The Eastmont Arch at 73rd Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. October 14, 2020. Credit: Pete Rosos

The current District 6 representative, Loren Taylor, is giving up his seat to run for mayor this year. That means it’s a wide open race. No one has an incumbent advantage. Four candidates have qualified to appear on the ballot.

They include labor and housing advocates and small business owners. Their various skillsets could serve them well if elected to council.

Not sure if you live in D6? The city has an interactive map

As the Nov. 8 election approaches, we’ll be interviewing all the candidates and publishing in-depth profiles. But with the deadline to qualify for the ballot behind us, we’re kicking off election season with short introductions to the names you’ll encounter in the voting booth—presented here in alphabetical order.

If you have any questions you want us to ask these candidates, let us know, and check out the rest of our ongoing elections coverage.

Everything you need to know: A guide to Oakland’s Nov. 8 general election

Kevin Jenkins

Jenkins is a director of housing justice initiatives at United Way Bay Area where he works to improve access to affordable housing and homelessness prevention resources.

He was elected to the Peralta Board of Trustees in 2020, and is also president of the California Association of Black School Educators. He previously was a member of the Alameda County Public Health Commission

Born and raised in East Oakland, Jenkins graduated from Oakland High School and attended Laney College and College of Alameda. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelors in urban studies and planning and later earned a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, East Bay. 

Jenkins’ website says his platform will include addressing gun violence, combatting illegal dumping, better affordable housing access, and reducing homelessness. In an interview with the Peralta Citizen, Jenkins said that a few of the biggest challenges that District 6 faces are illegal dumping and access to food and banking.

Kenneth Session

Session is a real estate agent with over 30 years of experience in Oakland. Aside from running his independent company Session real estate, he has a youtube channel where he talks about his business deals and delivers positive messages pertaining to his faith. 

He attends Acts Full Gospel Church in East Oakland. Session also appears to be a member of the East Bay Dragons MC, an East Oakland-based Black motorcycle club founded in 1959 and one of the oldest Black motorcycle organizations in the world. 

On his facebook page, Session posts videos of himself walking the streets of D6 and frequently cites the need to address illegal dumping. He is also an advocate for getting formerly incarcerated individuals registered to vote, which is allowed if specific requirements are met. 

Nancy Sidebotham

Sidebotham is a tax consultant who has run for local office several times, including for the 2020 City Council at-large seat, and for mayor in 2018 and 2014. 

Sidebotham graduated from Merritt College with an associates degree in social science, and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University East Bay in Hayward. 

Sidebotham said she’s running because she feels that Oakland City Hall has become corrupt, “run by a group of backroom players, who reap the benefits and line their pockets,” according to her campaign website

Yakpasua Zazaboi

Zazaboi is the owner of Sidewayz Cafe on MacArthur Boulevard near Mills College, an internet cafe and tech repair shop he founded in 2011. 

In the early days of the pandemic, Zazaboi and other parents with the education advocacy group Oakland Reach launched a summer distance learning program to help kids continue their education while regular summer school was closed due to COVID-19. 

Zazaboi is also a filmmaker, and in the early 2000’s he created the documentary “Sidewayz”, which showcased the birth of the sideshow culture in East Oakland, the rowdy street parties featuring dangerous stunt driving. The documentary, which started as a school project, gained national attention.  

Ricky Rodas is a member of the 2020 graduating class of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Oaklandside, he spent two years reporting on immigrant communities in the Bay Area as a reporter for the local news sites Oakland North, Mission Local, and Richmond Confidential. Rodas, who is Salvadoran American and bilingual, is on The Oaklandside team through a partnership with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.