The Right Candidate for the Right Time
There can be no more devoted individual to represent District 5 on the Oakland School Board than Rosie Torres. The recipient of a California public school education, Rosie is the proud mother of a child thriving in the Oakland public schools, a successful business owner, attorney, wife, community activist and dedicated volunteer.
Rosie is passionate about education and will use her leadership to help carry OUSD to the next level of improvement. Why? Because education has transformed her life and she wants every student to be afforded the same opportunity. Although there are many tasks that lay ahead for improving Oakland public schools, her top priorities are:
- Retention of teachers in OUSD through increased support and development.
- Keep families from leaving District 5 and OUSD overall.
- Improving safety for students and upgrading infrastructure.
- Raising performance standards Excellence by all students.
- Increase transparency in the budget and develop new revenue streams.
Rosie is married to Martin Caraves, a construction project manager who is also completing a law degree at this time. Rosie has a 13-year-old daughter in middle school who is quite the distinguished young scholar and athlete.
For the past 12 years, Rosie has practiced law in both civil and criminal litigation, starting her career at the San Joaquin County, County Counsel’s office followed by the San Joaquin County District Attorney. After moving to Oakland 8 years ago, she started her own firm.
Her biography today stands in stark contrast to her early school years. Rosie’s achievements are more distinguished when viewed from the perspective of her personal evolution from an at risk youth, to a successful, path-breaking Oakland lawyer, business woman, mother and wife.
Rosie did not attend college immediately after high school. She was raised primarily by a single mother, and there was no college fund waiting to assist her. Instead, Rosie grabbed a newspaper after graduating, and found a full time job so she could help her mom with living expenses. After a year earning minimum wage, realizing there was no room for advancement and growth she enrolled herself in community college and began her journey of higher education. She struggled to find a major, changing it several times in those first two years. Eventually, she transferred to San Francisco State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Rosie became the first in her family to graduate college.
Because her ambition had been set afire, a few years after working successfully in Marketing, she was encouraged by a mentor to pursue a law degree. Having been an ardent advocate for those afflicted with AIDS in the early 90’s, Rosie left San Francisco for upstate New York to attend Albany Law School, which provided the only AIDS LAW CLINIC in the country. There, she could represent people afflicted with HIV and AIDS who were facing discrimination because of their illness. After graduating law school, she became a mother and returned to Stockton to raise her daughter with the community of extended family. Therein, she began a distinguished career in public service as an attorney and community volunteer working with youth in high school.
Having spent a summer in Oakland during law school, Rosie fell in love with its beauty, diversity, and warmth of spirit. She knew this was a place to raise a family and so she moved to Oakland to make it her permanent home when it was time to enroll her daughter in school.
Today, in addition to managing her own firm, Rosie fervently pushes the message of college on young people. She speaks annually at local high schools with other attorneys to encourage students to enroll in the “A through G” coursework required for enrollment in the UC system. Her firm has provided internships to Girls, Inc. for the past two years, as well as interns from local colleges who have an interest in pursuing law. She has provided numerous “job shadow” opportunities to young people. Through the Youth Law Academy conducted by Centro Legal de La Raza, she has volunteered numerous hours to prepare students at Aspire High School to conduct mock trial competitions. At the Unity Council in the Fruitvale District, she has volunteered for the past two years during their foreclosure prevention workshops, lecturing on bankruptcy law. Rosie appreciates the life she has created in Oakland and believes in “paying it forward” to improve our community and society at large.
Rosie’s decision to run for School Board culminated from her ongoing work as a criminal and family law attorney. By seeing firsthand, month after month and year after year, the harsh realities of how life can be limited due to a lack of education, Rosie knew it was time to take her community work to a new level. The public schools in Oakland have the potential to be great and Rosie wants to work toward this goal.
Oakland Needs Leadership and Experience
In her many years of service to the Oakland community, Rosie has served on various boards and commissions. She has a track record of solid financial management while running her own law firm for the past 8 years, and she has taken that experience to her service in the community allowing her organizations to thrive amidst tough economic times. Rosie currently serves on the Board of National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC), Centro Legal De La Raza, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Alameda County, East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association. Former Boards and Affiliations include Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), Measure Y Commission, Youth Movement Records (YMR).
Let’s be part of the SOLUTION:
Support Rosie Torres for Oakland School Board District 5:
The right candidate for the right time.