Where are the TOLA Alumni now?
a connection she made working as a TOLA fellow on the Joyce for Mayor
campaign, Laura is now working as a Weatherization Invoice Specialist
with Spectrum Community Services in Hayward. Spectrum is a private
non-profit that provides a wide range of services, so community members
can live sustainably and independently throughout the East Bay. The
Weatherization department helps to reduce our impact on the environment
through energy-efficient homes.
a TOLA fellow working on Don Perata's mayoral campaign, Stephanie
helped to organize
members of a non-profit called the Oakland Builders
Alliance. Since the campaign she has accepted the position as the
group's Organizing Director and now works with OBA members to drive
Oakland's economic revitalization by promoting smart growth policies and
urban infill in the city. Using valuable skills gained from TOLA, she
also works to raise funds for the group as well as to organize events
for its members.
Also, since TOLA, Stephanie participates in a legal internship that
focuses on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in California, and aids in
organizing for patient's rights.
Following his TOLA Fellowship experience, Christian was offered a position with The Unity Council as a Youth Service Coordinator. The Unity Council is a non-profit in the Fruitvale community that provides direct services to families. As a youth service coordinator Christian work directly with youth ages 8-25, overseeing and implementing programming like the Girls Sports Program, Youth Basketball League and College Exploration Opportunities (CEO) - a college bound program that works with students and their families from the 7th grade, to their senior year of high school.
Christian experience as a youth service coordinator is a fulfillment unlike any other. He has the ability to come into a student’s life and become a role model who provides them with emotional and academic support. Furthermore, he is able to cultivate the leadership qualities of the youth (a practice that Christian picked up in TOLA) as they cultivate the leadership qualities of future community leaders.
Amy has returned to her roots to utilize the lessons she learned in
TOLA, organizing the local firefighter's union and working on Don
Perata’s mayoral campaign. Amy is now the Field Director for a former
colleague of her’s, Sherrie Cohen, who is running for the Philadelphia
City Council’s At-Large seat. Sherrie Cohen, an attorney and social
activist, if elected would be the City’s first openly gay councilmember.
Learn more about Sherrie here: http://www.cohen4council.com
Post-TOLA, Gabe has worked with the community (and fellow TOLA member
Laura) to gain a voice for positive development in Oakland, specifically
with Safeway’s proposal to build a new Shopping Center at 51st and
Broadway. The design was up for review with the Design Review Committee
in late January, where they approved the plans 2-1. Gabe and Laura
were successful in gathering and mobilizing a true representation of the
community with many attendees speaking in support of the project at the
Since the Design Review Committee, Gabe has continued
to educate and communicate to the community the benefits of the
revitalization of the 51st and Broadway Shopping Center. This project
was stalled until Gabe and Laura began mobilizing the community in
support of smart, economic development.