Illustration by Clara Hollowgrass
Jovanka Beckles is running against Buffy Wicks for the Assembly District 15 seat. As was predictable for candidates in the Bay Area, both are far-left democrats and differ very little with respect to opinion and policy on the large issues such as housing. This is why Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín has said that he would be happy to work with either of them, stating that he is not anti-Wicks, just pro-Beckles. That said, to a certain degree, the two are dissimilar in their approaches. Because of their differences in background, philosophy, and education, Beckles is a superior candidate for Assembly District 15.
One of the key points of Beckles’ campaign, and political career for that matter, is that she is against letting billionaires and big corporations buy elections. Evidently, this is in sharp contrast to Wicks, who has endorsements from some of the biggest, most influential names in politics. Beckles’ philosophy of prioritizing people over profit shows that she is the superior candidate. Politicians should be in office based on what the people want, not what a few influential people and corporations want. Corporate-free politics best represents the people, which is what democracy is all about.
Beyond her policy regarding endorsements, Beckles’ background proves that she is the superior choice for the assembly seat. She has a lifetime of public service under her belt and has been a children’s mental health professional for decades. Her firsthand experience with Bay Area schools proves that she is more knowledgeable about education, and therefore will act in the best interests of both students and teachers for a better future. Additionally, she is a two-term Richmond City Councilmember and long-time leader in the Richmond Progressive Alliance. By contrast, most of Wicks’ political career has not been at the local level; she worked for former President Barack Obama in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. Impressive as this may seem, Wicks has little experience in local government, which could prove costly to the region. Beckles has a proven record of acting in the best interests of the people in the Bay Area.
One final point is education. Both candidates are nearly identical regarding education except for one key point: charter schools. Beckles is pushing for a moratorium on charter schools. Charter schools are publically funded, meaning they take significant funding away from traditional public schools, like Berkeley High School. According to Preston Green, professor of education and law at the University of Connecticut, charter schools drain funding from underfunded traditional public schools that tend to service poor and minority students. Beckles’ policy on new charter schools will benefit normal public schools’ funding.
Even though Beckles and Wicks are essentially identical regarding their policy, they noticeably differ in approach. Beckles has the superior approach in most of the prevalent issues in the upcoming election. Vote for people over profit, vote Jovanka Beckles for District 15 Assembly.