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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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Party Committee

Alameda County Democratic Party — Democratic PartyCandidate for Central Committee, Assembly District 15

Photo of Len Raphael

Len Raphael

Certified Public Accountant
7,848 votes (2.87%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ask all Democratic candidate to pledge their support of Senate Bill 1286 which would reform the set of laws known as the Police Officer's Bill of Rights. Currently those laws protect bad cops and undermine the public trust in our police officers.
  • Broaden the financial contribution base of the Alameda Central Committee. We're too dependent on funding from incumbents and their supporters. That can make it hard for the ACDCC to endorse candidates based on qualification.
  • After this November election, repeal the "superdelegate" system for presidential nominations. The rules were changed in the early 1980's by party regulars who blamed Nixon's election and re-election on grassroots activists.



Profession:Certified Public Accountant
owner of public accounting firm, Raphael & Associates (1986–current)


Golden Gate MS, Taxation (1984)
UC Berkeley BS, Accounting (1981)
College of Alameda AA, accounting (1979)

Community Activities

Treasurer, Coalition for Police Accountability (2015–current)
Public Advocate for Low-Income and Senior homeowner Parcel Tax Refunds, Oakland Homeowners (2015–current)
Co-Chairperson, A Safer Temescal (2013–2015)
Runner up Oakland City Auditor race, Oakland (2014–2014)


Len Raphael, CPA, MS, Certified Fraud Specialist is long time Oakland resident and Brooklyn NY native. A former Berkeley resident of both the flats and the top of Panoramic Way. I earned accounting/tax degrees from Berkeley and GGU, and studied sociology at Columbia.

Actively engaged in civic activities at both the neighborhood and city wide level.

Frequent blogger and occasional speaker before the Oakland City Council on Oakland municipal finance, police accountability, and electronic survelliance issues.

Former Treasurer of Temple Beth Abraham, and ex youth soccer manager. Member of the Association of Government Accountants and the Metropolitan Greater Oakland Democratic Club.


Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


Listen to the people.  They are smarter than most elected officials.

I choose candidates to support for office by what they have done, and their detailed platforms of what they will try to do.

Ideals and goals are important. Ideologies are not.

For example, I look for politicians who will try in whatever office they hold, to reduce the accelerating  inequalities of income and wealth. Much of that can only be done on a national level, but even small policy changes in local government will help.

Some background

In 2012 when I ran unsuccessfully for Oakland City Council, District 1 (North Oakland). I started out with a platform calling for doubling the number of police. In my first month of campaigning I listened to hundreds of residents in North Oakland.  Most residents wanted more police. African-American residents of the flats also wanted more police but wanted officers they could trust. I heard many examples of bad, biased policing from a broad cross section of residents.  I changed my platform to "double the number of police, but don't hire a single additional officer until we brought the OPD under full effective civilian control and can afford them without cutting vital services to vulnerable residents."  

Similarly, I started out as a charter school booster, but after several years of watching how the Oakland school administration has supported charters at the expense of weakening traditional public schools, I now oppose the expansion of charter schools in Oakland.

Why I'm running for Democratic Central Committee

We need well informed Democratic committee members with the backbone to pick the best candidate for endorsement by the Democratic Central Committee.

Even in high information races, with tons of media coverage, such as President, we have all become more aware of the important behind the scene role played by local Democrat and Republican party organizations in the selection of candidates.

That role is even greater in local races because voters no longer get information from local newspapers. The internet has yet to cover local government and local political races in depth.  As a result, we often know very little about new candidates other than who endorses them. Often, those endorsements are the result of political alliances and calculations unknown to the voters.

In October 2014 when I ran unsuccessfully for Oakland Auditor, I asked a TV journalist if her station could provide one minute's coverage of the City Auditor race. She explained that her producer only gave her 3 minutes of air-time to cover all the candidates in the Mayor's race, leaving 0 time for any other race.

In essentially a one party area like the East Bay, the Central Committee endorsement often = election victory in races. In non-partisan local races, a surprising number of Democrats assume that the County Democratic Central Committee endorsed candidate is the only Democrat in the race because candidates are not allowed to list their party affiliation on the ballot.

If you select me to represent you on the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, I promise to only vote to endorse candidates whom I believe are the best qualified for the position, regardless of their patrons or allies.



Position Papers

Published articles on Oakland Parcel tax relief for low-income and senior residents

click on links above for text.

Published OP-Ed advocating for fully civilian police review commission for Oakland

a short op-ed from 2014 advocating for a civilian police review board with full intake authority over civilian complaints. We are now collecting signaturs to put an Oakland charter amendment on the ballot for November. See Coalition for Police Accountability for more information.

Videos (2)

— May 21, 2016 Olive Balkhi

This was a wide ranging interview of me last year. Not specific to this election.

Both the City and the Oakland School Unified District have substantial real estate parcel taxes. Very low-income homeowners are exempt from those taxes but must apply for refunds annually. OUSD also had a partial exemption for all seniors starting 2015. Neither the City nor OUSD every notified seniors or the low-income homeowners of the exemptions after the parcel tax measures were passed by voters.

Working with other residents, we succeeded in getting OUSD to mail notification to every property owner in Oakland and to allow people to apply for refunds for the past several years.

We tried to get the City to match OUSD's action, but were stymied (so far) by the City parcel tax statutes.


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