our City. Our budget. Imagine that.

join us

There are many ways to get involved!

People’s Budget Assembly

Learn about the city budget. Decide what Oakland’s budget priorities should be. Engage with our neighbors and friends in building the Oakland People’s Budget.


Tell us what’s important to you! Every week, we create a space for community leaders and members to get together and discuss ideas, issues, and solutions.


Join us for an afternoon of meeting your neighbors as we survey Oakland residents about their priorities.

happy hour phone banking

Join us at local bars and help us text message our supporters exciting updates about our campaign.


About us

our vision, mission, and strategy

The Community Democracy Project is an all-volunteer campaign working to turn the power structure right side up by putting the people of Oakland in charge of the city budget.

We plan to do this by passing a voter initiative that would create neighborhood assemblies, direct democracy, and active citizenship.

  • what we need to launch our signature-gathering campaign:
  • Thirty Core members

    to join our street team and make a people's budget a reality! We're almost half way to our goal.

  • $20,000

    to provide stipends for our signature-gathering volunteers.


CDP is an all-volunteer and campaign with clear pathways to membership, directorship, and participation.
The Marketing Committee is in charge of social media content, posters, flyers, reading materials, and swag.
The Welcome Committee reaches out to existing supporters and informs them about upcoming CDP events.
The Membership Committee introduces new members to CDP policies and the inner workings of the group.
The Speaker's Bureau creates a network of allies and presents the vision of CDP at gatherings all over Oakland.
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Shawn McDougal

co-director, speaker’s bureau
Shawn McDougal is an educator and change-maker who is committed to creating a more just and humane world. When he is not being a math professor or CDP co-director, he likes to ride his bike, dance, and gaze at beautiful skies.
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Mandy Au Yeung

Mandy Au Yeung is a current Oakland resident with over 5 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. In her free time, she listens to stories – books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, etc. She loves meeting like-minded people who are interested in creating social change.
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Kit Decker

co-director, membership committee
Kit is an Electronics Engineering Technician. He works at the BART District’s Electronics Repair Shop, is an active organizer for SEIU 1021 and the Fight for 15 low wage worker struggle, and volunteers as a tutor at Layette Elementary School’s Boost! program.
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Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas

co-director, welcome committee, marketing committee
Tia graduated from Berkeley Law and founded the Alipato Project, a domestic violence resistance group that sues batterers. In her spare time, she reads radical picture books to preschoolers, plays chess at Alchemy Collective, and tries to convince people that participatory budgeting will save the world.
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Victoria Sepe

co-director, marketing committee
Victoria Sepe is a 6th grade teacher who strongly believes in direct democracy. She joined CDP because she wants to bring some power back to the people and pave the way for true democracy in Oakland. In her spare time, she likes to read, write, make music, and explore new places.
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Tim Ng

co-director, speaker’s bureau
Tim works in the legal aid community, at the intersection of law and social justice. He believes in the power of mediation, dialogue, and honesty as the path to liberation. He joined CDP because he believes that systemic change is possible if we embrace the potential of collective unity.
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Chelsea Rathkamp

co-director, membership committee, marketing committee
Chelsea is a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT) who provides low-cost and no-cost therapy to pregnant people and others. She joined CDP because she believes in the collective brilliance of all people regardless of background. In her spare time she geeks out over rad sci-fi and finds herself at live shows and dance parties.
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Victoria Yu

co-director, welcome committee, marketing committee
Victoria graduated with an MFA in creative writing for the same reason she joined CDP—because that’s where the money is (or should be). When she’s not copywriting at her job, she’s volunteering around SF and Oakland, reading, journaling, and searching for new productivity tools to play with.
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Ellen Frieboes

voting member
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Thea DeArmond

voting member, welcome committee
Thea lives in Oakland with her cat.
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Noni Session

voting member, speaker’s bureau
Noni’s priorities include increasing self-determination in historically disenfranchised communities. When she’s not working on CDP, she serves as treasurer of State of Black Oakland (SOBO).
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Guita Boostani

voting member, marketing committee
Guita is an architect working to build a new paradigm through peace and CDP!

Alissa Magrill

voting member
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Ian Steinberg

voting member
Ian is a musician and works as Tech Support for Meyer Sound. While new to Oakland, he is committed to giving back to the community and making a more equitable society.
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DeMarus Allen-Batieste

voting member, marketing committee
DeMarus is a renaissance queer who believes in hella people power and that reading is FUNdamental.
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BJ Vossen

voting member
BJ is a project manager by day and a people power activist at CDP by night.
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Kyle Donnely

voting member
Kyle’s background in philosophy and the arts has led to a conviction that solidarity created by communities working together is the path to justice.


CDP was founded in the fall of 2011, and has grown to include a diverse cross-section of Oakland residents, community leaders, and activists. Over the last five years, we’ve done extensive street outreach, and heard from Oaklanders about the issues they care about, and what they would do if they were in charge of the city budget. It’s clear: Oakland residents are ready for real involvement in crucial decisions, and have enough creative solutions to fuel the city for generations.

Get in touch

Last meeting's minutes are available upon request. Message us to get a copy.