It's time for young, balanced voice in the California State Assembly.
James was raised in Oakland's historic Dimond District. He attended Oakland public schools until his family moved to San Leandro a little under nine years ago as a fresh start, a new beginning.
Looking to move to bigger and greater things, James began advocating at City Council meetings, partnering with city leaders, and working with various groups to encourage youth engagement.
During his time in high school, James spent a year advocating for San Lorenzo USD to implement a student position on the Board of Trustees. After being turned down once, he went a second time and wrote the policy, passed it through the Board, and was elected unanimously. He served a one year term on San Lorenzo's School Board as the first Student Board Member. He championed the revision of the dress code and helped lead a controversial mascot removal.
James has been told two things in his life: he's "too young," and "too ambitious." It's time to change that narrative.
James ultimately enrolled in San Francisco State University for his BA in Political Science. Now a student lecturer in the historic Experimental College, he continues to progress toward being the first in his family to earn a four-year degree. Alongside his academic work, James works for the university's Associated Students - as Director of Government & Community Relations. In this role, he has partnered with over 20+ legislators, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and the California State Students Association to discuss the state of public higher education.
Just out of high school and while enrolled full time at San Francisco State University, James ran an underdog campaign for the San Leandro School Board. Throughout the campaign, he gained the endorsements of various LGBTQ and community-based organizations and reached out to the San Leandro community in an effort to get to know the issues they care about.
James was elected to the San Leandro School Board in 2018 and became the youngest and third openly Gay person to sit on the Board. Subsequently, he also became the youngest elected official in the San Francisco Bay Area. He continues to push the envelope to fight for climate change-related initiatives, student voice, and changes in policy affecting LGBTQ+ students & staff. Alongside his colleagues, James has authored various resolutions and policies on the Board affirming the District's role in fighting the Climate Crisis.
Throughout his career in both higher and k-12 education, James has not missed sight of the important advocacy needed to push public education forward. A former Senator Skinner and Assemblymember Bonta Intern, James actively advocates alongside legislators to look at things from a 360 view - to revitalize public education is to invest in public transportation, to work toward declaring housing as a human right, and much more in California.
We need a staunch advocate for workers, public education, and transit.