4 running to fill Wilma Chan’s seat on Alameda County board of supervisors

Four people are running to fill a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors that became vacant following the death of Supervisor Wilma Chan.

Chan’s former chief of staff David Brown is serving as supervisor for her district until the election is held. The Alameda County Taxpayer’s Association has mounted a challenge to the legality to Brown’s appointment to the board.

Running in the June 7 election to take over for Brown are Oakland’s Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan; Surlene Grant, a former vice mayor of San Leandro; David Kakishiba, executive director of the East Bay Asian Youth Center, and Lena Tam, a former vice mayor in the city of Alameda.

Kaplan was elected in 2008 to the at-large seat on the Oakland City Council. She is a graduate of MIT and Stanford Law School.

Grant was the first Black city councilmember in San Leandro and has a meeting space in the city named after her. Currently, Grant is a small business owner.

Kakishiba has been the executive director of the East Bay Asian Youth Center for 42 years. The center provides education, employment, counseling and support to families of 2,500 children in Oakland.

Kakishiba is also the author and co-founder of Oakland’s Kids First! initiative, which requires the city to allocate 2.5 percent of its General Fund revenue annually to youth and children.

Tam is currently the manager of the Water Planning Department at the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which provides the East Bay with drinking water and wastewater service.

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