Action Driven by Empathy
When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down Oakland schools and businesses earlier this spring, Steph took immediate action. She began picking up and delivering OUSD-provided meals twice a week to families in need. After the CARES Act was signed into law, Steph stepped up to personally assist small business owners navigate the process of securing federal relief for loans and unemployment benefits.
Steph's empathy is guided by her deep sense of justice and fairness and by her own memories of growing up with little means. As a classroom volunteer at Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue Elementary School, Steph learned that the supper program on which many of the students' families depended had been cancelled. Steph's advocacy for these families resulted in the reinstatement and district-wide expansion of a free supper program.
Communication and Transparency
Steph is deeply committed to serving the constituents of District 1. She believes she is privileged to represent you, not entitled to dictate from above. Known for her tireless energy and enthusiasm, Steph will return your calls and listen to your ideas and concerns for your community and for the City of Oakland.
Steph believes that teamwork — not divisiveness — is essential to solving the many challenges we are facing today in this unprecedented public health and economic crisis. She will not use clever parliamentary tricks to run controversial programs through the City Council. She will strive to conduct her affairs in the open and legislate transparently.
A Third-Generation Californian
A third-generation Californian and proud Latina, Steph is the product and champion of California public school education. Waitressing to pay her way through college, Steph attended Foothill College, San Jose State University, and eventually earned a degree from Pepperdine University in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. For eight years, Steph produced and co-hosted the syndicated Lady Brain Show.
Steph is a 2019 graduate of Emerge, a national organization that trains aspiring Democratic women leaders to run and win elected office.
A long-time resident of Oakland, Steph is proud to be raising her two kids with her husband, environmental attorney Zack Walton, in this unique and dynamic city that she loves.
Now, more than ever, Steph believes District 1 residents deserve a representative who is transparent and accountable with a proven record of collaboration and problem-solving. Steph is committed to bringing positive change as a City Councilmember by representing her community and showing up for District 1.