Alameda: School board member’s campaign accepted money from police union

Alameda school member Jennifer Williams accepted a $2,500 campaign contribution from the San Francisco Police Officers Association this week, according to finance reports.

The contribution comes after Alameda County Democrats strongly advised elected officials running for office this fall not to accept contributions from police unions.

The resolution approved by the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee in July called on elected Democratic officials to refuse such contributions amid social unrest involving the killing of George Floyd and a national reckoning over systemic police brutality against Black Americans.

Furthermore, as a prerequisite for receiving its endorsement this fall, the local party asked candidates this fall to pledge not to seek police union contributions, and also donate previously received police funds going back to 2018.

Alameda school boardmember Jennifer Williams.

Williams is a registered Democrat. She sought the party’s endorsement in September, but failed to win the party’s backing after her nomination was initially placed on consent.

Her connection with the San Francisco police union is also clear. Williams’ husband is a San Francisco police officer.

Williams, an administrative law judge for the County of San Francisco, is seeking re-election after an arrest last February for allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol. She later plead to reckless driving.

Despite the arrest, which was near an Alameda school, and occurred during a period of time when the city was facing a rash of school-age children being hit by cars, Williams resisted calls to resign from her seat.

The late infusion of campaign funding could be crucial for Williams’ re-election hopes in what could be a close eight-person race for three at-large school board seats. Williams, however, may have a slight advantage as the only incumbent in the field after school board members Gray Harris and Ardella Dailey chose not to seek re-election.