At 29, Rebecca Kaplan decided to run for Oakland City Council. She was a Stanford Law graduate and had volunteered on Sen. Ted Kennedy’s re-election campaign in college, but still, she was an unconventional candidate for citywide office. She was an out lesbian, she preferred wearing suits to skirts, she was Jewish, and she was a proud partisan, even though Oakland city councilors aren’t affiliated with political parties.
“Everyone knows I am running as a Green,” Kaplan wrote in the Spring 2000 edition of “Synthesis/Regeneration,” a publication of the progressive Green Party. “This time there is a real choice — there is a candidate running who is not beholden to corporate interests, and who will put the people of our city first!”