Zachariah Oquenda

California Policy Attorney

Oakland, California

Email Zachariah

Zachariah is a California Policy Attorney at Root & Rebound.

In his current role, he provides legislative advocacy for and direct services to currently and formerly incarcerated people with the goal to eliminate discrimination and barriers in housing, employment, education, and the child welfare system.

Zachariah also has experience serving low-income people concerning housing, employment, and criminal justice through East Bay Community Law Center, Legal Aid at Work, and the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, respectively. He’s also contributed to advocating policy reform as a Legal-Policy Fellow for Public Advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union in San Francisco.

He volunteers time to serve on Hayward’s Community Advisory Panel to the Chief of Police and Hayward’s Planning Commission. He also serves as a state legislative analyst for the California League of Women Voters’ Housing and Homelessness Task Force.

Zachariah graduated with a JD and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from UC Berkeley Law School and UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. He received his B.A. with honors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Claremont McKenna College. He is also a recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship (CA 2015), and he lives in Hayward with his partner, April, and their puppy, Oliver.

Zachariah Oquenda

California Policy Attorney

Oakland, California

Email Zachariah

Zachariah is a California Policy Attorney at Root & Rebound.

In his current role, he provides legislative advocacy for and direct services to currently and formerly incarcerated people with the goal to eliminate discrimination and barriers in housing, employment, education, and the child welfare system.

Zachariah also has experience serving low-income people concerning housing, employment, and criminal justice through East Bay Community Law Center, Legal Aid at Work, and the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office, respectively. He’s also contributed to advocating policy reform as a Legal-Policy Fellow for Public Advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union in San Francisco.

He volunteers time to serve on Hayward’s Community Advisory Panel to the Chief of Police and Hayward’s Planning Commission. He also serves as a state legislative analyst for the California League of Women Voters’ Housing and Homelessness Task Force.

Zachariah graduated with a JD and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from UC Berkeley Law School and UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. He received his B.A. with honors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Claremont McKenna College. He is also a recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship (CA 2015), and he lives in Hayward with his partner, April, and their puppy, Oliver.

Why do you come to work at Root & Rebound every day?

I am dedicated to this work because members of my family have been or are currently incarcerated, and I know how powerless my loved ones have felt when facing the barriers to reclaim their lives and dignity. Experience has taught me that power has two sources: (1) knowledge and (2) community. Building power is about educating ourselves and each other and building community together. I studied law and public policy to empower myself, and I return to R&R everyday to contribute to building community power by centering voices of system-impacted families and communities in legal advocacy, public education, and policy reform. With enough of us together, we may one day end the system of mass incarceration and the cycles of trauma, violence, and poverty it perpetuates.

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