Barbara Lee

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Posted by bender 04/25/2009 @ 16:07

Tags : barbara lee, the house, government, politics

News headlines
White seabass make first strong showing of season at Santa Barbara ... - Los Angeles Times
Lee was among a small number of captains to find the immensely popular croakers actively feeding over the weekend off Santa Barbara Island. The Freedom's passengers on Monday caught one-fish limits of seabass weighing 15 to 40 pounds....
Readers' Forum: Rep. Barbara Lee acts; when will President Obama? - Contra Costa Times
By Martina Knee ONCE AGAIN, Congresswoman Barbara Lee leads on the issue of ending the Darfur genocide, now in its sixth year. This week she joined the "Darfur Fast for Life" and urged her colleagues on Capitol Hill to do the same....
Barbara Lee Urges Leadership to Renegotiate Panama Free Trade ... - California Chronicle
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-9) joined 53 of her House colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi arguing that the proposed Panama Free Trade Agreement be renegotiated. She released this statement: "The Panama Free...
Speaker Pelosi's Controversial Marxist Connections - Right Side News
Barbara Lee and the "progressive" Hallinan family of San Francisco, once under scrutiny by the California Senate Fact-finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities for their pro-Soviet propaganda efforts. Pelosi used a Friday news conference to offer...
Barbara Lee Commemorates National Small Business Week - Trading Markets (press release)
Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement commemorating the week-long event. "Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They create 60 to 80 percent of new jobs and employ over 50 percent of the nation's workforce....
No Stranger to Higher Ed - Inside Higher Ed
Nonetheless, the case provides some glimpse into how Sotomayor might rule in disability cases, which often have an impact on higher education, according to Barbara A. Lee, co-author of The Law of Higher Education. “Clearly if she was in the group of...
REGIONAL: CONGRESSWOMAN BARBARA LEE TO FAST FOR DARFUR - CBS 5
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, announced this morning she will give up food for 24 hours to draw attention to the violent plight in Darfur. Lee and the caucus members hope to set a meeting with President Obama to discuss the goals of the fast,...
CAROLYN MAY (FAWCETT) LEE - Duluth News Tribune
Carolyn is survived by her five children, Geoffrey, Nancy (Steve Hefty), Susan (Bill) Bartlett, John (Katie), Barbara; 12 grandchildren, Becky, Ben, Carrie, Curtis (Stacey), Doug (Teresa), Jennifer (Jeff), Jessica May (Joshua), Laura (Dan), Laura,...
Archie Lee Bailey - Mcalester News Capital
Survivors include his wife, Sammy Bailey, of Baptist Village in Okmulgee; one sister, Margie Harvey, Derby, Kans.; a son, Andy Lee Bailey and wife, Annie, Hiko, Nev.; three daughters, Barbara Bell and husband, Gerald, of Antlers, Jackie Vaughn and...

Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee

Barbara Jean Lee (born July 16, 1946), is an American politician, and has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1998, representing California's 9th congressional district. She is the first woman to represent that district. Lee is the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and was the Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Lee is notable as the only person in either chamber of Congress who voted against the authorization of use of force following the September 11, 2001 attacks. This made her a hero among the anti-war movement, but also caused her to receive death threats. Lee has been a vocal critic of the Iraq War and supports legislation creating a Department of Peace.

Congresswoman Lee was born in El Paso, Texas. She moved from Texas to California in 1960 with her military family parents, and attended San Fernando High School, San Fernando, California. She was a young single mother of two receiving public assistance when she began attending college. Lee was educated at Mills College and received an M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975.

This vote made nationwide news reports and brought about a large and extremely polarized response, with the volume of calls gridlocking the switchboard of her Capitol Hill office. While it appears to have reflected the beliefs of the majority of her constituents, the majority of responses from elsewhere in the nation were angry, some referring to her as "communist" and "traitor". Enough responses included death threats against her or her family that the Capitol Police provided round-the-clock plainclothes bodyguards. She was also criticized by politicians and in editorial pages of conservative-leaning newspapers, e.g. John Fund's column in The Wall Street Journal.

Lee was one of the 31 who voted in the House to not count the electoral votes from Ohio in the 2004 presidential election .

Lee is the author of the Shirley A. Chisholm United States-Caribbean Educational Exchange Act, H.R. 176, which would enhance U.S. foreign relations with CARICOM nations. The bill directs the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a comprehensive program that extends and expands existing primary and secondary school initiatives in the Caribbean to provide: (1) teacher training methods; and (2) increased community involvement in school activities. The bill is named for former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who helped inspire Lee to become involved in politics when Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination for President; Lee became the Northern California Chair of the Chisholm campaign.

She hinted to the Oakland Tribune that she would run for the leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus in September 2008, following the end of her four-year term as co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. On September 29, 2008, Lee was one of 95 Democrats to vote against the defeated Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. However, she voted for a modified version on October 3.

Lee has two sons, Tony and Craig, both of whom work in the insurance industry. Tony is a partner in Dickerson Employee Benefits, the largest African-American owned insurance brokerage consulting firm in the United States.

Lee endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President in the 2008 primary.

Lee was ranked as the sixth-most liberal member of the House by the National Journal, based on roll-call votes on economic, social and foreign policy issues in 2006. Lee received a 97% progressive rating from "The Progressive Punch," and a 4% conservative rating from the American Conservative Union.

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Barbara Lee (singer)

Barbara Lee (16 May 1947 – 15 May 1992) was a member of girl group the Chiffons.

She was born on 16 May 1947 in the Bronx, New York, and died, one day short of her 45th birthday, of a heart attack on 15 May 1992.

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Ron Dellums

Ron Dellums

Ronald Vernie "Ron" Dellums (born Oakland, CA November 24, 1935) is the mayor of Oakland, California. From 1971-1998, he was elected to thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Northern California's 9th Congressional District, which currently has a Cook PVI of D +38.

Dellums was born into a family of labor organizers, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps before serving on the Berkeley, California City Council. Dellums was the first African American elected to Congress from Northern California and the first openly Socialist Congressman since World War II. His politics earned him a place on President Nixon's enemies list.

During his career in Congress, he fought the failed MX Missile project and opposed expansion of the US$2.1 billion per plane B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber program. When President Ronald Reagan vetoed Dellums' Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, a Democratic-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Senate overrode Reagan's veto, the first override of a presidential foreign policy veto in the 20th century. He is currently serving as Oakland's third African-American mayor.

Dellums was born in Oakland to Verney and Willa Dellums. His father Verney was a longshoreman. His uncle, C.L. Dellums, was one of the organizers and leaders of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. He has a younger sister Theresa. His mother Willa died August 17, 2008 at the age of 89.

He attended Oakland Technical High School and McClymonds High School.

He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1954 to 1956. Dellums later received his A.A. degree from the Oakland City College in 1958, his B.A. from the San Francisco State University in 1960, and his M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962. He became a psychiatric social worker and political activist in the African American community beginning in the 1960s. He also taught at the San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Dellums is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans. He is a member of the fraternity's World Policy Council, a think tank whose purpose is to expand the fraternity's involvement in politics, and social and current policy to encompass international concerns.

Dellums has been married three times. He married his second wife, attorney Leola "Roscoe" Higgs, in 1961. The two divorced in 1998. He married his third wife, Cynthia Lewis, in 2000.

Dellums has eight children and stepchildren. One son, Michael, was convicted of a drug-related homicide in 1979, and remains in prison, being repeatedly denied parole due to bad behaviour. Dellums has 2 great-grandchildren Jared Henderson, Charli Henderson, five grandchildren and four children: Danielle Henderson, Jacob Holmes Sydney Ross, Dylan Ross, Olivia Dellums, professional actor Erik, Piper, Brandy and Pam.

Dellums has been in politics for over forty years. He has held positions on the Berkeley city council, in the US House of Representatives, and is the mayor of Oakland, for the term beginning January 1, 2007.

Dellums was elected to the Berkeley City Council, after prompting from Maudelle Shirek, and served from 1967 to 1970.

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1970 after being recruited by anti-Vietnam War activists to run against the incumbent, Jeffery Cohelan, a white liberal close to organized labor who had not opposed the war early enough to win reelection in the district. Dellums defeated Cohelan in the Democratic primary and won the general election, serving without interruption for 27 years.

The My Lai massacre was followed shortly thereafter by a series of hearings on alleged war crimes in Vietnam, which began April 25, 1971. Dellums had called for formal investigations into the allegations, but Congress chose not to endorse the proceedings. As such, the hearings were ad hoc and only informational in nature. As a condition of room use, press and camera presence were not permitted; however, the proceedings were transcribed. A small number of other anti-Vietnam War congressional representatives also took part in the hearings.

In 1972, Dellums began his campaign to end the apartheid policies of South Africa. Fourteen years later, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Dellums's anti-apartheid legislation, calling for a trade embargo against South Africa and immediate divestment by American corporations. The bill, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, had broad bipartisan support. It called for sanctions against South Africa and stated preconditions for lifting the sanctions, including the release of all political prisoners. Ronald Reagan called for a policy of "constructive engagement" and vetoed the bill; however, his veto was overridden. It was the first override in the 20th century of a presidential foreign policy veto.

Dellums' fight against apartheid in South Africa was the subject of a Disney Channel made-for-TV movie, The Color of Friendship, released in 2000. The role of Congressman Dellums was played by actor Carl Lumbly in the movie.

As part of the Cold War struggle for influence in southern Africa, the United States joined with the apartheid government of South Africa in support of UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, against the ultimately victorious Angolan forces of the MPLA supported by the Soviet Union and Cuba. Dellums was criticized for his support of Fidel Castro's involvement with the MPLA in Angola and was called a "Castroite congressman" by the conservative press. He also introduced legislation (which was unsuccessful) in September 1987 to prohibit economic and military assistance to Zaire, citing poor human rights, corruption, and alleged collaboration with South Africa.

Throughout his career Dellums led campaigns against an array of military projects, arguing that the funds would be better spent on peaceful purposes, especially in American cities. Programs he opposed included the Pershing and MX missiles, and the B-2 bomber (popularly known as the "stealth bomber"). Because of his commitment to the closing of unneeded military bases, Dellums did not oppose the closing of the Alameda Naval Air Station in his own district.

The Peacekeeper Missile was a "third-generation" inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). One of its advantages over earlier missiles was its greater survivability. One early aspect of the design was for fifty missiles to be placed on trains that would be shuttled between numerous hiding sheds around a railroad loop located in remote Utah. Another advantage was that the Peacekeeper had a greater MIRV capacity than the Minuteman III— each missile had up to ten nuclear warheads, compared with the three aboard the Minuteman III.

Dellums argued that constructing the Peacekeeper would only propel the ongoing arms race and cause the Soviet Union to construct more weapons. He also argued that the issue of survivability of existing missiles was a red herring; the Soviet Union could not expect a first strike to go unpunished — U.S. nuclear-equipped submarines, bombers and cruise missiles would inflict devastating damage even if all American ICBMs were disabled. As part of the campaign, Dellums met with the Mormon church in Utah.

The rail project was eventually canceled and the missiles were placed in hardened silos, as with previous missiles such as the Minuteman III. The last Peacekeeper was decommissioned in 2005 as part of the START II treaty.

The B-2 Stealth bomber is a long range strategic bomber, that features "stealth" technology that makes it far less visible to radar. The B-2 was a major technological advance; however, it was designed during the Cold War for military scenarios that some argued were less relevant following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its total program cost was estimated in 1997 at over US$2.2 billion per airplane.

Although Dellums opposed the B-2 project from the start, Congress approved initial funding for production of 135 bombers in 1987. However, with the winding down of the Cold War, total B-2 production was reduced to 21 aircraft in the early 1990s. But in 1997, seven former Secretaries of Defense signed a letter urging Congress to buy more B-2s, citing the difficulty of assembling a similar engineering team in the future should the B-2 project be terminated. Dellums, citing five independent studies consistent with his position, offered an amendment to that year's defense authorization bill to cap production of the bombers with the existing 21 aircraft. The amendment was narrowly defeated; nonetheless, Congress never approved funding for additional B-2 bombers.

Dellums served as chairman of the House Committee on the District of Columbia and the House Armed Services Committee.

Dellums also served on the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Post Office and Civil Service Committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Select Committee to Investigate the Intelligence Community.

Dellums co-founded the Congressional Black Caucus in 1971.

Dellums easily won his next eleven elections in the traditionally Democratic 9th District. In his last House election race, in 1996, Dellums bested his opponent, Republican Deborah Wright, by a 77%-18% margin.

In 1997, Dellums announced that he was retiring from Congress in the middle of his term and a special election was called — which created a series of five special elections in 12 months as various East Bay politicians ran for different political office. For more detailed information, see Special election musical chairs.

Dellums' successor, Barbara Lee won the 2000 election by an even larger, 85%-9% margin.

Congressman Ron Dellums is revered on both sides of this aisle because of his integrity and his commitment to progressive ideas. He was always on the cutting edge of the issues. California will miss him in the ninth district, but the State has been enriched by Ron Dellums. While he towers above most of us physically, this attribute is matched by his intellect, faith in the process and optimism for peaceful resolution of conflict.

A creative, piercing, probing, incisive, thought-provoking, inspiring, charismatic, careful, considerate and deliberative mind. The mind to stand up when others sit down. The mind to act when others refuse to act. The mind to stand even when you stand alone, battered, bruised and scorned, but still standing. Standing on principle, standing tall and standing for the people.

We are losing one of its finest Members, a Member that I have great respect for, because he always did his homework, was so articulate and eloquent on this floor. He always got my attention when he stood up and took the microphone. He would stop every Member in their tracks to hear what he had to say, and there are very few Members that have served in this body that can claim the respect that both sides of the aisle had for the gentleman from California. And the incredible reputation that the gentleman from California has brought to this House; he has elevated this House. He has elevated the distinction of this House by serving here, and this House will greatly miss him when he leaves.

Dellums' voting records in Congress were "almost without exception straight As" from groups such as the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women and the AFL-CIO. He received 100% on consumer group Public Citizen's scorecard.

In contrast, he received an 'F' from NumbersUSA, a group dedicated to limiting immigration, and a score of seven out of a possible 100 from the League of Private Property Owners, a property rights organization.

After Oakland Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, and District 3 City Councilmember Nancy Nadel declared their mayoral candidacies, Dellums was recruited to run for Mayor of Oakland. An informal committee, "Draft Dellums," collected 8,000 signatures and presented them to the former Congressman at a public meeting at Laney College. Crowds of Oaklanders chanted "Run, Ron, Run".

In October 2005, reportedly after weeks of deliberation and speculation, Dellums announced that he would run for mayor of Oakland. The previous mayor, former California Governor and current California Attorney General Jerry Brown, would have been prohibited by term-limits from running again.

On June 16, 2006, after a careful ballot count, and a dispute over whether votes for unqualified write-in candidates such as George W. Bush and Homer Simpson counted towards the total, Dellums was unofficially declared the winner in the Oakland mayoral race. Dellums garnered a 50.18 percent majority to win the election This was 155 votes more than needed to avoid a runoff. Dellums received 41,992 votes, while his nearest challengers received 27,607 votes, and 10,928 votes respectively.

Mayor-Elect Dellums' transition to office involved 800 Oaklanders who joined 41 task forces to make recommendations on issues ranging from public safety to education and affordable housing.

As crime rates in Oakland have remained high since Dellums took office in January 2007, at his first State of the City Address in January 2008, Dellums called for hiring more police officers. Dellums promised that by year's end, the police department would be fully staffed at 803 officers. On November 14, 2008, 38 Oakland police officers were added to the force after graduating the 165th academy, bringing the department's force to 837 officers, the most in OPD history.

In addition, to follow through on his calls for hiring more officers, Dellums offered Measure NN on the November 2008 ballot, a voter initiative parcel tax to hire 70 additional police officers at a hiring and training cost of $250,000 each. Though 55 percent of Oakland voters supported Measure NN, this failed to meet California's "two thirds" constitutional requirement for the enactment of a new tax.

Dellums called on the City Council and Police Chief Wayne Tucker to increase the number of recruits in the city's police academy, to establish incentives to keep older officers on the force beyond retirement — some of them to train new recruits — and to better prepare Oakland residents and others interested in law enforcement for jobs with the city's Police Department.

Dellums instituted a new community policing program under which Oakland has been divided into three geographic areas — central, east and north-west, the officers in these three areas overseen by three police captains who are purported to be held accountable for getting to know residents and neighborhood issues and reducing crime in his or her district.

Other plans to reduce violence include training at-risk youth and ex-offenders for jobs, and intensifying police efforts to get weapons off the streets by cracking down on illegal gun dealers and establishing a city program to buy back guns.

On Saturday, March 21, 2009, in the 2009 Oakland police shootings incident, the Oakland Police Department lost three police sergeants and one police officer when they were murdered by a suspect wanted for parole violation. The suspect was later shot and killed by officers after he fired on them with an assault rifle. This was the first time the Oakland PD had lost a Sergeant in the line of duty. Dellums attended the public March 28 memorial service at the Oracle Arena but was asked not to speak by a family of at least one of the victims. Two of the officers were white, one officer was half asian, and another officer was latino. A member of one of the grieving families requested that Mayor Dellums not speak at the funeral; he complied and did not speak at the funeral.

Since his election, a local investigative journalist has criticized the secret nature of the task forces Dellums established, despite having repeatedly vowed to restore "transparency" to city government, and has lodged criticism of disarray among the task forces.

A poll published by an political opinion columnist which was conducted in September 2007 by a private pollster on behalf of an unnamed "business group" attempted to score Dellums performance on several issues. On a scale of 1-10, Dellums scored a 3.7 on improving education, a 3.8 on crime, 4.3 on economic development and a 4.3 on providing housing.

East Bay opinion columnist Chip Johnson, has criticized Dellums for "frittering" away his first year in office, and accused Dellums of making no significant policy initiatives in those areas of concern to average citizens, beyond a public smoking ban..

After the August 2007 public assassination in the Lakeside Apartments District of journalist Chauncey Bailey, a local op-ed columnist criticized Dellums on August 15, 2007 for refusing to disavow a staff-generated letter sent in his name in July, 2007 to a Federal Bankruptcy Court in support of the Your Black Muslim Bakery organization during its bankruptcy proceedings that month.

As of April 1, 2009 Ron Dellums has not publicly indicated whether or not he will run for a second term as mayor of Oakland in the June, 2010 election.

Dellums has worked as a lobbyist, which has drawn criticism described in the East Bay Express, a local newspaper. Shortly after leaving office, Dellums began consulting for an international health-care company, Healthcare Management International which invests in health insurance programs in developing countries.

When running for mayor of Oakland, Dellums listed his most recent profession as "retired Congressman" in election filing forms. When assistant City Clerk Marjo Keller informed the Dellums campaign that this description was unacceptable, the campaign elected to leave the occupation field blank.

Though he ran as a Democrat, and caucused as a Democrat in Congress, Dellums describes himself as a Socialist. In the 1970s, Dellums was a member of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), an offshoot of the Socialist Party of America. He later became vice-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which was formed by a merger between the DSOC and the New American Movement, and which works within and outside the Democratic Party. As of 2006, Dellums is no longer a vice-chair of the DSA.

While running for mayor of Oakland, Dellums was officially registered as a member of the Democratic party. All city offices in Oakland are officially non-partisan.

On October 1, 2007 Dellums endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary at a press conference held at Laney College in Oakland. He was named national chair of Clinton's Urban Policy Committee.

An eight month investigation vindicated Dellums of allegations that he had used cocaine and marijuana, finding there was no basis for the allegations. The investigation of Dellums and two other congressmen began in 1983, based on a complaint from a House doorkeeper.

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Democratic Party (United States)

Democratic Party logo

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. It is the oldest political party in continuous operation in the United States and it is one of the oldest parties in the world. Today, the party supports a liberal and/or center-left platform.

The Democratic Party traces its origins to the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. However, the modern Democratic party truly arose in the 1830s, with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the division of the Republican Party in the election of 1912, it has gradually positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic and social issues. Until the period following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Democratic Party was primarily a coalition of two parties divided by region. Southern Democrats were typically given high conservative ratings by the American Conservative Union while northern Democrats were typically given very low ratings. Southern Democrats were a core bloc of the bipartisan conservative coalition that lasted through the Reagan-era. The economically activist philosophy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, which has strongly influenced American liberalism, has shaped much of the party's economic agenda since 1932, and served to tie the two regional factions of the party together until the late 1960s. In fact, Roosevelt's New Deal coalition usually controlled the national government until the 1970s.

In 2004, it was the largest political party, with 72 million voters (42.6% of 169 million registered) claiming affiliation. By comparison the Republican Party has 55 million members. An August 2008 estimate claims that 51% of registered voters, including independents, lean toward the Democratic Party and 38% lean toward the Republican Party. Since the 2008 general elections, the Democratic Party is the majority party for the 111th Congress; the party holds a majority in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. Democrats also hold a majority of state governorships and control a majority of state legislatures. Barack Obama, the current President of the United States, is the 16th Democrat to hold that office.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is responsible for promoting Democratic campaign activities. While the DNC is responsible for overseeing the process of writing the Democratic Platform, the DNC is more focused on campaign and organizational strategy than public policy. In presidential elections it supervises the Democratic National Convention. The national convention is, subject to the charter of the party, the ultimate authority within the Democratic Party when it is in session, with the DNC running the party's organization at other times. The DNC is currently chaired by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) assists party candidates in House races; its current chairman (selected by the party caucus) is Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. Similarly the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raises large sums for Senate races. It is currently headed by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), currently chaired by Mike Gronstal of Iowa, is a smaller organization with much less funding that focuses on state legislative races. The DNC sponsors the College Democrats of America (CDA), a student-outreach organization with the goal of training and engaging a new generation of Democratic activists. Democrats Abroad is the organization for Americans living outside the United States; they work to advance the goals of the party and encourage Americans living abroad to support the Democrats. The Young Democrats of America (YDA) is a youth-led organization that attempts to draw in and mobilize young people for Democratic candidates, but operates outside of the DNC. In addition, the recently created branch of the Young Democrats, the Young Democrats High School Caucus, attempts to raise awareness and activism amongst teenagers to not only vote and volunteer, but participate in the future as well.The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is an organization supporting the candidacies of Democratic gubernatorial nominees and incumbents; it is currently chaired by Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana. Similarly the mayors of the largest cities and urban centres convene as the National Conference of Democratic Mayors.

Each state also has a state committee, made up of elected committee members as well as ex-officio committee members (usually elected officials and representatives of major constituencies), which in turn elects a chair. County, town, city and ward committees generally are composed of individuals elected at the local level. State and local committees often coordinate campaign activities within their jurisdiction, oversee local conventions and in some cases primaries or caucuses, and may have a role in nominating candidates for elected office under state law. Rarely do they have much funding, but in 2005 DNC Chairman Dean began a program (called the "50 State Strategy") of using DNC national funds to assist all state parties and paying for full-time professional staffers.

Since the 1890s, the Democratic Party has favored "liberal" positions (the term "liberal" in this sense describes social liberalism, not classical liberalism). In recent exit polls, the Democratic Party has had broad appeal across all socio-ethno-economic demographics. The Democratic Party is currently the nation's largest party. In 2004, roughly 72 million (42.6 percent) Americans were registered Democrats, compared to 55 million (32.5 percent) Republicans and 42 million (24.8 percent) independents.

Historically, the party has favored farmers, laborers, labor unions, and religious and ethnic minorities; it has opposed unregulated business and finance, and favored progressive income taxes. In foreign policy, internationalism (including interventionism) was a dominant theme from 1913 to the mid-1960s. In the 1930s, the party began advocating welfare spending programs targeted at the poor. The party had a pro-business wing, typified by Al Smith, and a Southern conservative wing that shrank after President Lyndon B. Johnson supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The major influences for liberalism were labor unions (which peaked in the 1936–1952 era), and the African American wing, which has steadily grown since the 1960s. Since the 1970s, environmentalism has been a major new component.

In recent decades, the party has adopted a centrist economic and more socially progressive agenda, with the voter base having shifted considerably. Today, Democrats advocate more social freedoms, affirmative action, balanced budget, and a free enterprise system tempered by government intervention (mixed economy). The economic policy adopted by the modern Democratic Party, including the former Clinton administration, may also be referred to as the "Third Way". The party believes that government should play a role in alleviating poverty and social injustice and use a system of progressive taxation.

The Democratic Party, once dominant in the Southeastern United States, is now strongest in the Northeast (Mid-Atlantic and New England), Great Lakes region, and the Pacific Coast (including Hawaii). The Democrats are also strongest in major cities.

Social liberals, also referred to as progressives or modern liberals, constitute roughly half of the Democratic voter base. Liberals thereby form the largest united typological demographic within the Democratic base. According to the 2008 exit poll results, liberals constituted 22 percent of the electorate, and 89 percent of American liberals favored the candidate of the Democratic Party. While college-educated professionals were mostly Republican until the 1950s, they now compose perhaps the most vital component of the Democratic Party. A majority of liberals favor diplomacy over military action, stem cell research, the legalization of same-sex marriage, secular government, stricter gun control, and environmental protection laws as well as the preservation of abortion rights. Immigration and cultural diversity is deemed positive; liberals favor cultural pluralism, a system in which immigrants retain their native culture in addition to adopting their new culture. They tend to be divided on free trade agreements and organizations such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Most liberals oppose increased military spending and the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.

This ideological group differs from the traditional organized labor base. According to the Pew Research Center, a plurality of 41 percent resided in mass affluent households and 49 percent were college graduates, the highest figure of any typographical group. It was also the fastest growing typological group between the late 1990s and early 2000s. Liberals include most of academia and large portion of the professional class.

Many progressive Democrats are descendants of the New Left of Democratic presidential candidate Senator George McGovern of South Dakota; others were involved in the presidential candidacies of Vermont Governor Howard Dean and U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio; still others are disaffected former members of the Green Party. The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is a caucus of progressive Democrats, and is the single largest Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives. Its members have included Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, John Conyers of Michigan, Jim McDermott of Washington, John Lewis of Georgia, Barbara Lee of California, the late Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, now a Senator.

Civil libertarians also often support the Democratic Party because Democratic positions on such issues as civil rights and separation of church and state are more closely aligned to their own than the positions of the Republican Party, and because the Democratic economic agenda may be more appealing to them than that of the Libertarian Party. They oppose gun control, the "War on Drugs," protectionism, corporate welfare, government debt, and an interventionist foreign policy. The Democratic Freedom Caucus is an organized group of this faction.

See also: Southern Democrats.

The Pew Research Center has stated that conservative Democrats represent 15% of registered voters and 14% of the general electorate. In the House of Representatives, the Blue Dog Coalition, a caucus of fiscal and social conservatives and moderates, primarily southerners, forms part of the Democratic Party's current faction of conservative Democrats. They have acted as a unified voting bloc in the past, giving its forty plus members some ability to change legislation and broker compromises with the Republican Party's leadership. Historically, southern Democrats were generally much more ideologically conservative. In 1972, the last year that a sizable number of conservatives dominated the southern wing of the Democratic Party, the American Conservative Union gave higher ratings to most southern Democratic Senators and Congressmen than it did to Republicans. Today, Democrats are usually classified as 'conservatives' on the basis of holding some socially conservative views to the right of the national party, even though their overall viewpoint is generally far more liberal than conservative Democrats of years past.

Though centrist Democrats differ on a variety of issues, they typically foster a mix of political views and ideas. Compared to other Democratic factions, they tend to be more supportive of the use of military force, including the war in Iraq, and are more willing to reduce government welfare, as indicated by their support for welfare reform and tax cuts. One of the most influential factions is the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), a nonprofit organization that advocates centrist positions for the party. The DLC hails President Bill Clinton as proof of the viability of "Third Way" politicians and a DLC success story. Former Representative Harold Ford, Jr. of Tennessee is its current chairman.

Professionals, those who have a college education and whose work revolves around the conceptualization of ideas, have supported the Democratic Party by a slight majority since 2000. Between 1988 and 2000, professionals favored Democrats by a 12 percentage point margin. While the professional class was once a stronghold of the Republican Party it has become increasingly split between the two parties, leaning in favor of the Democratic Party. The increasing support for Democratic candidates among professionals may be traced to the prevalence of social liberal values among this group.

A study on the political attitudes of medical students, for example, found that "U.S. medical students are considerably more likely to be liberal than conservative and are more likely to be liberal than are other young U.S. adults. Future U.S. physicians may be more receptive to liberal messages than conservative ones, and their political orientation may profoundly affect their health system attitudes." Similar results are found for professors, who are more strongly inclined towards liberalism and the Democratic Party than other occupational groups.

Academics, intellectuals and the highly educated overall constitute an important part of the Democratic voter base. Academia in particular tends to be progressive. In a 2005 survey, nearly 72% of full-time faculty members identified as liberal, while 15% identified as conservative. The social sciences and humanities were the most liberal disciplines while business was the most conservative. Male professors at more advanced stages of their careers as well as those at elite institutions tend be the most liberal. Another survey by UCLA conducted in 2001/02, found 47.6% of professors identifying as liberal, 34.3% as moderate, and 18% as conservative. Percentages of professors who identified as liberal ranged from 49% in business to over 80% in political science and the humanities. Social scientists, such as Brett O'Bannon of DePauw University, have claimed that the "liberal" opinions of professors seem to have little, if any, effect on the political orientation of students. Whether or not that is true, some conservatives and Republicans complain they are offended and even threatened by the liberal atmosphere of college campuses. As of July 2008 the Students for Academic Freedom arm of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative organization, posted a list of 440 student complaints, most of which pertain to perceived liberal bias of college professors (Abuse Center).

The liberal inclination of American professors is attributed by some to the liberal outlook of the highly educated.

Those with Postgraduate education, have become increasingly Democratic beginning in the 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008 elections. Intellectualism, is the tendency to constantly reexamine issues, or in the words of Edwards shields, the "penetration beyond the screen of immediate concrete experience," have also been named as an explanation why the academy is strongly democratic and liberal.

Although Democrats are well represented at the post graduate level, self-identified Republicans appear to dominate among those who have, at the least, attained a 4-year college degree. The trends for the years 1955 through 2004 are shown by gender in the graphs below, reproduced with permission from Democrats and Republicans — Rhetoric and Reality, a book published in 2008 by Joseph Fried. These results are based on surveys conducted by the National Election Studies, supported by the National Science Foundation.

Studies have shown that younger voters tend to vote mostly for Democratic candidates in recent years. Despite supporting Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, the young have voted in favor of the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since Bill Clinton in 1992, and are more likely to identify as liberals than the general population. In the 2004 presidential election, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry received 54% of the vote from voters of the age group 18–29, while Republican George W. Bush received 45% of the vote from the same age group. In the 2006 midterm elections, the Democrats received 60% of the vote from the same age group. Polls suggest that younger voters tend to be more liberal than the general population and have more liberal views than the general public on same-sex marriage and universal healthcare, helping Barack Obama carry 66% of their votes in 2008.

Since the 1930s, a critical component of the Democratic Party coalition has been organized labor. Labor unions supply a great deal of the money, grass roots political organization, and voting base of support for the party. Democrats are far more likely to be represented by unions, although union membership has declined, in general, during the last few decades. This trend is depicted in the following graph from the book, Democrats and Republicans — Rhetoric and Reality. It is based on surveys conducted by the National Election Studies (NES).

The historic decline in union membership over the past half century has been accompanied by a growing disparity between public sector and private sector union membership percentages. The three most significant labor groupings in the Democratic coalition today are the AFL-CIO and Change to Win labor federations, as well as the National Education Association, a large, unaffiliated teachers' union. Both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win have identified their top legislative priority for 2007 as passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Other important issues for labor unions include supporting industrial policy (including protectionism) that sustains unionized manufacturing jobs, raising the minimum wage and promoting broad social programs such as Social Security and universal health care.

While the American working class has lost much of its political strength with the decline of labor unions, it remains a stronghold of the Democratic Party and continues as an essential part of the Democratic base. Today roughly a third of the American public is estimated to be working class with around 52 percent being either members of the working or lower classes. Yet, as those with lower socioeconomic status are less likely to vote, the working and lower classes are underrepresented in the electorate. The working class is largely distinguished by highly routinized and closely supervised work. It consists mainly of clerical and blue-collar workers. Even though most in the working class are able to afford an adequate standard of living, high economic insecurity and possible personal benefit from an extended social safety net, make the majority of working class person left-of-center on economic issues. Most working class Democrats differ from most liberals, however, in their more socially conservative views. Working class Democrats tend to be more religious and likely to belong to an ethnic minority. Socially conservative and disadvantaged Democrats are among the least educated and lowest earning ideological demographics. In 2005, only 15% had a college degree, compared to 27% at the national average and 49% of liberals, respectively. Together socially conservative and the financially disadvantaged comprised roughly 54% of the Democratic base. The continued importance of the working class votes manifests itself in recent CNN exit polls, which shows that the majority of those with low incomes and little education vote for the Democratic Party.

From the end of the Civil War, African Americans almost unanimously favored the Republican Party due to its overwhelming political and more tangible efforts in achieving abolition, particularly through President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The south had long been a Democrat stronghold, favoring a state's right to legal slavery. In addition, the ranks of the fledgling Ku Klux Klan were comprised almost entirely of white Democrats angry over poor treatment by northerners, both perceived and actual. However, as years passed and memories waned, African Americans began drifting to the Democratic Party, as Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs gave economic relief to all minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics. Support for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by Democratic presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and a hard-fought Republican congressional movement, helped give the Democrats even larger support among the African American community, which consistently vote between 85-95% Democratic. In addition, recent Caribbean and African immigrants have voted solidly Democratic. Prominent modern-day African-American Democratic politicians include Jim Clyburn, Maxine Waters, John Lewis, Charles Rangel, John Conyers, and the current President of the United States, Barack Obama.

The Hispanic population, particularly the large Mexican American and Salvadoran American population in the Southwest and the large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations in the Northeast, have been strong supporters of the Democratic Party. They commonly favor liberal views on immigration. In the 1996 presidential election, Democratic President Bill Clinton received 72 percent of the Hispanic vote. Since then, however, the Republican Party has gained increasing support from the Hispanic community, especially among Hispanic Protestants and Pentecostals. Along with Bush's much more liberal views on immigration, President Bush was the first Republican president to gain 40 percent of the Hispanic vote (he did so in the 2004 presidential election). Yet, the Republican Party's support among Hispanics eroded in the 2006 mid-term elections, dropping from 44 to 30 percent, with the Democrats gaining in the Hispanic vote from 55 percent in 2004 to 69 percent in 2006. The shift in the Hispanic population's support back to the Democratic party was largely due to the Immigration Debate, which was sparked by H. R. 4437, a Republican enforcement-only bill concerning illegal immigration. Democrats increased their share of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 presidential election, with Barack Obama receiving 67%. Cuban Americans still heavily vote Republican but Mexican Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, Dominican Americans, and Central American and South American immigrants have all voted dependably for Democrats.

The Democratic Party also has considerable support in the growing Asian American population, giving the party crucial bases of support in states such as California, Hawaii, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington. The Asian American population had been a stronghold of the Republican Party until the 1992 presidential election in which George H. W. Bush won 55% of the Asian American vote, compared to Bill Clinton winning 31%, and Ross Perot winning 15% of the Asian American vote. The Democrats made gains among the Asian American population starting with 1996 and in 2006, won 62% of the Asian American vote. This is due to demographic shifts in the Asian American community, with growing numbers of well-educated Chinese and Indian American immigrants that are typically economic centrists and social progressives. Newer generations of more liberal Vietnamese American and Filipino American youth have also began to replace older more conservative generations that have voted reliably Republican. Vietnamese Americans still vote mostly Republican (though this has lessened recently), while Chinese Americans, Indian Americans, Japanese Americans, Southeast Asian Americans other than Vietnamese, and Pacific Islander Americans have voted mostly Democratic. Korean Americans have voted slightly Republican, while Filipino Americans have more recently begun to lean Democratic. Younger Asian-Americans of all ethnic backgrounds aged 18–30 have gravitated towards the Democratic Party in the last few elections.

The Democratic Party also has strong support among the Native American population, particularly in Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Though now a small percentage of the population (virtually non-existent in some regions), most Native American factions vote Democratic in margins exceeded only by African-Americans.

Jewish American communities tend to be a stronghold for the Democratic Party, with more than 70% of Jewish voters having cast their ballots for the Democrats in the 2004 and 2006 elections. Support tends to vary among specific sectarian groups, with only 13% of Orthodox Jews supporting Barack Obama while around 60% of Conservative Jews and Reform Jews do so. Jews are important Democratic constituencies are especially politically active and influential in many large cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, and Las Vegas. Many prominent national Democrats in recent decades have been Jewish, including Chuck Schumer, Abraham Ribicoff, Henry Waxman, Martin Frost, Joseph Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barney Frank, Barbara Boxer, Paul Wellstone, Rahm Emanuel, and Howard Metzenbaum.

Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have leaned Democratic since the Iraq War. Zogby found in June 2007 that 39% of Arab Americans identify as Democrats, 26% as Republicans, and 28% as independents. Arab Americans, generally socially conservative but with more diverse economic views, historically voted Republican until recent years, having supported George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000.

These views are generally held by most Democrats. Some Democrats take other positions on these issues.

Democrats favor a higher minimum wage, and more regular increases, in order to assist the working poor. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 was an early component of the Democrats' agenda during the 110th Congress. In 2006, the Democrats supported six state ballot initiatives to increase the minimum wage; all six initiatives passed.

Democrats have opposed tax cuts and incentives to oil companies, favoring a policy of developing domestic renewable energy, such as Montana's state-supported wind farm and "clean coal" programs as well as setting in place a cap and trade policy in hopes of reducing carbon emissions.

Democrats generally support a more progressive tax structure to provide more services and reduce injustice. Currently they have proposed reversing those tax cuts the Bush administration gave to the wealthiest Americans while wishing to keep in place those given to the middle class. Democrats generally support more government spending on social services while spending less on the military. They oppose the cutting of social services, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and various welfare programs, believing it to be harmful to efficiency and social justice. Democrats believe the benefits of social services, in monetary and non-monetary terms, are a more productive labor force and cultured population, and believe that the benefits of this are greater than any benefits that could be derived from lower taxes, especially on top earners, or cuts to social services. Furthermore, Democrats see social services as essential towards providing positive freedom, i.e. freedom derived from economic opportunity. The Democratic-led House of Representatives reinstated the PAYGO (pay-as-you-go) budget rule at the start of the 110th Congress. DNC Chairman Howard Dean has cited Bill Clinton's presidency as a model for fiscal responsibility.

Democrats call for "affordable and quality health care," and many advocate an expansion of government intervention in this area. Many Democrats favor national health insurance or universal health care in a variety of forms to address the rising costs of modern health insurance. Some Democrats, such as Representatives John Conyers and John Dingell, have called for a program of Medicare for All. The Progressive Democrats of America, a group operating inside the Democratic Party, has made single-payer universal health care one of their primary policy goals.

Some Democratic governors have supported purchasing Canadian drugs, citing lower costs and budget restrictions as a primary incentive. Recognizing that unpaid insurance bills increase costs to the service provider, who passes the cost on to health-care consumers, many Democrats advocate expansion of health insurance coverage.

Democrats believe that the government should protect the environment, and have promised to fight to strengthen the laws that ensure people have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. They also promise to make sure these laws are enforced. They feel that a sensible energy policy is key to a strong economy, national security, and a clean environment.

Most Democrats have the long-term aim of having low-cost, publicly funded college education with low tuition fees (like in much of Europe and Canada), which should be available to every eligible American student, or alternatively, with increasing state funding for student financial aid such as the Pell Grant or college tuition tax deduction.

The Democratic Party has a mixed record on international trade agreements that reflects a diversity of viewpoints in the party. The liberal and cosmopolitan wing of the party, including the intelligentsia and college-educated professionals overall, tend to favor globalization, while the organized labor wing of the party opposes it. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration and a number of prominent Democrats pushed through a number of agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since then, the party's shift away from free trade became evident in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) vote, with 15 House Democrats voting for the agreement and 187 voting against.

The Democratic Party supports equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of sex, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, or national origin. The Party supports affirmative action programs to further this goal. Democrats also strongly support the Americans with Disabilities Act to prohibit discrimination against people on the basis of physical or mental disability.

The Democratic Party is divided on the subject of same-sex marriage. Some members favor civil unions for same-sex couples, others favor full and equal legalized marriage, and others are opposed to same-sex marriage on religious or ideological grounds. A June 2008 Newsweek poll found that 42% of Democrats support same-sex marriage while 23% support civil unions or domestic partnership laws and 28% oppose any legal recognition at all. The 2004 Democratic National Platform stated that marriage should be defined at the state level and it repudiated the Federal Marriage Amendment. Senator John Kerry, Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, did not support same-sex marriage.

A broad majority of Democrats have supported other LGBT related laws such as extending hate crime statutes to cover violence against LGBT people, legally preventing discrimination against LGBT people in the workforce, and repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Some issues are controversial while others have wide support. A 2006 Pew Research Center poll of Democrats found that 55% supported gays adopting childern with 40% opposed while 70% support gays in the military with only 23% opposed.

Most members of the Democratic Party believe that all women should have access to birth control, and supports public funding of contraception for poor women. The Democratic Party, in its national platforms since 1992, has called for abortion to be "safe, legal and rare" — namely, keeping it legal by rejecting laws that allow governmental interference in abortion decisions, and reducing the number of abortions by promoting both knowledge of reproduction and contraception, and incentives for adoption. When Congress voted on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2003, Congressional Democrats were split, with a minority (including current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid) supporting the ban, and the majority of Democrats opposing the legislation.

The Democratic Party opposes attempts to reverse the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which declared abortion covered by the constitutionally protected individual right to privacy under the Ninth Amendment, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which lays out the legal framework in which government action alleged to violate that right is assessed by courts. As a matter of the right to privacy and of gender equality, many Democrats believe all women should have the ability to choose to abort without governmental interference. They believe that each woman, conferring with her conscience, has the right to choose for herself whether abortion is morally correct. Many Democrats also believe that poor women should have a right to publicly funded abortions.

Current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid self-identifies as 'pro-life', while President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi self-identify as 'pro-choice'. The pro-life faction in the Party is represented by groups such as Democrats for Life of America while the pro-choice faction is represented by groups such as EMILY's List. A Newsweek poll from October 2006 found that 25% of Democrats were pro-life while a 69% majority were pro-choice. Pro-life Democrats themselves state that they represent over 40% of Democrats.

Democrats in the House of Representatives and United States Senate near-unanimously voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists against "those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States" in Afghanistan in 2001, supporting the NATO coalition invasion of the nation. Most elected Democrats continue in their support of the Afghanistan conflict, and some have voiced concerns that the Iraq War is shifting too many resources away from the presence in Afghanistan. Some Democrats also oppose the invasion. In spring 2008, Gallup found that 41% of Democrats called the invasion a "mistake" while a 55% majority disagreed.

Since 2006, Democratic candidate Barack Obama has called for a "surge" of troops into Afghanistan and, since 2008, Republican candidate John McCain has also called for a "surge". Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer have expressed support for Obama's plan. Pelosi has stated that “We need more resources there... We are understaffed there, not only in our military presence, but also in terms of the reconstruction of Afghanistan." In spring 2008, Gallup found Democrats evenly divided about whether or not more troops should be sent — 56% support it if it would mean removing troops from Iraq and only 47% support it otherwise.

See also: National Jewish Democratic Council. See also: Israel-United States relations.

The Democratic Party has both recently and historically supported Israel. A 2008 Gallup Poll found that 64% say that they have a favorable image of Israel while only 16% say that they have a favorable image of the Palestinian Authority. Within the party, the majority view is held by the Democratic leadership with the minority pro-Palestinian view held by individual members of the party's left-wing such as John Conyers Jr., George Miller, Nick Rahall, Dave Obey, Dennis J. Kucinich, Jim McDermott, and Cynthia McKinney as well as former President Jimmy Carter. The party leadership refers to the other side as a "fringe".

It is in the best interests of all parties, including the United States, that we take an active role to help secure a lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a democratic, viable Palestinian state dedicated to living in peace and security side by side with the Jewish State of Israel. To do so, we must help Israel identify and strengthen those partners who are truly committed to peace, while isolating those who seek conflict and instability, and stand with Israel against those who seek its destruction. The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exist, and abides by past agreements. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949. Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.

A January 2009 Pew Research Center study found that, when asked "which side do you sympathize with more", 42% of Democrats and 33% of liberals side with the Israelis. Around half of all political moderates and/or independents sided with Israel.

In 2002, Democrats were divided as a majority (29 for, 21 against) in the Senate and a minority of Democrats in the House (81 for, 126 against) voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq. Since then, many prominent Democrats, such as former Senator John Edwards, have expressed regret about this decision, and have called it a mistake, while others, such as Senator Hillary Clinton have criticized the conduct of the war but not repudiated their initial vote for it. Referring to Iraq, in April 2007 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared the war to be "lost" while other Democrats (especially during the 2004 presidential election cycle) accused the President of lying to the public about WMDs in Iraq. Amongst lawmakers, Democrats are the most vocal opponents of Operation Iraqi Freedom and campaigned on a platform of withdrawal ahead of the 2006 mid-term elections.

A March 2003 CBS News poll taken a few days before the invasion of Iraq found that 34% of Democrats would support it without United Nations backing, 51% would support it only with its backing, and 14% would not support it at all. The Los Angeles Times stated in early April 2003 that 70% of Democrats supported the decision to invade while 27% opposed it. The Pew Research Center stated in August 2007 that opposition increased from 37% during the initial invasion to 74%. In April 2008, a CBS News poll found that about 90% of Democrats disapprove of the Bush administration's conduct and want to end the war within the next year.

On February 27, 2009, President Obama announced, “As a candidate for president, I made clear my support for a timeline of 16 months to carry out this drawdown, while pledging to consult closely with our military commanders upon taking office to ensure that we preserve the gains we’ve made and protect our troops... Those consultations are now complete, and I have chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months." Around 50,000 non-combat related forces will remain. Obama's plan drew wide bipartisan support, including defeated Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain.

Democrats usually oppose the doctrine of unilateralism, which dictates that the United States should use military force without any assistance from other nations whenever it believes there is a threat to its security or welfare. They believe the United States should act in the international arena in concert with strong alliances and broad international support. This was a major foreign policy issue of John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign; his platform attributed rifts with international allies to unilateralism. Barack Obama's 2008 campaign also discussed promoting the image of the United States abroad.

In a general sense, the modern Democratic Party is more closely aligned with the international relations theories of liberalism, neoliberalism, and functionalism than realism and neorealism, though realism has some influence on the party. Wilsonian idealism, in which unilateral foreign intervention is justified to end genocide or other humanitarian crises, has also played a major role both historically and currently- with its supporters known as 'liberal hawks'.

We believe that the people of Puerto Rico have the right to the political status of their choice, obtained through a fair, neutral, and democratic process of self-determination. The White House and Congress will work with all groups in Puerto Rico to enable the question of Puerto Rico’s status to be resolved during the next four years. We also believe that economic conditions in Puerto Rico call for effective and equitable programs to maximize job creation and financial investment. Furthermore, in order to provide fair assistance to those in greatest need, the U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico should receive treatment under federal programs that is comparable to that of citizens in the States. We will phase-out the cap on Medicaid funding and phase-in equal participation in other federal health care assistance programs. Moreover, we will provide equitable treatment to the U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico on programs providing refundable tax credits to working families.

We believe that four million disenfranchised American citizens residing in Puerto Rico have the right to the permanent and fully democratic status of their choice. The White House and Congress will clarify the realistic status options for Puerto Rico and enable Puerto Ricans to choose among them.

Puerto Rico has been under U.S. sovereignty for over a century and Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917, but the island’s ultimate status still has not been determined and its 3.9 million residents still do not have voting representation in their national government. These disenfranchised citizens — who have contributed greatly to our country in war and peace — are entitled to the permanent and fully democratic status of their choice. Democrats will continue to work in the White House and Congress to clarify the options and enable them to choose and to obtain such a status from among all realistic options.

Democrats are opposed to use of torture against individuals apprehended and held prisoner by the U.S. military, and hold that categorizing such prisoners as unlawful combatants does not release the U.S. from its obligations under the Geneva Conventions. Democrats contend that torture is inhumane, decreases the United States' moral standing in the world, and produces questionable results. Democrats largely spoke out against waterboarding.

All Democrats in the U.S. Senate, except for Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, voted for the original USA PATRIOT Act legislation. After voicing concerns over the "invasion of privacy" and other civil liberty restrictions of the Act, the Democrats split on the renewal in 2006. Most Democratic Senators voted to renew it, while most Democratic Representatives voted against renewal. Renewal was allowed after many of the most invasive clauses in the Act were removed or curbed.

The Democratic Party believes that individuals should have a right to privacy. For example, Democrats have generally opposed the NSA warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens.

Some Democratic officeholders have championed consumer protection laws that limit the sharing of consumer data between corporations. Most Democrats oppose sodomy laws and believe that government should not regulate consensual noncommercial sexual conduct among adults as a matter of personal privacy.

With a stated goal of reducing crime and homicide, the Democratic Party has introduced various gun control measures, most notably the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Brady Bill of 1993 and Crime Control Act of 1994. However, many Democrats, especially rural, Southern, and Western Democrats, favor fewer restrictions on firearm possession and warned the party was defeated in the 2000 presidential election in rural areas because of the issue. In the national platform for 2004, the only statement explicitly favoring gun control was a plan calling for renewal of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.

The Democratic Party evolved from Anti-Federalist factions that opposed the fiscal policies of Alexander Hamilton in the early 1790s. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison organized these factions into the Democratic-Republican Party. The party favored states' rights and strict adherence to the Constitution; it opposed a national bank and wealthy, moneyed interests. The Democratic-Republican Party ascended to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the party's chief rival, the Federalist Party disbanded. Democratic-Republicans split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe, and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the Democratic Party. Along with the Whig Party, the Democratic Party was the chief party in the United States until the Civil War. The Whigs were a commercial party, and usually less popular, if better financed. The Whigs divided over the slavery issue after the Mexican–American War and faded away. In the 1850s, under the stress of the Fugitive Slave Law and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Democrats left the party. Joining with former members of existing or dwindling parties, the Republican Party emerged.

The Democrats split over the choice of a successor to President James Buchanan along Northern and Southern lines, while the Republican Party gained an ascendancy in the election of 1860. As the American Civil War broke out, Northern Democrats were divided into War Democrats and Peace Democrats and Southern Democrats formed their own party. Most War Democrats rallied to Republican President Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans' National Union Party. The Democrats benefited from white Southerners' resentment of Reconstruction after the war and consequent hostility to the Republican Party. After Redeemers ended Reconstruction in the 1870s, and the extremely violent disenfranchisement of African Americans took place in the 1890s, the South, voting Democratic, became known as the "Solid South." Though Republicans continued to control the White House until 1884, the Democrats remained competitive. The party was dominated by pro-business Bourbon Democrats led by Samuel J. Tilden and Grover Cleveland, who represented mercantile, banking and railroad interests, opposed imperialism and overseas expansion, fought for the gold standard, opposed bimetallism, and crusaded against corruption, high taxes, and tariffs. Cleveland was elected to non-consecutive presidential terms in 1884 and 1892.

Issues facing parties and the United States after the Second World War included the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement. Republicans attracted conservatives and white Southerners from the Democratic coalition with their resistance to New Deal and Great Society liberalism and the Republicans' use of the Southern strategy. African Americans, who traditionally supported the Republican Party, began supporting Democrats following the ascent of the Franklin Roosevelt administration, the New Deal, and the Civil Rights movement. The Democratic Party's main base of support shifted to the Northeast, marking a dramatic reversal of history. Bill Clinton was elected to the presidency in 1992, governing as a New Democrat when the Democratic Party lost control of Congress in the election of 1994 to the Republican Party. Re-elected in 1996, Clinton was the first Democratic President since Franklin Roosevelt to serve for two terms. The Democratic Party regained majority control of Congress in the 2006 elections. Some of the party's key issues in the early 21st century in their last national platform have included the methods of how to combat terrorism, homeland security, expanding access to health care, labor rights, environmentalism, and the preservation of liberal government programs.

The most common mascot symbol for the party is the donkey. According to the Democratic National Committee, the party itself never officially adopted this symbol but has made use of it. They say Andrew Jackson had been labeled a jackass by his opponents during the intense mudslinging that occurred during the presidential race of 1828. A political cartoon titled "A Modern Balaam and his Ass" depicting Jackson riding and directing a donkey (representing the Democratic Party) was published in 1837. A political cartoon by Thomas Nast in an 1870 edition of Harper's Weekly revived the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party. Cartoonists followed Nast and used the donkey to represent the Democrats, and the elephant to represent the Republicans.

In the early 20th century, the traditional symbol of the Democratic Party in Midwestern states such as Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Ohio was the rooster, as opposed to the Republican eagle. This symbol still appears on Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia ballots. In New York, the Democratic ballot symbol is a five-pointed star. For the majority of the 20th century, Missouri Democrats used the Statue of Liberty as their ballot emblem. This meant that when Libertarian candidates received ballot access in Missouri in 1976, they could not use the Statue of Liberty, their national symbol, as the ballot emblem. Missouri Libertarians instead used the Liberty Bell until 1995, when the mule became Missouri's state animal. From 1995 to 2004, there was some confusion among voters, as the Democratic ticket was marked with the Statue of Liberty, and it seemed that the Libertarians were using a mule.

Although both major political parties (and many minor ones) use the traditional American red, white, and blue colors in their marketing and representations, since election night 2000 the color blue has become the identified color of the Democratic Party, while the color red has become the identified color of the Republican Party. That night, for the first time, all major broadcast television networks used the same color scheme for the electoral map: blue states for Al Gore (Democratic nominee) and red states for George W. Bush (Republican nominee). Since then, the color blue has been widely used by the media to represent the party, much to the confusion of non-American observers, as blue is the traditional color of the right and red the color of the left outside of the United States (c.f. red for the Liberals and blue for the Conservatives in Canada, or red for Labour and blue for Conservative in the United Kingdom). Blue has also been used by party supporters for promotional efforts (e.g. ActBlue, BuyBlue, BlueFund) and by the party itself, which in 2006 unveiled the "Red to Blue Program" to support Democratic candidates running against Republican incumbents in the 2006 midterm elections.

Jefferson-Jackson Day is the annual fundraising event (dinner) held by Democratic Party organizations across the United States. It is named after Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, whom the party regards as its distinguished early leaders.

The song "Happy Days Are Here Again" is the unofficial song of the Democratic Party. It was used prominently when Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for president at the 1932 Democratic National Convention and remains a sentimental favorite for Democrats today. For example, Paul Shaffer played the theme on the Late Show with David Letterman after the Democrats won Congress in 2006. More recently, the emotionally similar song "Beautiful Day" by the band U2 has become a favorite theme song for Democratic candidates. John Kerry used the song during his 2004 presidential campaign, and it was used as a celebratory tune by several Democratic Congressional candidates in 2006. Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man is traditionally performed at the beginning of the Democratic National Convention.

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Congressional Black Caucus

Current Chair, Barbara Lee

The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization representing the African American members of the United States Congress. Membership is exclusive to African Americans (although not 100% blood quantium) and its chair in the 111th Congress is Representative Barbara Lee of California.

The CBC encapsulates these goals in the following priorities: Closing the achievement and opportunity gaps in education, assuring quality health care for every American, focusing on employment and economic security, ensuring justice for all, retirement security for all Americans, increasing welfare funds and increasing equity in foreign policy.

The Caucus is officially non-partisan, but in practice it has been closely identified with the Democratic Party, and tends to function as a lobbying group within the wider Democratic Party. Only four black Republicans have been elected to Congress since the Caucus was founded: Senator Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts, Representative Gary Franks of Connecticut, Delegate Melvin H. Evans of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Representative J. C. Watts of Oklahoma, who became the first black member of Congress who elected not to join the group because of its closely Democratic affiliation and goals. Watts said of his refusal to join the caucus, "...they said that I had sold out and Uncle Tom. And I said well, they deserve to have that view. But I have my thoughts. And I think they're race-hustling poverty pimps." White members of Congress have never been welcomed into the caucus.

The Caucus has grown steadily as more black members have been elected. In 1969 the Caucus had nine members. As of 2008, it had 43 members, including two who are non-voting members of the House, representing the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Prior to his November 16 resignation to assume the presidency, Obama was the only black member of the United States Senate.

In January 2009 at the commencement of the 111th Congress, the 41 members of the CBC voted unanimously to urge the Senate to seat Roland Burris, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's appointed replacement for Obama; Burris is the only black member of the US Senate. Burris's appointment was mired in controversy after Blagojevich allegedly tried to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat, and Senate Democrats had vowed not to seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich. Burris, nonetheless, was seated within two weeks of the start of the 111th Congress.

The Caucus was founded in 1969 by a group of black members of the House of Representatives, including Shirley Chisholm of New York, Louis Stokes of Ohio and William L. Clay of Missouri. Black representatives had begun to enter the House in increasing numbers during the 1960s, and the formation of the Caucus reflected their desire for a formal organization. Originally a "Democratic Select Committee", which was formed in January 1969, it was named the Congressional Black Caucus in February 1971 on the motion of Charles B. Rangel of New York.

Founding members were Shirley Chisholm, William L. Clay Sr., George W. Collins, John Conyers, Ronald Dellums, Augustus F. Hawkins, Ralph Metcalfe, Parren Mitchell, Robert Nix, Charles Rangel, Louis Stokes, and Washington D.C. Delegate Walter Fauntroy. The first chairman Charles Diggs, from 1969 to 1971, landed on the master list of Nixon political opponents for his chairmanship.

In late 1994, after Republicans attained a majority in the House, they announced plans to rescind funding for 28 "legislative service organizations" which received taxpayer funding and occupied offices at the Capitol, including the CBC. Then-chairman Kweisi Mfume protested the decision, which never went through.

In 2004, independent presidential candidate and consumer activist Ralph Nader attended a meeting with the Caucus which turned into a shouting exchange. The caucus urged Nader to give up his presidential run, fearing that it could hurt John Kerry, the Democratic Party's nominee. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) called the upcoming election "a life or death matter" for the Caucus members' constituents. Nader accused Congressman Mel Watt of twice uttering an "obscene racial epithet" towards Nader; he alleged that Watt said: "You're just another arrogant white man - telling us what we can do - it's all about your ego - another f--king arrogant white man." Watt never offered an apology.

The caucus is sometimes invited to the White House to meet with the president. It requests such a meeting at the beginning of each Congress.

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Oakland, California

African American population distribution data from the Census of 2000. See more population distribution maps at Maps of Oakland, California

Oakland (IPA: /ˈoʊklənd/), founded in 1852, is the eighth-largest city in the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Alameda County. Oakland is approximately 8 miles east of San Francisco and the cities are separated by San Francisco Bay. The San Francisco Bay Area is the sixth most populous metropolitan area in the United States. Based on United States Census Bureau estimates for 2006, Oakland is the 44th largest city in the United States with a population of 397,067.

Oakland is a major West Coast port, and is home to several major corporations including Kaiser Permanente and Clorox, as well as corporate headquarters for nationwide businesses like Dreyer's and Cost Plus World Markets. Oakland is a major hub city for the Bay Area subregion collectively called the East Bay.

According to the 2000 U.S. census, Oakland and Long Beach, California are the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States, with over 150 languages spoken in Oakland. Attractions include Jack London Square, the Oakland Zoo, the Oakland Museum of California, the Chabot Space and Science Center, Lake Merritt, the East Bay Regional Park District ridge line parks and preserves, and Chinatown.

The earliest known civilization was that of the Huchiun tribe, who inhabited the area for thousands of years. The Huchiun belonged to a linguistic grouping later called the Ohlone (a Miwok word meaning "western people"). In Oakland, they were heavily concentrated around Lake Merritt and Temescal Creek, a stream which enters the San Francisco Bay at Emeryville.

Conquistadors from New Spain purported to claim Oakland and other Ohlone lands of the East Bay, along with the rest of California, for the king of Spain in 1772. In the early 19th century, the Spanish crown deeded the area which later became Oakland (along with most of the East Bay), to Luís María Peralta for his Rancho San Antonio. The grant was confirmed by the successor Mexican republic upon its independence from Spain. The area of the ranch that is today occupied by the downtown and extending over into the adjacent part of Alameda (originally not an island, but a peninsula), included a woodland of oak trees. This area was called encinal by the Peraltas, a Spanish word which means "oak grove", the origin of the later city's name. Upon his death in 1842, Peralta divided his land among his four sons. Most of Oakland fell within the shares given to Antonio Maria and Vicente. They would open the land to settlement by American settlers, loggers, European whalers, and fur-traders.

Continued development occurred after 1848 when the Mexican government ceded 1.36 million km² (525,000 square miles; 55% of its pre-war territory, not including Texas) to the United States in exchange for US$15 million (equivalent to $313 million in 2006 dollars) as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the Mexican-American War. The original settlement in what is now the downtown was initially called "Contra Costa" and was included in Contra Costa County before Alameda County was established on March 25, 1853. The California state legislature incorporated the town of Oakland on May 4, 1852. In 1853, John Coffee "Jack" Hays, a famous Texas Ranger, was one of the first to establish residence in Oakland while performing his duties as sheriff of San Francisco .

The town and its environs quickly grew with the railroads, becoming a major rail terminus in the late 1860s and 1870s. In 1868, the Central Pacific constructed the Oakland Long Wharf at Oakland Point, the site of today's Port of Oakland. The Long Wharf served as both the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad as well as the local commuter trains of the Central (later, Southern) Pacific. The Central Pacific also established one of its largest rail yards and servicing facilities in West Oakland which continued to be a major local employer under the Southern Pacific well into the 20th century. The principal depot of the Southern Pacific in Oakland was the 16th Street Station located at 16th and Wood which is currently (2006–8) being partially restored as part of a redevelopment project.

A number of horsecar and cable car lines were constructed in Oakland in the latter half of the 1800s. The first electric streetcar set out from Oakland to Berkeley in 1891, and other lines were converted and added over the course of the 1890s. The various streetcar companies operating in Oakland were acquired by Francis "Borax" Smith and consolidated into what eventually became known as the Key System, the predecessor of today's publicly owned AC Transit. In addition to its system of streetcars in the East Bay, the Key System also operated commuter trains to its own pier and ferry boats to San Francisco, in competition with the Southern Pacific. Upon completion of the Bay Bridge, both companies ran their commuter trains on the south side of the lower deck direct to San Francisco. The Key System in its earliest years was actually in part a real estate venture, with the transit part serving to help open up new tracts for buyers. The Key's investors (incorporated as the "Realty Syndicate") also established two large hotels in Oakland, one of which survives as the Claremont Resort. The other, which burned down in the early 1930s, was the Key Route Inn, located at what is now West Grand and Broadway. From 1904 to 1929, the Realty Syndicate also operated a major amusement park in north Oakland called Idora Park.

The original extent of Oakland upon its incorporation lay south of today's major intersection of San Pablo Avenue, Broadway and 14th Street. The city gradually annexed farmlands and settlements to the east and north. Oakland's rise to industrial prominence and its subsequent need for a seaport led to the digging of a shipping and tidal channel in 1902, creating the "island" of nearby town Alameda. In 1906, its population doubled with refugees made homeless after the San Francisco earthquake and fire who had fled to Oakland. Concurrently, a strong City Beautiful movement, promoted by mayor Frank K. Mott, was responsible for creating and preserving parks and monuments in Oakland, including major improvements to Lake Merritt and the construction of Oakland Civic Auditorium which cost US$1M in 1914. The Auditorium would briefly serve as emergency ward and quarantine for some of Oakland's Spanish flu victims in 1918 and 1919. The three waves of that pandemic killed more than 1,400 Oaklanders (out of 216,000 residents).

By 1920, Oakland was the home of numerous manufacturing industries, including metals, canneries, bakeries, Internal combustion engines, automobiles, and shipbuilding.

The 1920s were economic boom years in the United States as a whole, and in California especially. Economic growth was fueled by the general post-war recovery, as well as oil discoveries in Los Angeles and the widespread introduction of the automobile. In 1916, General Motors opened a major Chevrolet automobile factory in Oakland at 73rd Avenue and Foothill, which is the current location of Eastmont Town Center, making cars and then trucks there until 1963. A large lot in East Oakland, 106th and Foothill Boulevard, which is the current location of Foothill Square, was chosen by the Fageol Motor Company as the site for their first factory in 1916, turning out farming tractors from 1918 to 1923, and introducing an influential low-slung "Safety Bus" in 1921 followed quickly by the 22-seat "Safety Coach". Durant Motors operated a plant in Oakland from 1921 to 1930, making sedans, coupes, convertibles and roadsters. By 1929, when Chrysler expanded with a new plant in the city, Oakland had become known as the "Detroit of the West".

Russell Crapo Durant (called "Rex" or "Cliff" by his friends), a race car driver, speedboat enthusiast, amateur flyer, president of Durant Motors in Oakland and son of General Motors founder William "Billy" Crapo Durant, established Durant Field at 82nd Avenue and East 14th Street in Oakland in 1916. The first experimental transcontinental airmail through flight finished its journey at Durant Field on August 9, 1920, with Army captain Eddie Rickenbacker and Navy lieutenant Bert Acosta at the controls of the Junkers F 13 re-badged as the model J.L.6 for the US Postal Service. The airfield served only secondary duties after 1927, as its runway was not long enough for heavily loaded aircraft. In April, 1930 test pilot Herbert "Hub" Fahy and his wife Claire hit a stump upon landing, flipping their plane and mortally wounding Hub without injuring Claire. Durant Field was often called Oakland Airport, though the current Oakland Airport was soon to be established four miles to the southwest.

On September 17, 1927, Charles Lindbergh attended the official dedication of the new Oakland Airport. A month earlier, participants in the disastrous Dole Air Race had taken off from Oakland's new 7,020 ft. runway on August 16, 1927, headed for Honolulu 2,400 miles away; three fliers died before getting to the starting line in Oakland, five were lost at sea attempting to reach Honolulu and two more died searching for the lost five. On May 31, 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew departed Oakland in Southern Cross on their successful bid to cross the Pacific by air, finishing in Australia. Oakland was used in October 1928 as a base for the World War I aircraft involved in the final shooting of Howard Hughes' film Hell's Angels. In 1928 Louise Thaden took off from Oakland to set a women's altitude record, and endurance and speed records in 1929 in a Travel Air flown out of Oakland.

Oakland grew significantly in the 1920s, flexing to meet the influx of factory workers. 13,000 homes were built from 1921 to 1924, more than in the period 1907 to 1920. Many of the apartment buildings and single-family houses still standing in Oakland were built in the 1920s. Many large office buildings downtown were built in the 1920s, and reflect the architectural styles of the time.

Rocky Road ice cream was invented in Oakland in 1929, though accounts differ regarding its first promoter. William Dreyer of Dreyer's is said to have carried the idea of marshmallow and walnut pieces in a chocolate base over from his partner Joseph Edy's similar candy creation.

During World War II, the East Bay Area was home to many war-related industries. Among these were the Kaiser Shipyards in nearby Richmond whose medical system for shipyard workers became the basis for the giant Kaiser Permanente HMO, which has a large medical center at MacArthur and Broadway, the first to be established by Kaiser. Oakland's Moore Dry Dock Company expanded its shipbuilding capabilities and built over 100 ships.

Valued at $100 million in 1943, Oakland's canning industry was the city's second-most valuable war contribution after shipbuilding. Sited at both a major rail terminus and an important sea port, Oakland was a natural location for food processing plants whose preserved products fed domestic, foreign and military consumers. The largest canneries were in the Fruitvale district and included the Josiah Lusk Canning Company, the Oakland Preserving Company (which started the Del Monte brand), and the California Packing Company.

Prior to World War II, blacks constituted approximately 3% of Oakland's population. Aside from restrictive covenants pertaining to some Oakland hills properties, Jim Crow laws mandating racial segregation did not exist in California, and relations between the races were mostly harmonious. What segregation did exist was voluntary; blacks could, and did, live in all parts of the city.

The war attracted to Oakland large numbers of laborers from around the country, though most were poor whites and blacks from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi--sharecroppers who had been actively recruited by Henry J. Kaiser to work in his shipyards. These immigrants from the Jim Crow South brought their racial attitudes with them, and the racial harmony that Oakland blacks had been accustomed to prior to the war evaporated. Southern whites expected deference from their black co-workers, and initially Southern blacks were conditioned to grant it. As Southern blacks became aware of their more equal standing under California law, they began to reject subservient roles. The new immigrants prospered, though they were affected by rising racial discrimination and informal postwar neighborhood redlining.

The Mai Tai drink was first concocted in Oakland in 1944, and became very popular with military and civilian customers at Trader Vic's restaurant located at San Pablo Avenue and 65th, very close to Berkeley and Emeryville. Established in 1932, Trader Vic's became successful enough by 1936 that San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen was inspired to write that "the best restaurant in San Francisco is in Oakland." Trader Vic's in Oakland was chosen by the State Department as the official entertainment center for foreign dignitaries attending United Nations meetings in San Francisco. The restaurant continued to grow in popularity but was running out of room until 1951 when founder Victor Bergeron opened a larger one in San Francisco. The Oakland location closed in 1972 when it moved operations to the Emeryville Marina.

During the late 1940s the conspiratorial dissolution of the Key System of electric streetcars began following the National City Lines (NCL) holding company acquisition of 64% of its stock in 1946. The holding company converted the Key System's electric streetcar fleet to buses that operated on fossil fueled engines that required motor oil changes, in addition to new tires periodically, and other suspension and mechanical parts that would wear down faster on bumpy streets surfaces instead of smooth tracks. Streetcar tracks were removed from Oakland streets and the lower deck of the Bay Bridge was converted to automobile traffic, which created a smaller carrying capacity of passengers per hour. Freeways were planned and constructed, partitioning the social and retail fabric of neighborhoods with freeway flyovers and on ramps. Automobile ownership increased, which further reduced demand for mass transit. The state Legislature created the Alameda and Contra Costa Transit District in 1955, which still exists today as AC Transit, the third-largest bus-only transit system in the nation.

Soon after the war, with the disappearance of Oakland's shipbuilding industry and the decline of its automobile industry, jobs became more scarce. Many of the poor blacks who had come to the city from the South decided to stay in Oakland. Longstanding black residents complained that the new Southern arrivals "tended towards public disorder," and the segregationist attitudes that the Southern immigrants brought with them disrupted the racial harmony they had been accustomed to prior to the war. Many of the city's more affluent residents, both black and white, left the city after the war, moving to neighboring Berkeley, Albany and El Cerrito to the north and to the newly developing East Bay suburbs--Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and Concord. Between 1950 and 1960, approximately 100,000 white property owners moved out of Oakland—part of a nationwide phenomenon called white flight..

By the end of World War II, blacks constituted approximately 12% of Oakland's population, and the years following the war saw this percentage rise along with an increase in racial tensions. Starting in the 1950s, the Oakland Police Department began recruiting officers from the South to deal with the expanding black population and changing racial attitudes; many were openly racist, and their repressive police tactics exacerbated racial tensions.

Oakland was the center of a general strike during the first week of December, 1946, one of six cities across the county which experienced a general strike in the first few years after World War II. It was one of the largest strike movements in American history, as workers were determined not to let management repeat the union busting that followed the first World War.

In the late 1950s, the largest high rise up to that time was planned on the former site of Holy Names University, a parcel at the corner of 20th and Harrison Streets: the headquarters building of Kaiser Corporation. Also in this era, the seedy, rundown area at the foot of Broadway was transformed into Jack London Square.

Despite this progress and development, by the late 1950s, Oakland, which had been racially harmonious and quite prosperous before the war, found itself with a population that was increasingly poor and racially divided.

During the 1960s the city was home to an innovative funk music scene which produced well-known bands like Sly & the Family Stone, Graham Central Station, Tower of Power, Cold Blood, and The Headhunters. Larry Graham, the bass player for both Sly & the Family Stone and Graham Central Station, is credited with the creation of the influential slap and pop sound still widely used by bassists in many musical idioms today.

By 1966 only 16 of the city's 661 police officers were black. Tensions between the poverty-stricken black community and the predominantly white police force were high, and police brutality against blacks was common. Killings of young black boys in Harlem and San Francisco added fuel to the fire. In this charged atmosphere, the Black Panther Party was founded by Merritt College students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale as a response to police brutality.

It was also during the 1960s when the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club's Oakland Chapter, began to grow into a formidable organization. By the 1980s it was the most feared and respected of all Hells Angels chapters. Its Oakland Clubhouse still sits on Foothill Boulevard.

President Johnson's "War on Poverty" found major expression in Oakland. At their peak, various federal programs dispensed monies each year that amounted to close than twice the city's annual budget.

During the 1940s and 1950s, drug use had been confined primarily to a low-key, underground drug scene centered around Oakland's jazz and music clubs. As in many other American cities, Oakland began to experience serious problems with gang-controlled drug dealing of hard drugs, like heroin and cocaine, along with attendant increases in both violent crime and property crime. The 1970s saw the rise of drug operations topped by drug lord Felix Mitchell, whose activities, based in the public housing project known as San Antonio Villa, helped push Oakland's murder rate to twice that of San Francisco or New York City.

In late 1973, the Symbionese Liberation Army assassinated Oakland's superintendent of schools, Dr. Marcus Foster, and badly wounded his deputy, Robert Blackburn. Two months later, two men were arrested and charged with the murder. Both received life sentences, though one would be acquitted after an appeal and a retrial seven years later. The SLA, led by the self-named "Cinque", went on to kidnap newspaper heiress Patty Hearst from her Berkeley apartment the following year.

In sports, the Oakland Athletics MLB club won three World Series in a row (1972, 1973, and 1974); the Golden State Warriors won the 1974–1975 NBA championship; and the Oakland Raiders of the NFL won Super Bowl XI in 1977.

Starting in the early 1980s, the number of Latinos, mostly of Mexican origin, began to increase significantly in Oakland, especially in the Fruitvale district. This district is one of the oldest in Oakland, growing up around the old Peralta estate (now a city park). It has always had a concentration of Latino residents, businesses and institutions, but increased immigration which has continued right up to the 21st century has added greater numbers.

During the 1980s crack cocaine became a serious problem in Oakland. The drug culture that had gained a foothold during the 1970s became increasingly violent and socially disruptive. Poverty increased, and by the end of the 1980s, more than 20% of Oakland's population was on welfare.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Oakland featured prominently in rap music, both as the hometown for such artists as MC Hammer, Digital Underground, Hieroglyphics (including Souls of Mischief and Del tha Funkee Homosapien), The Luniz and Too Short. Tupac Shakur, who grew up in New York City and Baltimore and later moved to Oakland, lived there for 5 years, longer than in any other city. Outside of the rap genre, Grammy award winning artists such as En Vogue, Tony! Toni! Tone!, and Billie Joe Armstrong of the trio Green Day also emerged from Oakland.

The Loma Prieta earthquake occurred on October 17, 1989, in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, its surface wave measuring 7.1 on the Richter magnitude scale. Several structures in Oakland were badly damaged. The double-decker portion of the Cypress Viaduct freeway (Interstate 880) structure, located in Oakland, collapsed, killing 42. The eastern span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge also sustained significant damage and was closed to traffic for one month. Throughout the 1990s, buildings throughout Oakland were retrofitted to better withstand earthquakes.

On October 20, 1991, a massive fire (see 1991 Oakland firestorm) swept down from the Berkeley Hills above the Caldecott Tunnel. 25 were killed and 150 injured and over 2,000 homes were destroyed. The economic loss has been estimated at $1.5 billion. Many homes were rebuilt much larger than they originally were.

During the 1990s, the TV sitcom Hangin' with Mr. Cooper was set in Oakland, starring actor/comedian Mark Curry, who was born in Oakland.

In late 1996, Oakland was the center of a controversy surrounding Ebonics (African American Vernacular English), an ethnolect the outgoing Oakland Unified School District board voted to recognize on December 18.

After his 1999 inauguration, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown continued his predecessor Elihu Harris' public policy of supporting downtown housing development in the area defined as the Central Business District in Oakland's 1998 General Plan. Since Brown's stated goal was to bring an additional 10,000 residents to Downtown Oakland, his plan was known as "10K." It has resulted in redevelopment projects in the Jack London District, where Brown purchased and later sold an industrial warehouse which he used as a personal residence, in the Lakeside Apartments District near Lake Merritt, where two infill projects were proposed and approved, one of which is in its 5th year of construction. The 10k plan has touched the historic Old Oakland district, the Chinatown district, the Uptown district, and Downtown.

The "10k" plan and other redevelopment projects have been controversial with many Oaklanders who believe these projects have lead to rent intensification and gentrification which continues to displace lower-income residents from downtown Oakland into outlying neighborhoods and cities. Additional controversy over development proposals have arisen from the weakening of the Bay Area and national economy in 2000, 2001, 2007, and the credit crunch and the recession of 2008. These downturns have resulted in low occupancy of the new housing and slower growth and economic recovery than expected.

The Oakland Athletics have long been searching for a site to build a new baseball stadium. In 2006, the A's announced a deal to build a new stadium in Fremont, California, to be called Cisco Field. However, as a result of opposition from businesses, and residents' strong opposition regarding another proposed site closer to a future rapid transit station, plans for Fremont ceased in February, 2009.

In 2001, the Oakland Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church proposed a replacement for the St. Francis de Sales Cathedral (1891), which was damaged in the 1989 earthquake and subsequently demolished. The Diocese proposed situating a Grand Cathedral, rising to a height of 15 stories, directly in front of the Kaiser Convention Center and surrounding it with a "grand plaza," which would have extended all the way to the edge of the lake. Coalition of Advocates for Lake Merritt (CALM), an Oakland group, proposed an alternative plan involving a remake of the 12th Street Dam, halving the number of traffic lanes. The underpasses and overpasses were proposed to be eliminated, with stoplights installed where the road intersects with 12th Street and 1st Avenue. The beach was proposed to be widened, with a gently sloping lawn leading up to the roadway, new walking and bike paths in each direction. Crosswalks with pedestrian-activated stoplights were proposed to replace the tunnels under the freeway. However, an alternative development resulted in the Cathedral of Christ the Light across Harrison Street, from the Lake's west-end.

In February 2006, the Oakland Ballet closed due to financial problems and the closure of their performance facility, the Calvin Simmons Theater at the Kaiser Convention Center. The Oakland Ballet had been performing in Oakland since 1965. In 2007, however, founder Ronn Guidi announced the revival of the Ballet.

A new use for the Kaiser Convention Center at the South end of Lake Merritt was proposed in 2006: a redevelopment designed to nucleate a cultural and educational district with the neighboring Oakland Museum of California and Laney College. In July 2006, the Oakland City Council approved a bond measure to expand the city's library system and convert the closed Center into a replacement for the city's aging main library, but Oakland voters defeated the library bond measure in the November 2006 election.

In recent years, several skyscrapers have been proposed for various neighborhoods within the Central Business District. Of note is the 530 foot, 42 story,"Emerald Views/222 19th Street" luxury condominium tower which was proposed in 2006. This skyscraper has been proposed to be constructed on the historic Schilling Gardens parcel at the Lake's edge in the Lakeside Apartments District. Also, a 395 foot, 37 story "1439 Alice Street" has been proposed for a parcel directly across the street from the Malonga Casquelord Arts Center also in the Lakeside Apartments District.

Four blocks away from the vicinity of the Schilling Gardens parcel where the 'Emerald Views' tower was proposed, another skyscraper project was proposed in 2008: the 715 ft (218 m) Encinal Tower, a mixed-use office and luxury residential skyscraper proposed for a parcel on Broadway above the 19th Street BART station, which has been designed by the major architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. If approved and constructed, it would become the tallest building in the city with 56 levels, which could defy developers' assertions that luxury condominium residences are infeasible at the edge of Broadway.

In the early morning hours of January 1, 2009, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle fatally shot transit passenger Oscar Grant in the back as he was detained in a face down position on a train platform at the Fruitvale BART station. Several days after the shooting, on the night of January 7, 2009, vandalism occurred along several Downtown Oakland streets, including businesses suffering broken windows; riot-type actions occurred on some as well. On January 14, 2009 Mehserle was arrested in Douglas County, Nevada, returned to Oakland and charged by the Alameda County District Attorney's office with murder in the incident. Civil rights charges have not been filed by the United States Attorney's office. The protests that followed were more under control, despite broken windows of downtown businesses for one on January 14 by a smaller group (following the main protest). The protests to follow (the latest being February 6 when it was announced that Mehserle was freed on bail) continued to draw large amounts of local media attention. However, vandalism decreased dramatically each time.

February 5, 2009 marked a turning point for central Oakland's potential development, as an arts & entertainment district: The long-awaited (gala) grand-opening of the Fox Oakland Theatre happened that evening, with music events booked and sold out for the following two days. The theatre officially closed over 42 years prior, with only a few bookings since. After a thorough restoration, seismic retrofit, and many other improvements following years of severe neglect (including a fire as recently as 2004), the registered-historic landmark theatre's 1-block proximity to a center rapid transit station will draw patrons from all over the Bay Area--and perhaps the region--for frequent, headline acts.

On Saturday 3-21-09 the Oakland Police Department lost three police sergeants and one police officer when they were murdered by a convicted felon wanted on a no-bail warrant for parole violation. The felon was later shot and killed by officers after he fired on them with an assault rifle. This was the first time the Oakland Police Department had lost a Sergeant in the line of duty. It was also the worst single case of assault on Oakland police in the department's history.

Oakland is located around 37°48' North, 122°15' West (37.8, -122.25), in the longitudinal middle of California, on the east side of San Francisco Bay.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 78.2 sq mi (202.4 km²). 56.1 sq mi (145.2 km²) of it is land and 22.1 sq mi (57.2 km²) of it (28.28 percent) is water.

Oaklanders most broadly refer to their city's terrain as "the flatlands" and "the hills," which up until recent waves of gentrification have also been a reference to Oakland's deep economic divide, with "the hills" being more affluent communities. About two-thirds of Oakland lies within the flat plain of the San Francisco Bay, with one-third rising into the foothills and hills of the East Bay range.

Oakland has more than 50 distinct neighborhoods across land running from the San Francisco Bay up into the East Bay hills, many of which are not "official" enough to be named on a map. The common large neighborhood divisions in the city are Downtown Oakland and its greater Central Business District, East Oakland, North Oakland, and West Oakland. East Oakland actually encompasses more than half of Oakland's area, stretching from Lakeshore Drive on the east shore of Lake Merritt southeast to San Leandro. North Oakland encompasses the neighborhoods between downtown and Berkeley and Emeryville. West Oakland is the area between downtown and the Bay, partially surrounded by the Oakland Point, and encompassing the Port of Oakland.

Another broad geographical distinction is between "the hills" and "the flatlands" (or "flats"). The flatlands are the working-class neighborhoods located relatively closer to San Francisco Bay, and the hills are the upper-class neighborhoods along the northeast side of the city. This hills/flats division is not only a characteristic of the City of Oakland, but extends beyond Oakland's borders into neighboring cities in the East Bay's urban core. Downtown and West Oakland are located entirely in the flatlands, while North and East Oakland incorporate lower hills and flatlands neighborhoods.

One island of "Non-Oakland" exists in the upscale city of Piedmont, which incorporated into a separate city after the 1906 earthquake in Oakland's central foothills, completely surrounded by the city of Oakland.

Oakland's climate is typified by the temperate and seasonal Mediterranean climate. Summers are usually dry and warm and winters are cool and wet More specifically, it has features found in both nearby coastal cities such as San Francisco and inland cities such as San Jose, so it is warmer than San Francisco and cooler than San Jose. Its position on San Francisco Bay directly across from the Golden Gate means that the city gets significant cooling maritime fog during the summer. It is far enough inland, though, that the fog often burns off by midday, allowing it to have typically sunny California days.

The National Weather Service has two official weather stations in Oakland: Oakland International Airport and the Oakland Museum (established 1970).

Oakland continues to have a reputation as a city with a high rate of violent crime, a problem that began during the late 1960s. By the end of the 1970s, Oakland's murder rate had risen to twice that of San Francisco or New York City. Crime continued to escalate during the 1980s, and remains one of Oakland's most serious challenges today.

During the 1990s and 2000s, Oakland has consistently been listed as one of the most dangerous large cities in the United States. A record number of 175 homicides were committed in Oakland in 1992. In 1993, Oakland's murder rate was 40.8 per 100,000; the 13th worst ranking for US cities with population over 100,000. Statistics published by Morgan Quitno put Oakland's crime at the 18th worst US city (out of 207 of the largest cities) in 1997, 16th worst in 1999, 22nd worst in 2000, 28th worst in 2002, 21st worst in 2004, and 21st worst in 2005. The 94 murders in Oakland in 2005 and 145 murders in 2006 contributed to making the city's ranking jump significantly worse, going to 8th most dangerous for 2006, and 4th for 2007. All rankings above are based on the crime stats from the previous year, with the reports released in the fall. Oakland ranks high in California for most categories of crime. Rates of other violent crimes, such as assault and rape, are also far above the U.S. average. 120 murders recorded in 2007 made Oakland's murder rate third highest in California, behind Richmond and Compton; however, Oakland suffered rape and robbery rates per capita that were almost twice those of Richmond and Compton, making Oakland's violent crime rate the highest overall.

In 2003, 109 murders in a city of 407,000 set Oakland 3.5 times higher than the national average. That same year, all violent crimes in Oakland were 2.31 times more numerous than the national average, and property crimes were 1.26 times more numerous. In 2004, there were 88 murders, and in 2005, there were 94. Police estimated that drugs played a part in 80% of the murders. Then-mayor Jerry Brown said that it was harder to deal with specific crime issues with fewer police officers than in previous years.

Most violent crime occurs in West Oakland and the flatlands of East Oakland between I-580 and I-880. Montclair, Rockridge and Lake Merritt have fewer problems with violent crime. Property crime is widespread throughout the city. In 2007, Oakland had by far the highest robbery and motor vehicle theft rates of all significant cities in California, with one robbery per 114 citizens and one car theft per 40 citizens, three to four times the state average. A rash of high-profile restaurant takeover robberies in 2008 has led to sharp criticism. Since the beginning of 2007 however, street crimes in Oakland have dropped substantially enough to bring overall crime down by a small percentage.

The five-year average for homicide victims in Oakland breaks down as follows: 77% Black, 15.4% Hispanic, 3.2% White, 2.8% Asian and 1.6% Unknown. The five-year average for homicide suspects in Oakland breaks down as follows: 64.7% Black, 8.6% Hispanic, 0.2% White, 2.0% Asian and 24.4% Unknown. In 2006, homicide victims under the age of 18 tripled compared to previous years. Five year averages compiled for 2001-2006 showed that 30% of murder victims were between the ages of 18 to 24 and another 33% were between 25 and 34 years old. Males made up 96% of suspects and 88% of victims.

Despite comprising only 30-35% of the population, African-Americans are over-represented in crime statistics, with the majority of crimes occurring in heavily African-American neighborhoods. Earl Ofari Hutchinson mentions crime in Oakland as an example of a rising problem of "black-on-black" crime, which Oakland shares with other major cities in the US. Bill Cosby mentions Oakland as one of the many American cities where crime is "endemic" and young African-American men are being murdered and incarcerated in disproportionate numbers. Cosby alleges that the parents of such youths and young men, and the Black community in general, have failed to inculcate proper standards of moral behavior.

In a November, 2008 Congressional Quarterly Press publication, the city of Oakland has the dubious distinction of ranking fifth worst in a nationwide ranking of violent crime. The ranking takes into account six crime categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft. CQ Press has used these categories for determining city crime rankings since 1999. In contrast, other Bay Area cities ranked this way. Richmond was number nine, Vallejo 67, San Francisco 102, Hayward 125 and Berkeley 132.

Oakland finished with 2008 with 124 homicides. While only three less than the 2007 total, only 17 of 2008's happened during the last three months, with 21 happening in the first 6 weeks of the year alone. A rapid growth in the number of police officers by year's end, helped the downward trend continue through the first 12 weeks of 2009. Other serious crimes have dropped since January 1, compared to the same time period last year.

On March 21, 2009, at approximately 1:10 pm two Oakland police officers pulled over a car driven by Lovelle Mixon during a routine traffic stop. A no-bail warrant had been issued for Mixon's arrest due to his violation of parole on a felony armed robbery conviction, however it is unclear whether the officers were aware of this warrant. After he was pulled over, Mixon exited the vehicle and opened fire, hitting both officers in their heads. Sgt. Mark Dunakin died at the scene, and Officer John Hege was pronounced dead the next day. Mixon fled on foot and approximately two hours later he was cornered in a nearby apartment building. When police raided the apartment that afternoon in an attempt to apprehend him, Mixon fatally shot SWAT team members Sergeant Erwin Romans and Sergeant Daniel Sakai when he fired through the wall and door of the closet where he was hiding during the raid. A fifth officer was wounded before he managed to return fire, killing Mixon.

With four police officers murdered in one day, three of them sergeants, this incident represents the worst loss of officers' lives on the same day in Oakland Police Department history. The incident brings the total to 51 Oakland police officers killed in the line of duty since 1867.

In the census of 2000, there were 399,484 people, 150,790 households, and 86,402 families residing in the city. The population density was 7,126.6/sq mi (2,751.4/km²). There were 157,508 housing units at an average density of 2,809.8/sq mi (1,084.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 35.66% African American, 23.52% White, 0.66% Native American, 15.23% Asian American, 0.50% Pacific Islander, 11.66% from other races, and 4.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.19 percent of the population.

The US Census Bureau 2005 estimates show 31.00 percent African American, 26.10 percent White, 0.60 percent Native American, 16.40 percent Asian American, 0.90 percent Pacific Islander, 14.00 percent from other races, and 4.80 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.00 percent of the population.

The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimates show 34.1 percent White, 30.3 percent African American, 0.9 percent Native American, 15.6 percent Asian American, 0.7 percent Pacific Islander, 14.6 percent from other races, and 3.8 percent from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.9 percent of the population. There were 58,903 self-identifying "Asian" respondents, and 97,738 respondents who identified as "Hispanic or Latino of any race." There were 89,834 respondents who self-identified as "non-Hispanic Whites alone," in other words, not of "more than one race," which equals 23.8% of the "total population" estimate of 377,256. The African-American population "alone" was 113,078, or 29.97% of the total population estimate of 377,256. A statistically significant number of multi-racial respondents, 10,696, identified as being of at least two races.

The data shows that Oakland is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country.

Out of 150,790 households 28.6 percent had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.0 percent were married couples living together, 17.7 percent had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7 percent were non-families. 32.5 percent of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6 percent had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.38.

An analysis by the Urban Institute of U.S. Census 2000 numbers showed that Oakland has the third-highest concentration of gays and lesbians among the 50 largest U.S. cities, behind San Francisco and Seattle. Census data show that, among incorporated areas that have at least 500 female couples, Oakland has the nation's largest percent per capita. In 2000, Oakland counted 2650 lesbian couples; one in every 41 Oakland couples listed themselves as a same-sex female partnership.

In 2000, Oakland's population was reported as 25.0 percent under the age of 18, 9.7 percent from 18 to 24, 34.0 percent from 25 to 44, 20.9 percent from 45 to 64, and 10.5 percent who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,055, and the median income for a family was $44,384. Males had a median income of $37,433 versus $35,088 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,936. About 16.2 percent of families and 19.4 percent of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.9 percent of those under age 18 and 13.1 percent of those age 65 or over. 0.7% of the population is homeless. Home ownership is 41% and 14% of rental units are subsidized. The current unemployment rate is 8.4%.

Oakland is a major West Coast port, and is home to several major corporations including Kaiser Permanente and Clorox, as well as corporate headquarters for national retailers like Dreyer's and Cost Plus World Markets. The first Longs Drugs store opened in Oakland.

In the state legislature Oakland is located in the 9th Senate District, represented by Democrat Loni Hancock, and in the 14th, 16th, and 18th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrats Nancy Skinner, Sandré Swanson, and Mary Hayashi respectively. Oakland represented in the United States House of Representatives by Barbara Lee and is located in California's 9th Congressional District, which has a Cook PVI of D +38.

Oakland experienced an increase of both its population and of land values in the early to mid 2000s. The 10k Plan, which began during former mayor Elihu Harris' administration, and intensified during former mayor Jerry Brown's administration resulted in several thousand units of new multi-family housing and development. In addition, Oakland's mild weather, central geographic location, and hillside neighborhoods with views of San Francisco and the Bay provide an attractive alternative to the high rents and home prices in nearby San Francisco. Because of its size, Oakland offers a substantial number of shopping districts and restaurants representing many American and international cuisines.

While Oakland has seen economic revitalization during the 2000s, the issue of gentrification has become a controversial topic which has affected Oakland's politics, culture, longtime, and new residents throughout the city. In West Oakland a community land trust has been formed in an attempt to secure collective non-profit ownership of residentially-zoned land. The Institute for Community Economics has worked to retain West Oakland's longtime residents and mitigate the economic impacts of rent intensification. With some developers interested in a "village community" with the West Oakland BART station as its center, West Oakland has seen an influx of new residents. In response, programs such as the Anti-Displacement Network, have attempted to assist in the stabilization of costs for homeowners and renters in West Oakland. Redevelopment proponents believe such projects under way in West Oakland will provide employment, neighborhood-serving retail health services, recreational facilities, special placement facilities, and new affordable housing.

In East Oakland, average rents have increased during the 2000s as housing demand pressures in and around the Central Business District and neighborhoods surrounding Lake Merritt have affected outlying neighborhoods.

In September 2008, members of the Oakland City Council blocked Mayor Ron Dellums' appointment of Ada Chan to the Oakland Planning Commission in a 3-4-1 vote. Chan has a history of land-use activism in San Francisco. In January 2008, newly-elected at-large City Coucilmember Rebecca Kaplan appointed Chan as her office's Policy Aide.

Oakland is known by several nicknames, of which the most common is "Oaktown". Other nicknames include "O-town" and "The Town". The moniker "Oaksterdam" sprang up in 2003 in association with the opening of several medical marijuana clubs in Uptown and on the north side of Downtown.

Modern-day Oakland has turned the quote on its head, with a statue downtown simply titled "There." Additionally, in 2005 a sculpture called HERETHERE was installed by the City of Berkeley on the Berkeley-Oakland border at Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The sculpture consists of eight-foot-tall letters spelling "HERE" and "THERE" in front of the BART tracks as they descend from their elevated section in Oakland to the subway through Berkeley.

Downtown Oakland has an assortment of bars and nightclubs. They range from punk-rock makeovers of dive bars, such as The Stork Club and the Ruby Room, to modern bistros and dance clubs, such as Luka's Taproom and Lounge, @17th, Pat's bar, Roy's 19th Street Station, The Uptown, and The Oasis, to hipster spots such as Radio, Geoffreys, Karribean City, and art and jazz bar Cafe van Kleef. Also, the reopening of the Fox Oakland Theatre draws headline acts to include Jam Bands, rock, punk, blues, jazz, and reggae, among other genres of music. Shows performed by the Oakland School for the Arts--which is housed within the same complex--will give the theatre increased usage. The Paramount and Fox theaters often book simultaneous events creating busy nights uptown.

Oakland is home to a world-class jazz venue, Yoshi's, near Jack London Square. Jack London Square is a nighttime destination because of its movie theaters, restaurants, and clubs.

Recent years have seen the growth of the "Oakland Art Murmur" event, occurring in the Uptown neighborhood the first Friday evening of every month, which features concurrent art openings from many galleries including 21 Grand, Fort, Johansson Project, Boontling Gallery, Ego Park, Mama Buzz, and Rock Paper Scissors.

Oakland has teams in three professional sports: Basketball, baseball, and football.

The land that Oakland covers was once a mosaic of coastal terrace prairie, oak woodland, and north coastal scrub. Lake Merritt has only recently become a "lake", where it once was a productive estuary linked to the Bay. Oakland is home to many rare and endangered species including the Presidio Clarkia, Pallid Manzanita, Tiburon Buckwheat, Oakland Star-Tulip, Most-Beautiful Jewel Flower, Western Leatherwood, and the Alameda Whipsnake. Many rare species are localized to serpentine soils and bedrock.

Oakland has a mayor-council government. The mayor is elected for a 4-year term. The council has eight council members representing seven districts in Oakland with one member elected at-large; council members serve staggered 4-year terms. The mayor appoints a city administrator, subject to the confirmation by the City Council, who is the chief administrative officer of the city. Other city officers include: city attorney (elected), city auditor (elected), and city clerk (appointed by city administrator).

Oakland native Ron Dellums, a former Berkeley city council member and U.S. Representative, was elected mayor in June 2006. The mayoral election was a contentious one between Dellums and other candidates, including Oakland City Council president Ignacio De La Fuente and Councilmember Nancy Nadel. Each candidate had different visions of Oakland's future and different ideas about how to combat crime, encourage appropriate urban development, and foster successful public schools. In what was essentially a three-way race, Dellums gained the required majority of votes needed to win without a runoff election in November.

Dellums is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

Most public schools in Oakland are operated by the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), which covers the entire city of Oakland; due to financial troubles and administrative failures, it has been in receivership by the state of California since 2002. The Oakland Unified School District (2006-2007) includes 59 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, 19 high schools, with 9 alternative education schools and programs, 4 adult education schools and early childhood education centers at most of the elementary schools There are 46,000 K-12 students, 32,000 adult students, and 6,000 plus employees.

Overall, OUSD schools have performed poorly for years. In the 2005 results of the STAR testing, over 50 percent of students taking the test performed "below basic," while only 20 percent performed at least "proficient" on the English section of the test. Some individual schools have much better performance than the city-wide average, for instance, in 2005 over half the students at Hillcrest Elementary School in the Montclair upper hills neighborhood performed at the "advanced" level in the English portion of the test, and students at Lincoln Elementary School in the Chinatown neighborhood performed at the "advanced" level in the math portion.

Oakland's three largest public high schools are Oakland High School, Oakland Technical High School, and Skyline High School. Oakland Tech has various academies, including its much renown Engineering Academy, which sent more girls to MIT in 2007 than any other public school west of the Mississippi. There are also numerous small high schools within Castlemont Community of Small Schools, Fremont Federation of High Schools, and McClymonds Educational Complex, all of which were once single, larger public high schools (Castlemont High School, Fremont High School, and McClymonds High School, respectively).

There are 25 public charter schools with 5,887 students which operate outside the domain of OUSD. One, North Oakland Community Charter School (NOCCS), an elementary and middle school, is one of the few public progressive schools in the country. Lionel Wilson College Prep Academy and Oakland Unity High School have been certified by the California Charter Schools Association. Other charter schools include the Oakland Military Institute, Oakland School for the Arts, Bay Area Technology School, and Oakland Charter Academy.

There are several private high schools. Notables include the secular The College Preparatory School and Head-Royce School, both with tuitions around $25,000 per year and the Catholic Bishop O'Dowd High School, Holy Names High School and St. Elizabeth High School. Catholic schools in Oakland are operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland also include 8 K-8 schools (plus 1 in Piedmont on the Oakland city border).

Julia Morgan School for Girls is a private middle school for girls housed on the campus of Mills College. Northern Light School is a private nonprofit elementary and middle school.

In 2001, the SFSU Oakland Multimedia Center was opened, allowing San Francisco State University to conduct classes near downtown Oakland.

The Oakland Higher Education Consortium and the City of Oakland's Community and Economic Development Agency (CEDA) opened the Oakland Higher Education Center downtown in 2002 in order to provide "access to multiple higher education service providers within a shared urban facility". Member schools include primary user California State University, East Bay as well as Lincoln University, New College of California, Saint Mary's College of California, SFSU Multimedia Studies Program, UC Berkeley Extension, University of Phoenix and Peralta Community College District.

Oakland is served by major television stations broadcasting primarily out of San Francisco and San Jose. The region's Fox affiliate, KTVU, is based in (and licensed to) Oakland at Jack London Square along with independent station KICU-TV (licensed to San Jose). In addition, the city is served by various AM and FM radio stations as well; AM stations KMKY, KNEW and KQKE are licensed to Oakland.

The Oakland Tribune published its first newspaper on February 21, 1874. The Tribune Tower, which sports a clock, is one of Oakland's landmarks. At key times throughout the day (8:00 am, noon and 5:00 pm), the clock tower carillon plays a variety of classic melodies, which change on a daily basis. In 2007, the Oakland Tribune announced they were leaving the Tribune tower (where they had actually been a tenant for several years) for a new location in East Oakland outside the downtown core.

The East Bay Express, a locally-owned free weekly paper, is based in Emeryville near North Oakland and distributed throughout the East Bay.

Residents of Oakland utilize three major airports in the San Francisco Bay Area: Oakland International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and San Jose International Airport. Oakland International Airport, located within the city limits of Oakland, is 4 miles (6 km) south of downtown Oakland and serves domestic and international destinations. Southwest Airlines has a large presence at the airport and has been flying there since 1989. AC Transit provides service to the airport from Oakland neighborhoods and the Coliseum Bart Station on its "50" line for fare of $1.75, and aboard its "805" "All Nighter" bus all the way to downtown Oakland where other All Nighter connections are available. AirBART provides more frequent shuttle bus service directly to the airport for a higher fare of $3.00.

Oakland is served by several major highways: Interstate 80 (Eastshore Freeway), Interstate 580 (MacArthur Freeway), Interstate 880 (Nimitz Freeway), Interstate 980 (Williams Freeway), State Route 13 (Warren Freeway) and State Route 24 (Grove Shafter Freeway). A stub of a planned freeway was constructed at the High Street exit from the Nimitz Freeway, but that freeway extension plan was abandoned.

In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused the Cypress Street Viaduct double-deck segment of the Nimitz Freeway I-880 to collapse, killing 42 people. The old freeway segment had passed right through the middle of West Oakland, forming a barrier between West Oakland neighborhoods. Following the earthquake, this section of the Nimitz Freeway was rerouted around the perimeter of West Oakland and rebuilt in 1999. The east span of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge also suffered damage from the quake when a 50-foot (15 m) section of the upper deck collapsed onto the lower deck; the damaged section was repaired one month after the earthquake. As a result of the earthquake, a significant seismic retrofit was performed on the western span of the Bay Bridge, and the eastern span is scheduled for replacement, with the new span projected to be completed in 2014.

Two underwater tunnels, the Webster and Posey Tubes, connect the main island of Alameda to Downtown Oakland, coming above ground in Chinatown. In addition, the Park Street, Fruitvale, and High Street bridges connect Alameda to East Oakland over the Oakland Estuary.

In the hills, the Leimert Bridge crosses Dimond Canyon, connecting the Oakmore neighborhood to Park Boulevard. The Caldecott Tunnel carries Highway 24 through the Berkeley Hills, connecting central Contra Costa County to Oakland. The Caldecott has three bores, with a fourth one planned.

Pavement conditions are "at risk" on the 1,974 "total lane miles" of Oakland streets, many of which are wide, multi-lane arterial boulevards. Between 2005 and 2007 Oakland streets were ranked poorly in the results of an Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) study released on January 5, 2009. Overall, Oakland streets scored in the "at risk" category of its Pavement Condition Index (PCI) over a three year moving average, resulting in hazardous pavement conditions for bicyclists and the probability of increased vehicle suspension and other maintenance costs for all road users. The MTC asserts that major repairs cost five to ten times more than routine maintenance, and scored Oakland streets overall as past the point where rehabilitation could have been used to prevent rapid deterioration.

Bus transit service in Oakland and the inner East Bay is provided by the Alameda and Contra Costa Transit District, AC Transit. The district originated in 1958 after the conspiratorial dissolution of the Key System of streetcars which followed the National City Lines (NCL) holding company acquisition of 64% of its stock in 1946. In the 1948 federal case "United States v. National City Lines Inc.," the defendants were found guilty on a count of conspiring to monopolize the provision of parts and supplies to their subsidiary companies. The companies were each fined $5,000, and the directors were each fined one dollar. The verdicts were upheld on appeal in 1951.

Many AC Transit lines follow old Key System routes. Currently the district is planning a full scale Bus Rapid Transit line for the 1 line on the International Boulevard and Telegraph Avenue corridors.

The metropolitan area is served by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) from eight stations in Oakland. The system has headquarters in Oakland, with major transfer hubs at MacArthur and Oakland City Center/12th Street stations. BART's headquarters was located in a building above the Lake Merritt Station until 2006, when it relocated to the Kaiser Center due to seismic safety concerns.

The city has regional and long distance passenger train service provided by Amtrak, with a station located blocks from Jack London Square served by the Amtrak Capitol Corridor, Coast Starlight and San Joaquins train routes. Capitol Corridor trains also stop at a second, newer Oakland Coliseum station. Amtrak's California Zephyr has its western terminus at Emeryville, CA station.

The Alameda / Oakland Ferry operates ferry service from Jack London Square to Alameda, San Francisco, and Angel Island.

Oakland licenses taxi-cabs, and has zoned cab stands in its downtown. There is currently a movement underway to increase the supply of taxis by increasing the number of taxi licenses. A bicycle pedi-cab service operates downtown.

Freight service, which consists primarily of moving shipping containers to and from the Port of Oakland, is provided today by Union Pacific Railroad (UP), and to a lesser extent by BNSF Railway (which now shares the tracks of the UP between Richmond and Oakland).

Historically, Oakland was served by several railroads. Besides the transcontinental line of the Southern Pacific, there was also the Santa Fe (whose Oakland terminal was actually in Emeryville), the Western Pacific Railroad (who built a pier adjacent to the SP's), and the Sacramento Northern Railroad (eventually absorbed by the Western Pacific which in turn was absorbed by UP in 1983).

As one of the three major ports on the West Coast of the United States, the Port of Oakland is the largest seaport on San Francisco Bay and the fourth busiest container port in the United States. It was one of the earliest seaports to switch to containerization and to intermodal container transfer, thereby displacing the Port of San Francisco which never modernized its waterfront. One of the earlier limitations to growth was the inability to transfer containers to rail lines, all cranes historically operating between ocean vessels and trucks. In the 1980s the Port of Oakland began the evaluation of development of an intermodal container transfer capability, i.e. facilities that now allow trans-loading of containers from vessels to either trucks or rail modes.

Despite large tax breaks East Bay nonprofit hospitals receive for community service, public hospitals such as Highland devote a much larger portion of their operating expenses to charity care.

Summit Medical Center was a previous merger with Samuel Merritt Medical Center and Providence Medical Center in the 1990s. Peralta Hospital earlier had merged with Samuel Merritt Hospital. Oakland Hospital in the Fruitvale district closed in the 1990s. Naval Hospital Oakland (Oak Knoll Naval Hospital) closed during the military Base Realignment and Closure of 1993.

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Source : Wikipedia