30 Years of Public Service
Sandré Swanson met Congressman Ronald V. Dellums over thirty-four years ago. Ron, at that time, was a candidate for Congress and Sandré was the Student Body President at Laney College in Oakland, California. Their first meeting was at an Oakland peace march protesting the May 4, 1970 killing of four Kent State University student protesters by the Ohio State National Guard. The students were protesting President Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
This shooting ignited a national student strike which was unprecedented in the history of our country. Ron and other Civil Rights Leaders were leading the march while Sandré was leading the Laney Student Body protest. Sandré, who was not acquainted with Ron at the time, was carrying with others a mock wooden casket of the fallen students. He was so impressed with Ron’s speech that day that he organized scores of students to work on the Dellums for Congress campaign.
In 1971, Sandré was elected, via neighborhood balloting, as the East Oakland representative for the Oakland Anti-Poverty Board. He became one of the Board’s most vocal Vice-Chairman.
In 1972, Wilson Riles Jr., who was the Northern California Coordinator for the historic presidential campaign for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, recruited Sandré to run the campaign’s Advance Team. During that campaign, Sandré met activist Barbara Lee, who was also working in the Chisholm campaign. Barbara was quite impressed with Sandré and recommended to Congressman Dellums that he hire him as part of his congressional staff.
On May 1, 1973, Congressman Dellums and his District Administrator, Donald R. Hopkins, hired Sandré as a member of the district office staff. He was 24 years old. During his tenure, Sandré held positions as Aide, Press Secretary, Staff Assistant and District Director.
In the fall of 1976, Judge Lionel Wilson, another significant mentor, made a personal request of Congressman Dellums that he be allowed to borrow Sandré to manage his campaign for mayor. With the assistance of Sandré as his Campaign Manager, Judge Wilson became Oakland’s first African-American Mayor on May 17, 1977.
On October 25, 1977, Mayor Wilson appointed Sandré to the Oakland Civil Service Commission, where he served with distinction as Chairman and Commissioner for two terms. The Commission’s caseload for employee and union appeals doubled because everyone got a fair hearing with Chairman Swanson ruling on their appeals.
In the summer of 1990, Congressman Dellums invited Nelson Mandela to Oakland, California following his release
from prison after twenty-seven years.
A coalition of labor, community and church groups asked Congressman Dellums to grant leave for Sandré so that he could be the Northern California Coordinator for the Nelson Mandela Freedom Tour during its Oakland visit. Sandré, working with the legendary Bill Graham and hundreds of community organizations, brought 60,000 people to the Oakland Coliseum in support of this celebration. He organized a fund-raising dinner attended by 3,000 people, which completed this historic event. The committee gave the free South Africa movement the largest contribution of the tour.
In 1993, as a result of military base closures, Congressman Dellums asked Sandré to spearhead the congressional district’s military base conversion effort. Sandré was the architect of the cross-jurisdictional memberships on the local reuse authorities in charge of military base conversion in our county. He served as the Vice-Chairman for the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority and Commissioner on the Oakland Base Authority for five years. Today our former military bases are home for hundreds of businesses and thousands of new jobs because of his leadership.
In 1998, following Congressman Dellums retirement, Congresswoman Barbara Lee hired Sandré as her District Director. On May 1, 1999, twenty-six years after she recommended that Congressman Dellums hire him, she appointed Sandré as her Chief of Staff. As the Congresswoman’s most trusted advisor, he managed the Washington, D.C. and the California district offices. When ask recently about her retiring Chief of Staff Congresswoman Lee said "Sandré has been a mentor, and has served as an effective counsel, whose sound logic and wisdom I trust. But above all else, I am proud to call Sandré a friend".
For 30 years, Sandré Swanson has served our community as Chief of Staff, to Congresswoman Barbara Lee and District Director and Senior Policy Adviser to Congressman Ron Dellums. He has earned a reputation as a dedicated and hardworking public servant with an impressive record of accomplishments on behalf of the people of our district.
Sandré is the past Chairman of the Alameda County Retirement Board, and is currently in his 3rd term as a Trustee for the successful $4.7 billion pension organization. The retirement board supports the pension system and retirement security for 15,000 active and retired county employees and their families
In announcing his candidacy, Sandré said, “the education, health and safety of our children will be my top priority in the California State Assembly. I will work for a state budget that makes the education of our children a real priority for California. I believe keeping our promise to our children will help us build strong communities and create sustainable jobs”.
Sandré continues today to work hard to support Universal Health Care, create local jobs, improve educational opportunities, promote affordable housing, reduce crime, secure youth and senior citizen services, protect consumers, improve mass transit, build successful small businesses and advocate for a healthy environment.
California is facing an historic budget crisis. Sandré has the experience and ability to join the fight and develop solutions that will protect our priorities. As a member of the Assembly, Sandré will promote policies that value the contributions of working families and would continue to oppose the Governor’s strategies of government by Initiatives. Sandré believes this policy is keeping California in crisis and our State’s prosperity in decline.
Sandré Swanson has a specific record of progressive leadership on behalf of the residents in the East Bay. His record of service has been endorsed by the California Teachers Association; California Nurses Association; California Labor Federation; Central Labor Council of Alameda County; the Sierra Club; Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, OakPac; Oakland Education Association, OEA; California State Council, SEIU; American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, AFSCME; California Federation of Teachers; Faculty Association of California Community Colleges; Alameda County Building and Construction Trades Council and the California League of Conservation Voters. (Partial list)
The following are some highlights of that distinguished record:
Promoting Economic Development, Jobs and the Environment
Working with Congresswoman Lee, Sandré managed the successful effort to secure Congressional authorization for a 252 million dollar dredging project for the Port of Oakland. The “50 Foot Dredging Project” will deepen our port’s harbor to accommodate the latest generation of container vessels. This new shipping capacity for Oakland’s seaport will generate 8,800 additional jobs, $1.9 billion of increased annual business revenue and 62 million dollars of increased annual local tax revenue. Sandré and his colleagues also assisted in negotiating an agreement to use the resulting dredge material for wetland restoration, habitat enhancement and upland use within the San Francisco Bay which is setting a new national environmental standard for reuse of dredged material.
Military Base Conversion: A Major Jobs Project
Sandré has served as Vice-Chairman and member of the Alameda Reuse Authority and the Oakland Base Reuse Authority, agencies charged with converting closed military bases in our county to successful civilian reuse. Today these bases are building new homes, growing businesses and creating jobs
Congressman Dellums, who served as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, assigned Sandré to head his national planning process for finding successful reuse strategies for military bases scheduled for closure. Sandré spearheaded the military base conversion effort for Alameda County and was the architect of the crossjurisdictional memberships on the local reuse authorities. His efforts resulted in greater cooperation and faster reuse.
Sandré managed the Congressional oversight of more than 50 million dollars in federal conversion planning and clean-up monies for the cities of Oakland and Alameda. Working with Congressman Dellums, Sandré managed the successful transfer of Naval Fleet Industrial Supply Center to the cities of Alameda and Oakland.
Today, in Alameda 87 acres of that land has been cleaned up and have under construction 485 new homes. Oakland uses their share of that land to create two new marine terminals and for the creation of Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, which provides open space for recreation and learning.
Protecting Worker’s Pensions
Sandré is the past Chairman of the Alameda County Retirement Board. He is currently in his third term as Trustee for the County of Alameda’s 4.7 billion dollar pension organization that supports the pension system for 15,000 active and retired county employees and their families. He believes passionately that worker pension security is a promise that can not be broken. Among his priorities is working for the protection of our worker’s pensions and against any raid on worker retirement security by the Governor and his supporters.
Recreation and Economic Development
Sandré served as Chairman of the City of Alameda Golf Commission which manages Alameda’s successful 45 hole golf complex. As a Commissioner he is leading the Commissions current planning effort for a new club house for the Alameda Golf Complex and is working on the long range planning for a hotel and sports complex at Alameda Point (former Navel Air Station). Sandré is committed to providing recreational activities for children and families.
Securing Worker Rights
Sandré served as Chairman and Commissioner for the city of Oakland’s Civil Service Commission for two terms. The Commission’s caseload for employee and union appeals doubled because each appeal got a fair hearing from Chairman Swanson. He worked to protect the rights of employees in the work place. Sandré fought for the principles of progressive management and for fair promotions for minorities and woman in the police department, fire department, in public works and thought-out city government.
Investing in Oakland
The Oakland Federal Building was built in 1993. The effort to bring the federal building to Oakland took more than a decade and Sandré was assigned to head this project for Congressman Dellums office. This very important project that required great team work from many local partners which the Congressional office insisted, included labor. Sandré helped win this very important two hundred million dollar project for Oakland and today the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building is the work place for many federal employees and its twin towers represent an impressive gateway to our city.
As Chairman of the Alameda County Retirement Board Sandré led the successful effort to purchase and not continue to lease a building in downtown Oakland. That building now serves as the permanent home for Alameda County retirees. The building has also been a very successful investment for our County pension fund.
Developing Worker Own Businesses
Sandré started the Worker to Business Owner Project for former military base workers who lost their jobs due to base closures in our county. He helped secure a grant for the program and got private sector partners to support the project. The project trained former base workers to become business owners and provided them technical assistance as needed. The program helped the potential business owners write their business plan, conduct market studies, analyze competition and forecast the financial feasibility of the business. Today these businesses employ many workers and credit Sandré as the reason they are still in business.
Promoting Small Business
Sandré is the Founder and currently the Chairman of the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission’s Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, which provides business loans of up to $250,000 to businesses in Alameda County. The fund helps emerging companies in Alameda County that are having difficulty in receiving traditional financing from banks. The programs goal is to provide business gap financing for eligible small businesses to stimulate the local economy and to create jobs. The loan fund has been in operation for six years and Sandré credits the technical assistance that is provided to the businesses as the reason for its success.
Fruitvale Transit Village:
Revitalizing Communities Through Housing
Sandré was proud to be part of Congresswoman Lee’s team that secured millions of dollars for the Fruitvale Transit Village and helped the Unity Council reach its goals with this land mark development. Sandré said “This project represents a great development philosophy and shows what a broad-based partnership of public, private, and nonprofit organizations working together to revitalize a community using transit-oriented development can accomplish”.
Our campaign has a very broad base of support because Sandré has a record of celebrated service to our community. Sandré Swanson is running to win the 16th Assembly District’s Democratic Party primary election on June 6, 2006.
We invite you to join our winning campaign - www.SandreSwanson.org
— Sandré Swanson for Assembly Committee