Elaine Brown punches back; strongly endorses Desley Brooks’ opponent

It’s an endorsement that has a bit more personal history attached to it than most. Civil rights icon Elaine Brown slammed Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks in a statement Monday announcing her endorsement of Natasha Middleton, one of four candidates challenging the incumbent Brooks in Oakland’s District 6 next month.

“It’s time for District 6 to have a representative who will solve problems, not create them. It’s time for District 6 to be represented by a councilmember who will work for all the people, not a select few,” said Brown,

“It’s time for a principled, policy-focused councilmember who will do the work to address the District 6 housing crisis, lack of business and local development and other critical issues. It’s time for Natasha Middleton for City Council.”

Last spring, a jury found that Brooks pushed Brown with two fists to the ground during a scuffle in October 2015 at a downtown Oakland restaurant. Brown, 72 at the time, was injured during the incident.

Because the jury found that Brooks was at the meeting with Brown and others in her role as a city official, the city was ordered to pay Brown $3.75 million in damages and attorney fees. Brooks was ordered to pay $550,000. The amount was lowered last July to $2.2 million from the city and $75,000 from Brooks.

Middleton, along the opponents, Loren Taylor, Marlo Rodriguez and Mya Whitaker, have mostly stuck to their own message during the early part of the campaign. The Brown endorsement, however, is likely to recast the race around the Brooks’ misdeed.

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