by Nicole Gonzales | Tuesday February 6, 2024
Nurse and activist Jennifer Esteen is running against incumbent Nate Miley in the race for Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 4. The two will appear on the upcoming primary election ballot on March 5 for select voters in the Tri-Valley and East Bay areas.
The Board of Supervisors is made up of five elected non-partisan leaders who work as a regional governing body. The board’s work includes appointing county officials, adopting an annual budget and awarding all public works contracts, among other duties.
The District 4 supervisor will represent portions of Pleasanton, Oakland, Castro Valley and various unincorporated areas of the county.
First elected to represent District 4 in 2000, Miley is currently serving his sixth term. The incumbent said some of his most important issues are equality, environmental justice and community safety.
“Throughout my time in elected office, I’ve fought to protect open space, strengthen our healthcare system, and create more livable and safe neighborhoods, while improving transportation, air quality, healthcare, public safety and social services,” Miley said on the official Alameda County District 4 website.
Before his election to the board, Miley served on the Oakland City Council. In 1986, he founded United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County, an organization with the goal of empowering older adults and improving their quality of life.
In January 2023, he was appointed as president of the Board of Supervisors.
Miley has been endorsed for the March primary by Pleasanton Police Officers Association, Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert, Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown, Dublin Mayor Melissa Hernandez, Livermore Mayor John Marchand, as well as Valerie Arkin, Jack Balch, Jeff Nibert and Julie Testa of the Pleasanton City Council.
Challenger Esteen, a registered psychiatric nurse has said her priorities include affordable housing, accessible healthcare, and funding community programs. She previously served as vice president of the Alameda Health System Board of Trustees, where she helped manage a $1 billion-plus budget for the county’s healthcare system.
“My experiences as a single mother who faced foreclosure, a psychiatric nurse, and as a board member serving our county’s public health safety net have given me a strong sense of our community’s priorities: Housing, healthcare, jobs and justice,” Esteen said on her campaign website.
The candidate has been endorsed by East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club, Livermore City Councilmember Brittni Kiick and several community activists.
Esteen would be the first openly LGBTQ+ identifying individual on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors if she were elected.
“It’s my pleasure to serve the county already in several capacities,” Esteen said in a public District 4 forum hosted by the Hayward Democratic Club. The challenger emphasized her personal and professional experiences, and explained how her perspective would positively impact the county.
“The county body is the body that actually manages and governs our public health system, our mental health system, social services, the housing and homeless services that our residents either receive or don’t, also our criminal legal system,” Esteen said. “As a psychiatric registered nurse, it has been my duty to make sure people who have needs get provided that care. I have a unique set of skills that the county body is in need of.”
Esteen further stated that she is running to combat a lack of appropriate leadership within Alameda County.
“The county has a violence prevention program that was developed in 2005 that was never invested in. That’s another failure of leadership. In order for us to make sure all of Alameda County is safe … we have to invest in violence prevention measures,” she said.
During the same forum, Miley shared with the public his reasoning to run for District 4 Supervisor once again.
“I’m running for reelection because when I was elected in 2020, I didn’t realize that Supervisor Haggerty would be retiring. And frankly, none of us knew that our dear Supervisor Wilma Chan or Supervisor Richard Valle would be passing away. We’ve lost three established leaders since I was reelected,” Miley said.
“I think it’s important that we have continuity and seasoned experience, someone who has relationships not just here in this county but throughout the entire greater Bay Area. That I think is extremely important,” he added. “There are many things I want to continue to do also, prioritizing mental health, making sure our neighborhoods are safe, working on affordable housing. I want to keep working on all those issues and delivering quality services to our area.”