The Community Housing Activist Voted Onto Oakland’s City Council

Jacobin - Carroll Fife is a community organizer based in Oakland, California. She recently came to prominence for her role in helping to organize the Moms 4 Housing movement at the end of 2019, before going on to win a city council seat this past November. She won in the council district of West Oakland, the historic center of the Black Panthers that had, in more recent years, been controlled by a neoliberal representative. She still holds her position as the director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), and is looking to take her grassroots movement-building experience to city hall to achieve real material change for the working class.

Fife ran on a platform of the right to housing, defunding the police to fund public services, and implementing the Black New Deal — a local variant on the Green New Deal that takes anti-racism as a key focus. As she prepares to enter city hall, Fife sat down with Jacobin to discuss her background in organizing, the fight to build municipal power, and what it would look like to decommodify human essentials like housing.

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