Assembly District 18 Candidates

Andrea Luna Bocanegra – Teacher

As a daughter of an immigrant and parent of a child with a learning disability, she will fight for Universal Healthcare, Medicare for all, Housing and Tenant Rights, Protections for Immigrants, Justice Reform, Tuition-Free College and trade school and Environmental Protection Policies. She is the chair for the Toler Heights Neighborhood Association in Oakland, District 6, Member of Forever Oakland, helping with cleanups and serving the unhoused community. TK & Kindergarten Teacher in Hayward, CA. She was a translator and advocate for Spanish-speaking farm workers in Salinas.

Austin Tam – Incumbent

I am a social justice advocate/activist, Disability Advocate as well, and someone with lived experiences something with a disability. 

I was elected in 2019 as an ADEM, to be a delegate of the California Democratic Party. In 2020, I was elected to be part of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.

I helped draft resolution for Palestine in 2021, as well as recently in November along with my colleagues made a resolution to stand in solidarity with Palestinians and people of Gaza, and calling for a ceasefire. 

I want to help make the “Invisible, visible,” and also be a voice for those without a voice.

 My advocacy includes, but is not limited to especially when it comes to Human Rights, Incarceration, Disability Rights, Palestine, Philippines, Immigration, LGBTQIA, just to name a few, and more.

Chaney Turner – Consultant

Chaney Turner is an Oakland native, entrepreneur and organizer for over twenty years, whose focus is on equity & cannabis justice. Chaney Chairs the City of Oakland Cannabis Commission and has been active in advocating small for equity owned businesses, implementing lowering taxes, loan forgiveness programs, and securing State funding for cannabis operators who’ve we’re

Chaney believes in accessibility, equity, and a dedicated, transparent investment in the economic, social and political lives of those most impacted by poverty & the War on Drugs. In 2016, Chaney founded Town Biz Oakland, a local cultural & social justice brand that provided safe space for the community. That same year they co-founded a brick & mortar cannabis dispensary in Oakland where they lead cannabis policy & culture. For their work, Chaney is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including; East Bay Express Best of The Bay(2016), Oakland Rising Business of the Year (2017) & Oakland Indie Award “Ripple Effect” (2018).

In 2020, Chaney founded Beyond Equity, an organization whose mission is to insure equity in the still developing cannabis industry. Chaney’s work and leadership embodies the belief that those most impacted by inequities should have the power to implement grounded, sustainable and
community-driven solutions.

In 2023, Chaney was elected as a California Assembly Delegate for Alameda County representing District 18.

Desmond Jeffries – Program Specialist/Educator

I am an Oakland resident, your ADEM 18 delegate and a member of the progressive people powered slate.

Access and development of affordable housing, single-payer healthcare and fresh food is not a privilege, but an individual right of every individual in the world. Many policies implemented tend to uplift the rich and ignore the rest. This lack of good governance has led to increases in crime, homelessness and an imbalance of wealth and opportunity. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Let’s make sure our tax dollars work for us as intended. Let’s make sure our social safety-nets are maintained. Let’s make sure government works for the people and not just corporations and special interests, by making sure government provides basic and necessary infrastructure and services are the floor. Let’s stop government overreach violating individual civil rights and personal privacy in the name of public safety and security. 

 We can, we will, and we must fix and resolve these issues; through my seat on the Central Committee. This is exactly what I will do by endorsing candidates with progressively-driven core values and ballot initiatives which promote goodwill to all and do no harm. I will fight for candidates and policies moving us toward the mark of policy that is equitable, sustainable, safe and effective.

Howard Egerman – Union Representative

 Born in San Francisco. BA from UC Davis MA from UC riverside.  Us Navy 1969 to 73. 1973 to present – employed federal government Social Security east oakland. 50 years government service. 

Designation union representative. 2nd Vice President AFGE local 3172 representing Social Security employees in northern and Central California and Northern Nevada. UNION rep for Bay Area players. National health and safety rep for all SSA employees.  Represe ts local at Alameda County central labor council and set es as of 3 council trustees. 

PRESIDENT of Oakland East Democratic Club. In 5th term of Cal Dem Party Senior Caucus. 

 Married to Diane and live in Oakland.

Iris Merrouns – Legislative Director

Iris Merriouns has over 20 years of public service experience in city government, previously serving as Chief of staff to former Vice Mayor and former Council President, and currently serving as Legislative Director. She has also served as the past Vice President of A&W Chapter of IFPTE Local 21, advocating for fair wages and expanded City services.  Iris has served as a Delegate to the Alameda Labor Council, representing the interests of working families and local communities. She is Co-Founder and past Board Chair of Youth Uprising, a nationally renowned youth development center focusing on career and education, health and wellness and arts and expressions while building systems change and community and economic development along with civic engagement to empower youth and young adults to transform their lives and communities.

Iris is passionate about working with city, county, and state partnerships to bring the voice of local citizens across all systems and issues that impact and grow the region. She  believes that we need to strengthen our democratic values, promote safe communities,  social justice, and protect our environment, and will advocate for policies that support affordable housing, quality education, public health, and economic opportunity for all. She will also work to increase voter participation, civic engagement, and diversity within the Democratic Party.

Over the past 4 years she has served as an Alternate to the ACDCC  and appointed to the Democratic State Cental Committee and Delegate at the California Democratic State Convention.  She is asking for your vote and your support in this election. Together, we can make Alameda County a better place for everyone. Thank you.

Kalimah Priforce – Councilmember

Just a kid from Brooklyn, Kalimah Priforce (kuh-LEE-muh, PRY-force) is the friendly neighborhood hacktivist in Emeryville’s city council as a former serial entrepreneur, local democracy advocate, and early pioneer of the “Learn to Code” movement before becoming California’s first Haitian American elected official. He is currently building Emeryville’s first tenant union and homeowners alliance.

Royl Roberts – Assistant District Attorney

Royl currently serves on the Democratic Central Committee as a Delegate for AD 18. He is running for the Central Committee for the same reasons he ran and won four (4) years ago. 

  • To support Candidates and Elected Officials who have the best interest of the people as their guiding light and not self interest.
  • To Bring diversity of thought, background and experiences to the Central Committee.
  • To Work together with other members of the Central Committee to ensure the priorities of the CA Democratic Party are representative of the people of which it is composed.

Royl has held various leadership positions in both the private and public sector, as well as working in an Employment and Civil Rights Law Firm.  After law school, Mr. Roberts transitioned to the public sector where he has held positions in operations, risk management and employee relations. Mr. Roberts has held executive level positions as Chief of Staff and General Counsel. Mr. Roberts currently serves as Chief Assistant District Attorney for Alameda County. 

“The gap between those who have and those who do not is continuing to grow in our communities.  If we do not elect people who will guard the interests of those who may be able to guard them, we are in serious trouble.  When Big Business, Corporate Interests and Elected Officials are aligned; there is a need to look to those not beholden to others for fair representation.”

Pamela Price – District Attorney

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Y. Price is a graduate of Yale College and UC Berkeley Law School, and a survivor of the Ohio juvenile justice and foster care systems. Before being elected District Attorney in 2022, she trail-blazed a career fighting for justice for everyday people in state and federal courts. She built a successful law-firm, coordinated teams of lawyers across the country and successfully argued a landmark racial harassment case before the United States Supreme Court. DA Price has represented countless victims of retaliation, wrongful termination, sexual assaults, sex, age, religion, disability, and race-based discrimination. Her clients included nurses, doctors, electricians, oil workers, teachers, office workers, police officers and correctional officers from all walks of life.

DA Price has also spent her entire career advocating for justice for women. Her compassion for survivors is deeply rooted in her own personal experiences with sexual harassment, domestic violence, and the criminal justice system. In 1977, Pamela joined the first sexual harassment lawsuit in education and led the fight to define sexual harassment both as an experience and a legal violation. The Alexander case made sexual harassment in education illegal and presaged the #MeToo, #TimesUp and all the movements that followed.

Yoana Tchoukleva – Public Interest Attorney

Yoana Tchoukleva (formally “Ioana”) (she/they) is an attorney and restorative justice circle keeper, dedicated to realizing a community-led vision for justice, both at home in Oakland and abroad. She is running as part of The People Powered Progressives Slate: a corporate-free, people-powered slate of changemakers advocating for housing, healthcare and living wages for all.

Yoana was born and raised in Bulgaria in a family torn apart by domestic violence, mental illness and the intergenerational impacts of communism and colonialism. From an early age, she wanted to understand why good people do terrible things and how we can end both interpersonal and systemic violence. 

It was moving to Oakland twelve years ago and sitting in restorative justice circles in San Quentin and juvenile hall that taught her that it is, in fact, possible to end violence. It starts with creating practices and policies that allow our most vulnerable community members to heal from trauma and meet their material needs. It starts with investment in restorative justice, youth leaders, jobs, housing, healthcare, education and all the basic needs that allow people to thrive. 

Nothing stops a bullet like a job. Nothing stops the killing like opportunities for healing.

Tired of seeing her community hurting and equipped with a degree from Berkeley Law, Yoana set out to plant seeds for healing and transformation where there has been too much punishment and incarceration. She sought resentencing for individuals serving juvenile life without parole, clerked for Judge Thelton Henderson of the Northern District of California, worked on civil rights cases at the ACLU and Equal Justice Society, and fought to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Seeing structural racism as one of the root causes of systemic violence, she drafted legislation that made implicit bias trainings a requirement for judges, attorneys and doctors in the state. Most recently, Yoana worked as Assistant District Attorney in the Restorative Justice Unit of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, expanding access to restorative justice diversion in appropriate youth and adult cases. 

Yoana is the Vice Chair of the Oakland Public Safety and Services Oversight Commission, an elected AD18 ADEM delegate, and Legislation Committee Chair of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee (ACDCC). 

In her role on the ACDCC, Yoana co-authored a resolution that the ACDCC adopted on November 1, 2023 calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages, the entry of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, an end to U.S. military funding for the state of Israel, and the development of a lasting peace. She also joined a diverse coalition of local leaders in organizing for the passage of the City of Oakland ceasefire resolution, among others. Yoana does not condone violence against Palestinians, Israelis, or any people, and is committed to supporting pathways to a diplomatic resolution that guarantees equal rights for all.

You can reach Yoana at She is excited to link arms and advocate for a future where all of our children can be happy, healthy, and free.