Who are the Alameda County District 4 Supervisor candidates’ top campaign contributors?

Zack Haber
5 min readFeb 20, 2024

Incumbent Nate Miley has raised more money and received larger donations, while his challenger, Jennifer Esteen, has received donations from more total sources

A ballot box sits outside of Roots Community Health Center in East Oakland on Feb 19. Photo by Zack Haber.

Nate Miley, who has served on Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors since 2000, is running for reelection to the District 4 Supervisor seat. Jennifer Esteen, a nurse and community activist, is seeking to unseat him and become one of the five members of the powerful board that sets the county’s budget, governs its unincorporated areas, and oversees the sheriff, Alameda Health System, and mental health system. District 4 includes most of the East Oakland hills and flatlands beyond Fruitvale, part of Pleasanton and unincorporated areas south of San Leandro such as Ashland and Castro Valley.

Voting is currently open and will remain open until March 5. Since there are only two candidates running for the District 4 seat, a winner must be determined from the votes cast in this election. Unlike the District 5 election that has nine candidates, there is no chance a District 4 run-off election will occur in November.

Candidates in Alameda County must report donations to their campaigns and list the source if the donation is $100 or more. The public can search these filings in an online portal. Independent expenditure committees that choose to spend money supporting or opposing candidates through their own advertisements also must report these spendings. The filings show that Miley has received about $550,000 in total campaign donations since he won the previous District 4 election in March of 2020. Esteen has raised about $255,000 in total campaign donations since she started collecting them last July. All figures listed in this article are accurate through Feb 20 at 1:00 pm.

While Miley has raised more money, and in general received larger donations, Esteen has received donations from more total sources. Miley received donations of $100 or more from at least 439 different sources. Esteen received such donations from at least 507 different sources.

To help readers understand each candidate’s donors, we’ve listed out their ten highest campaign contributors and information about them. In the case of Miley, two of his top campaign donars also spent money on their own advertisements to support him and/or oppose Esteen through independent expenditures. While we’ve mentioned these independent expenditures in the list below, we did not include them in the total campaign donation figures we calculated. Additionally, the Chicago based National Organization of Realtors, a trade association representing about $1.5 million realtors, has spent about $70,500 on their own independent expenditures to support Miley, mostly through online ads and text messages, but it did not donate directly to Miley’s campaign fund.

We listed the incumbent’s top contributors first, followed by Esteen’s.

Nate Miley’s Top Contributors:

The California Apartment Association has spent about $129,500 supporting Miley’s election bid through about $59,500 in ads against Esteen, $55,000 in ads supporting Miley, and $15,000 in campaign donations. The association is the nation’s largest statewide trade group representing landlords and investors in California’s rental housing business.

The independent expenditure committee Preserve Agriculture in Alameda County has spent about $46,025 supporting Miley through about $27,200 in their own ads supporting him, and $18,825 in donations to his campaign. Preserve Agriculture has supported reelection efforts for former Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley, along with former Sheriff Greg Ahern, a republican. In 2020, Preserve Agriculture received donations of $2,500 from Chevron and PG&E, and a $49,700 donation from the California Apartment Association. Chuck Moore, the founder and treasurer of Preserve Agriculture, is a Miley appointee to the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council.

Organizations associated with the Laborers’ International Union of North America, or LiUNA, have donated about $35,000 in total. Construction and General Laborers Local 304, a local chapter of the union representing which represents over 4,000 workers, donated $20,000. Laborers Pacific Southwest Regional Organizing Coalition, which represents 70,000 LiUNA members in Arizona, California, Hawaii and New Mexico, donated $15,000.

William ‘Bill’ Crotinger and the East Oakland based company Argent Materials have donated $26,000. Crotinger is the president and founder of Argent, a concrete and asphalt recycling yard. Argent’s website says it is an eco-friendly company that diverts materials from landfills, offsets carbon, and removes trash from Oakland’s streets. In 2018, Argent paid the Environmental Protection Agency $27,000 under a settlement for committing Clean Water Act Violations that included discharging pollutants into the San Leandro Bay.

Michael Morgan of Hayward, owner of We Are Hemp, has donated $21,500. We Are Hemp is a marijuana dispensary located in Ashland.

Alameda County District 1 Supervisor David Haubert has donated $21,250 from his 2024 reelection campaign. He’s running unopposed for the District 1 seat. Haubert was first elected in 2020 and started serving on the board in 2021.

Service Employees International Union Local 1021 has donated $20,000. SEIU 1021 represents over 60,000 workers in local governments, non-profit agencies, healthcare programs, and schools in Northern California.

UA Local 342, a local chapter of a union representing around 4,000 workers in the pipe trades industries in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, donated $20,000.

The union representing the county’s deputy sheriffs, Deputy Sheriffs Association of Alameda County, has donated $17,000.

Becton Healthcare Resources, and those in management positions at the Pleasanton based company, have donated $14,625. Becton’s mission statement says it provides “behavioral health management services to organizations and groups that serve the serious and persistent mentally ill population.”

Jennifer Esteen’s top campaign contributors:

Mary Quinn Delaney of Piedmont, founder of Akonadi Foundation, has donated $20,000. Akonadi Foundation gives grants to nonprofit organizations. Its mission statement says that it invests in racial justice organizing and policy advocacy in Oakland and Alameda County. Delaney also serves on the boards of East Bay Community Foundation, Oakland Museum of California, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Women Donors Network Action Fund.

Bridget Galli of Castro Valley has donated $7,000. Galli is a yoga instructor and a co-owner of Castro Valley Yoga.

Rachel Gelman of Oakland has donated $5,000. Gelman is an activist who has vowed to redistribute her inherited wealth to working class, Indigenous and Black communities. In 2019 she bought an office building, then valued at $3.3 million, for Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization that seeks to build a movement to abolish the prison industrial complex.

California Worker Families Party has donated $5,000. The organization’s website describes itself as a “grassroots party for the multiracial working class.”

David Stern of Albany has donated $5,000. Stern is a retired UC Berkeley Professor of Education.

Oakland Rising Committee — a collaborative of racial, economic, and environmental justice organizations — has donated about $3,050. It’s mission statement says that it “uses the civic process to build political power for and with BIPOC, working-class, immigrant, and formally incarcerated community members to bring about systemic change.”

Fredeke Von Bothmer-Goodyear, an unemployed resident of San Francisco, has donated $2,600.

Robert Britton of Castro Valley has donated $2,500. Britton is retired and worked in the labor movement for decades.

Progressive Era PAC, a political action committee, has donated about $2,400. Its mission statement says it “exists to elect governing majorities of leaders in California committed to building a progressive era for people of color.”

East Bay Stonewall Democrats Club has donated $2,250. The club was founded in 1982 to give voice to the East Bay LGBTQIA+ communities.

Note: A slightly different version of this story is scheduled to be published in The Oakland Post by the Post News Group.