Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez: Championing Education and Empowerment for Oakland
Greetings, Oakland community! My name is Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez, and I am honored to be a part of this vibrant city that I have proudly called home for over two decades. As a devoted resident of the Fruitvale neighborhood, I understand the unique challenges and potential that our community holds. Allow me to share my journey with you and my vision for a brighter future for all of us.
A Journey of Advocacy and Empowerment
Born in Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico, I am the proud daughter of Alejandro Hernandez Carmona, an Afro-Indigenous Doctor, and Rosa Villanueva Marin, an Afro-Filipino educator. Growing up, my parents faced the difficulties of navigating the American public education system as immigrants. Like many students in OUSD, I became my parents' advocate and interpreter, all while grappling with learning English, adapting to a new country, and dealing with the challenges of being undocumented.
A Voice for Change
In my teenage years, I discovered the power of organizing as a means to create positive change. I mobilized against police brutality following the tragic loss of Oscar Grant, and I fought for the DREAM Act alongside fellow young activists. Guided by a deep sense of justice and empathy, I volunteered as an interpreter for low-income undocumented children and families entangled in immigration cases. I also lent my efforts to the Just Wages Network, supporting workers who faced exploitation in their workplaces.
Service and Dedication
My commitment to service has been a cornerstone of my personal and professional life. I served as a Bilingual Instructor at Alameda County’s Registrar of Voters Office, where I trained poll workers, supervised election processes, and played an essential role in facilitating civic engagement during the 2014 federal election. While this work was rewarding, my passion for education led me to pursue a career where I could make a profound impact on young lives.
Empowering Education for All
I wholeheartedly believe that every student deserves an equitable and enriching education experience. My journey through Oakland schools, from middle school to college graduate, was shaped by the support and encouragement I received. I am committed to ensuring that no student has to endure the challenges I faced due to inequitable resource distribution. As a Senior Parent Organizer, I spearheaded school improvement projects, advocated for better policies, and provided valuable workshops to families, emphasizing the importance of early literacy.
A Proven Track Record
Throughout my years of service, I have mobilized families to support crucial causes, from teacher strikes, pandemic safety measures the Reparations for Black Students Resolution and more. I have worked tirelessly to create a culturally responsive education system, and my role as the coordinator of the Bay Area Coalition for Education Justice (BACEJ) has prepared me to fight for quality public education for all Bay Area students.
A Promise for Oakland's Future
Today, I stand before you as a candidate for School Board Director for District 5. My commitment is unwavering: to prioritize the voices and needs of students and families in crafting an education system that is culturally sensitive, transparent, fiscally responsible, and locally controlled. Together, we can usher in an era of educational excellence that will empower our students and uplift our community.
Join me in this journey towards a brighter future for Oakland. Together, we can ensure that every student's potential is nurtured, every family's voice is heard, and every corner of our community thrives. Let's create a legacy of educational equity that will resonate for generations to come.
In unity and progress,