Janani Ramachandran is a social justice lawyer, activist, and artist who has devoted her life to empowering communities who have been failed by our existing systems.
The Race for Oakland City Council
Now more than ever, as Oaklanders are experiencing crises upon crises, we need bold solutions and leaders with the courage to fight with them.
Janani’s fearlessness in fighting for Oakland starts with six key policy principles:
Join Fearless Janani in the Fight for Justice
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Janani Ramachandran is a social justice attorney who has dedicated her life to empowering communities and fighting for responsive, accountable governments.
Born and raised in the East Bay, Janani is the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants from a small South Indian village, who worked tirelessly every day to give her the opportunity to pursue her dreams. Janani’s passion for justice was born at an early age. At 16, Janani founded a nonprofit that built libraries in under-resourced schools in her local community. She attended Stanford University, where she studied political theory, systems of democratic governance, and economic development. Later, Janani worked as a home-visiting case manager at a community health clinic, serving pregnant mothers experiencing domestic violence and housing insecurity. Witnessing the injustices her clients faced at the hands of our inequitable legal system, she was driven to make a difference as a lawyer and attended Berkeley Law. There, Janani supported tenants, small business owners, and survivors of domestic violence across Oakland.
Janani previously served as a Commissioner at the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission, and currently serves on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs. She most recently worked at Centro Legal de la Raza, representing immigrant workers in wage theft and discrimination cases in Oakland. Janani previously worked as an attorney at Family Violence Appellate Project, another Oakland-based nonprofit, pursuing legal appeals and advocacy efforts to improve access to justice for all survivors of abuse. She has also served on the board of two violence prevention nonprofits in Oakland.
In her 2021 run for State Assembly, Ramachandran, then a first-time candidate, shocked political experts by advancing to the special election runoff in August, coming out on top amongst a field of previously elected officials. She gained notable endorsements including the East Bay Times, Indivisible East Bay, Oakland East Bay Democratic Club, Wellstone Democrats, Oakland Rising Action, Our Revolution California, Oakland Tenants Union, API Legislative Caucus, LGBTQ Legislative Caucus, 350 Action, Equality California, ILWU, UAW Western States, Congressman Ro Khanna, among many other organizations and leaders, ending the race with over 33,000 votes. The movement that she built to disrupt business-as-usual politics – with over 1,000 volunteers and over 1,000 small-dollar donors – began to shift the political narrative.