Weekly Communication May 2, 2019

Hello 2019 Oakland ULF Fellows!

We are Rachel Williams and Mary Padden and we’re excited to serve as your 2019 Co-Regional Directors in Oakland!

A little about us:

Mary is from Seattle, Washington and moved to Southern California to attend Pomona College. In 2011, she began teaching in Oakland public schools as a resource specialist and a special day class teacher. In 2015, she transitioned to work in the Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf where she was a Program Manager and later served as the Project Director of the Kindergarten to College program. Next fall, Mary will begin a PhD program in education policy at UCLA to study the impacts of institutional racism on education including discipline, special education, and school segregation.

Rachel is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She relocated to the Bay Area to begin doctoral studies in education policy at UC Berkeley in 2016. Prior to this transition, Rachel worked at Illinois Action for Children in the public policy and advocacy department as the project manager for the launch of the Sylvia Cotton Center for Policy Innovation and served as the committee staffer for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Early Childhood Workforce Development Task Force. In her work she studies the political, economic, and historical forces shaping the direction of market-based education reforms in U.S. Southern contexts. She is a proud alum of ULF and continues her commitment to bridging policy, practice, and research. Rachel earned a BA from Dillard University and a MPP from Vanderbilt University.

ULF Updates:

We also wanted to provide you some additional updates on this summer:

Elected Official

You will be working in the Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and specifically with the Director of Education for the City of Oakland, David Silver.

Partner Organizations

We’re working on getting partner orgs lined up. Once details on partner orgs are finalized, we'll send an email updating you on the partner organizations we've secured and what the interview/on-boarding process will look like for the orgs. This will happen in May.

ULF Space

During our seven weeks together, we will be meeting at Oakland City Hall (1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA) and at the Oakland Promise office (1000 Broadway, Oakland, CA).

Housing Logistics

Here is a link to the google spreadsheet we'll be updating with opportunities to sublease in Oakland this summer. As you can see, it's blank for now but we'll be working over the next several weeks to populate it with info of individuals who are looking to sublease a room in the Oakland area. I'd also recommend you keep an eye out on Craigslist, etc. for other opportunities to find a place to sublease. If you need recommendations on where to live, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We’re more than happy to help with recommendations on where would be best given where we'll be working, etc.

Transitional Funding

A need-based scholarship is available from ULF (up to $500) to alleviate financial burden during the 7-week period. The application was sent to you this week and must be filled out by May 10th. By the end of May, you should receive a status update regarding the scholarship and the amount from ULF.


The final Oakland cohort will be solidified in early May. Once we have finalized all Oakland fellows, we will be sending additional communication related to programming, etc.

Again, we're excited to work with you and look forward to being in communication as more details are solidified. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


Rachel Williams and Mary Padden