Mya Whitaker grew up in East Oakland and has a profound love for her city. The Whitaker family has been a part of the Oakland community since the 1960’s. After her mother completed graduate school she returned to the Bay Area. Mya has been a resident of Oakland since 1997. Passionate, real and, connected are just a few ways to describe this young visionary leader, who envisions Oakland being a place that is safe, where people aren’t afraid of our youth, but embrace them and help them to discover their unique potential.

After witnessing many of her peers succumb to violence as a way of life, Mya was determined that this would not be her destiny. She not only set-out on a path to discover her role in society, but to serve a vibrant community that is resilient, but also struggles with drugs, gangs and the violence that accompanies that deadly combination. Despite the structural imbalances, Mya is inspired to work alongside those working to make East Oakland a better place for the next generation. Mya has worked for over 10 years with young people across the Bay Area to make a positive impact in the community.

As a conduit for social change and empowerment, Mya is a strong believer that Oakland can save itself from the issues that our communities struggle with. Oakland is home to many innovative people, ideas, and organizations that shape the direction of not only the United States, but the world. At this present moment, Oakland needs representation in city government that is truly reflective of our community. Mya understands our neighborhoods because she, like many others, is fighting to ensure that Oakland always remains home.

Mya has many years of experience working and volunteering with youth and families in Oakland. She is a Counselor for foster youth in Alameda County, the Program Director of the award-winning Bay Area Debate League, and a commissioner for Oakland’s Police Oversight Commission. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from San Francisco State University and is a 2017 Graduate of Emerge California, a program to prepare women to run for elected office. Recently, she was chosen by Mayor Libby Schaaf to assist in the process of selecting current Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. Since 2011, she has facilitated community discussions on community and police relations.

Mya understands what it’s like being a young person in East Oakland who has overcome challenges of her own. She strives to create spaces where others can heal and grow. Mya is deeply committed to building an East Oakland that is safe, healthy and vibrant for ALL residents.


Experience In Service:

Akademia Village, EMERGE CA, IGNITE CA, Bay Area Urban Debate League, Alameda County Foster Care, Alameda County Mental Health, Citizen Police Review Board, Project code 22. Mya's experience speaks to being invested hands on from the ground up to solve her communities issues and advocate for those most vulnerable.