Smith, 37, was nominated by an Oakland council member to a position on Oakland’s Park and Recreation Advisory Committee.
He has officially declared his candidacy and has filed the paperwork to run for the position. Smith started building a campaign staff and has begun collecting the signatures needed to accept campaign donations.
Smith is well known in Oakland City as he has helped organize many local initiatives in the past. Among them include resource drives for the homeless and backpack drives for Oakland school children.
His focus will be on homelessness, renters’ rights, youth education and employment. His experience blends itself well to his campaign.
It was on April 29 that Smith and another black man identified as Onsayo Abram together with his family gathered for a small barbecue at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Jennifer took issue with their decision to barbecue on a charcoal grill in a non-designated charcoal barbecue area.
She called the Oakland police on Smith and his family while the family was grilling. She believed it was illegal to have a charcoal grill in the park. The video went viral and she was later dubbed BBQ Becky, with memes of the incident even landing her in a parody sketch on SNL.
Her act did not go well with the local residents and two weeks later, they hosted a massive cookout in the park in protest and in support of Smith and his family; a family that plays an active role in the Oakland community.
Smith and his wife are the owners and co-founders of “Dope Era Magazine” a magazine covering local music and culture.
Smith is a great candidate for a local political council because he has strong local connections to the community. He faces housing activist Nikki Bas Fortunato and incumbent Abel Guillén in the race for District 2 City Council, the East Bay.
“Win, lose, or draw, it doesn’t really matter. That’s not what it’s about,” Smith said. “What it’s about is trying to get these young voters to vote, to actually have their voice heard, and also to continue to inspire the younger generation to say, ‘If he can do it, then I can do it, too,” he added.