*In-person community outreach took place before quarantine regulations.
Elisha was born and raised in Hayward. She is the product of the Hayward public school system, Hayward community influencers, Hayward housing, Hayward resources, and the Hayward community as a whole. She believes in the power of grassroots mobilizing and the fight for true community power. She is running for Hayward City Council because Hayward residents need representatives who put their interests first. Elisha is dedicated to serving her community as an ally in the fight for justice on all fronts.
After graduating from Mt. Eden High School, Elisha attended UC Santa Barbara. It was while Elisha was in Santa Barbara, visiting home only for the holidays, that she began to see changes in her community. The effects of gentrification and the housing crisis were becoming undeniable.
In 2016, after seeing a need for change in her community and inspired by the rise in grassroots movements sparked by the 2016 election, Elisha decided to change her major to the History of Public Policy. Having always known that she sought a higher education with intentions to return to her community to serve those most in need, Elisha did not know how she would achieve her goals initially. It was not until she realized the power of policy in protecting the rights of those most marginalized, especially in local government, that Elisha knew where her passion lied.
Since graduating, Elisha has worked as a Housing Rights Advocate at Centro Legal de la Raza, serving low income East Bay tenants. It was through this work that Elisha quickly learned that unlike Hayward’s neighboring cities of Oakland, Richmond, and Berkeley, Hayward lacked basic protections for renters and was allowing its own community to face displacement. Frustrated at the lack of Just Cause and rent control protections in her hometown, Elisha began to question why Hayward had not yet adopted new policies to protect her friends, family, and the community at large. The need for change was more apparent than ever.
Elisha began to attend city council meetings where she saw that other advocates and community members had been organizing for these changes all along. It was the council who was failing to act. It was through seeing the relentless dedication of her fellow community at these meetings, which were constantly met with a lack of urgent action by community representatives, that Elisha began to question that status quo. Elisha soon joined her community in advocating for the clear changes that were needed.
At one of these council meetings, Elisha was approached by Lacei, who she recognized as a Hayward activist and grassroots organizer. Lacei introduced Elisha to the idea of no longer needing to plea with representatives for change in our community, rather creating community power and meeting community demands. Together they discussed the fights for justice that Hayward residents and organizers had long been demanding from their council.
Elisha is now running because she believes that a community knows what is best for itself. She believes justice and equity can be achieved through recognizing and joining the work already being done in the community. Work in the fight for housing justice, economic justice, police accountability, immigrants’ rights, and so much more.
Elisha is running for Hayward City Council because her home is made of people that she values and she can no longer watch council members disregard community pleas for basic rights because they are blinded by corporate interests.
Lacei is a community organizer, a housing justice advocate, a mother, a tenant, and an aspiring attorney. She is running for Hayward City Council because Hayward residents deserve representation from those that know their stories and who have also lived their struggle. Lacei is fighting to build a community that is for all Hayward residents. Like so many Hayward residents, Lacei has been fighting to secure economic security for herself and her family. As a single parent, she has fought hard to juggle the demands of inaccessible childcare, expensive housing, student loan debt, and economic insecurity.
Lacei sees the promises Hayward offers and is determined to make it a more inclusive, and just city to live and raise a family. She worked as a server and barista to support herself and her infant daughter while completing her undergraduate degree at San Francisco State University. She later worked as a legal assistant at non-profit legal service organizations serving low-income clients.
In 2016, like many who saw the future Trump administration as a direct attack on democracy, Lacei became involved in local community organizing as a form of resistance. Understanding that her own struggles were the same struggles of her neighbors, the working families in Hayward, Lacei saw the need to continue the fight for a more inclusive, just, and democratic society beginning within her own community. This work was also connected to her work as a legal assistant, providing eviction defense to low-income tenants. There, she saw up close the effects of the housing crisis, the lack of affordable housing, and an absence of tenant protection laws. In her client’s struggles and challenges, Lacei also saw her own.
Lacei and her fellow activists initially focused their advocacy on asking their local elected City Council members (most who had held office for years) to help working families by offering basic protections such as limitations on unreasonable rent increases. They first thought they could work with these elected officials as many made public statements claiming their support for tenants and other working families. Sadly, many of these same Council Members turned out to be in opposition as they had formed relationships with the real estate lobby and regularly accepted campaign contributions from these groups. After years of community organizing, political pressure, and endless hours of hard work from residents, these Council Members reluctantly acted. The Council finally enacted a reform to the tenant protection laws bringing about more needed protections for tenants and working families but years late for those already forced out from our community. Also, the laws implemented were influenced by the real estate interests, which greatly weakened the tenant protection laws.
During this fight, Lacei kept wondering what our community could become if our elected leaders were not under the influence of powerful corporate interest groups and were instead unapologetic champions of the interests of working families, boldly pioneering progressive policy changes. Progressive policies such as: rent control, priority for affordable housing development, supporting the creation of community land trusts and social housing projects, raising the minimum wage to $15, fighting for immigrant rights and strengthening sanctuary city laws, investing without displacing or gentrifying, and providing financial assistance to cover childcare costs.Lacei is now running because she believes that Hayward residents deserve representation from those who know their stories, who are living what they are living, and who are willing to fight for transformative change for all residents not just the well-resourced or well-connected few.