Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Barbara Parker (politician)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Preceded by
John Russo


Barbara Parker

Political party
Democratic Party


Democratic Party

Barbara Parker (politician) httpsoaklandnorthnetwpcontentuploads20150

Alma mater
University of Washington Harvard Law School


Harvard Law School, University of Washington

Barbara Parker is city attorney of Oakland, California.



Barbara J. Parker is the elected City Attorney of Oakland, CA and the recipient of the 2015 Public Lawyer of the Year award from the State Bar of California. The Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes public attorneys who have provided outstanding service to the public and possess an exemplary reputation in the legal community and the highest of ethical standards.

Parker is the first and only African American woman elected to citywide office in Oakland. She and her siblings are the first generation in her family’s history to go to college.

Prior to becoming City Attorney, Parker worked in the Oakland City Attorney's Office for about 20 years, including 10 years as second-in-command. Parker's predecessor, John Russo, left the position to become City Manager of neighboring Alameda, California and appointed Parker as Acting City Attorney in June 2011. The Oakland City Council confirmed her as City Attorney on July 19, 2011.

In November 2012, Parker was elected to a 4-year term as Oakland City Attorney, defeating Councilmember Jane Brunner by 68 to 31 percent.

Voters elected Parker to a second 4-year term in November 2016. She ran unopposed.

Parker is a native of Seattle, Washington, where her parents migrated to escape legalized oppression and sharecropping in the rural, segregated South. Parker earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Washington, and she was one of the very few African American women accepted at Harvard Law School in the early 1970s. She graduated from Harvard in 1975 determined to use the law as a tool to help underrepresented communities.

In a legal career spanning four decades, Parker has worked at all levels of government – federal, state and local – including more than 10 years as Chief Assistant of the Oakland City Attorney’s Office and more than five years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of California. As an Assistant US Attorney, she represented the United States in federal court litigation involving complex matters, including but not limited to medical malpractice, civil rights and breach of contract. Parker also has worked in the private sector for several major law firms and corporations, including the law firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop), Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, Kaiser Aluminum Chemical Corporation and Kaiser Hospitals. In 2005, the State Bar Board of Governors selected Parker for an appointment to the prestigious State Judicial Council. The constitutional agency chaired by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court oversees the California courts and is responsible for ensuring the consistent, independent, impartial and accessible administration of justice.

As City Attorney, Parker has sued numerous hotels and motels for allowing and profiting from prostitution/human trafficking; the Court has closed two hotels for one year, the maximum amount of time allowed by state law.In 2013, Parker won a record $15 million judgment against an immigration consulting business that preyed on and defrauded immigrant families seeking legal residency in the U.S.

Parker's office spearheaded a campaign to crack down on illegal dumping in Oakland using videos and other evidence submitted by the public.

Parker co-authored a comprehensive ethics reform act adopted by the City Council in 2015, and her office has forced slumlords in Oakland to fix substandard and inhumane living conditions.

Major cases include a lawsuit against the federal government to uphold Oakland's right to regulate and license medical cannabis dispensaries, and an antitrust action against big banks that has recovered more than $1 million from financial institutions including Wachovia and JPMorgan.

In 2015, Parker sued the giant chemical company Monsanto to hold it accountable for years of contamination of Oakland's storm water system and the San Francisco Bay. Parker's office also filed a federal lawsuit against Wells Fargo to recover damages caused by predatory and discriminatory mortgage lending practices by the bank against African American and Latino borrowers.

Parker co-sponsored a gun safety ordinance to reduce theft of firearms from vehicles. The law makes it a crime to leave firearms, magazines or ammunition unsecured in unattended vehicles on city streets and in other public places.

In 2016, Parker co-sponsored an ordinance that prevents anti-abortion activists from misrepresenting themselves as medical professionals or unbiased health care counselors. Parker was named a "2016 California Champion of Choice" by NARAL Pro-Choice California for her work on the ordinance.

Parker also served as Board President of the Black Adoption Placement and Research Center, which for more than 30 years found permanent homes for children, the majority of whom were in California’s foster care system.


She attended Harvard Law School and graduated in 1975.

Political importances

Parker is an advocate for the following:

  • civil rights
  • women’s empowerment
  • children’s issues
  • References

    Barbara Parker (politician) Wikipedia

    Similar Topics