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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

How public safety became the backdrop of the Oakland mayor’s race

Mayoral Candidate Sheng Thao
Alex Navarro
Mayoral Candidate Sheng Thao

With its ranked choice voting system, it’s taken Oakland several days after Election Day to determine the results of its hotly contested mayoral race — and at the end of last week, leading contestant Sheng Thao appeared to emerge as the winner by a narrow lead. However, the numbers are so close that no one has yet declared victory.

Back in late October, Darwin BondGraham, news editor at The Oaklandside, wrote an analysis about how the Oakland mayor’s race was all about public safety. KALW’s elections engagement editor Sonia Paul caught up with BondGraham to talk about how we got here, and how we’re seeing this play out as we come closer to knowing the outcome of the race.

Sonia Paul joined Uncuffed in 2021 as a teacher at Solano State Prison. As an award-winning independent journalist, writer and producer, she specializes in investigating how power hierarchies and transnational issues impact state systems and individual and community identity.