OAKLAND -- Jill Broadhurst announced that she will run for the District 4 seat on the Oakland City Council, which is being vacated by Libby Schaaf, a candidate for mayor.

Broadhurst has been a community organizer for more than a decade and is the executive director of the East Bay Rental Housing Association. Broadhurst came in second to Schaaf in a 2010 bid in which she secured 29.6 percent of the vote in a seven-candidate race. Schaaf won with 53 percent of the vote, according to data from the League of Women Voters.

"The challenges facing the city and public are still the same," Broadhurst said. "We all know the great promise of Oakland and our district. We all consider the neighborhoods our homes. We love our shops, our parks, our restaurants, but we also know that we deserve more: better roads, safer streets. There just needs to be greater focus on the core services at City Hall."

After her 2010 campaign, Broadhurst began working with the East Bay Rental Housing Association in government relations and then as the executive director.

"The nonprofit provides services to promote fair, safe and well maintained residential rental housing that is compliant with local ordinances and state and federal laws," Broadhurst said.

As part of her job, Broadhurst has spent a considerable amount of time in City Hall and attended numerous City Council meetings.

"I feel I have a balance between business and community experience," Broadhurst said.

"I know all the council members," she said. "This is not a foreign environment to me. I feel ready to be a representative. I'm in a great position."

Broadhurst is a board member of the Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation, where she has spent much of her time fundraising and looking for grants to provide scholarships for summer and after-school programs.

She is the chair of the neighborhood crime prevention group, the Montclair Safe Improvement Council, where she is a founding member and has been an officer since the organization started in 2003. The group serves as a liaison between the community and the Police Department.

Broadhurst has two children who attend Montclair Elementary School, where she is an active member of the Parent Teacher Organization and focuses on issues of pedestrian safety surrounding the area's schools.

A native of Los Angeles, Broadhurst is the daughter of immigrant parents, so she said she understands the challenges facing families new to the United States. She came to the Bay Area to attend Saint Mary's College in Moraga, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in business and economics.

"I came to the community as a young mother. I wanted cleaner parks and safer streets," remembers Broadhurst. As she began volunteering she found that she wanted to dig deeper into the city's issues and priorities.

"This is not a steppingstone for me," Broadhurst said. "I feel that it is critical that the city move forward. I am willing to put in the time to represent the district and the city. There are citywide issues that need to be addressed by a unified City Council."

"We have already seen change with the new blood in the last election," Broadhurst said. "We need to continue to have a healthy dialogue on the issues and seek resolutions that the residents can actually feel and touch."

For more information about Broadhurst, go to Jill4oakland.com.

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