly served as: an Advisory Board Member for the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. She also served as a Board Member of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority where significant accomplishments were achieved through her leadership.
Council Member Brooks is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and a transplant to Oakland from Seattle, Washington. Council Member Brooks moved to Oakland in 1989. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington and a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University. She was formerly the Chief of Staff to Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration & Naturalization Service; Assistant District Council with the Department of Housing & Urban Development; Staff Attorney with the Washington State Legislature; and a Public Defender with Northwest Defenders