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    The Passing of Peggy Moore and Hope Wood Is a Tragic Loss to Oakland and the Nation

    By Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland City Councilmember At-Large–

    On May 10, 2024, the Bay Area, and Oakland in particular, lost two titans who were advocates, advisors, strategists, and friends who helped shape the political landscape of the nation and Oakland. I am talking about the tragic and sudden deaths of Peggy Moore and Hope Wood. They lived, loved, and worked in Oakland for many years as powerful advocates for community health and LGBTQ rights and visibility. They helped elect Barack Obama to be the 44th President of the U.S. while building activism and community in Oakland.

    Moore and Wood met and fell in love while campaigning for then Senator Obama in 2008. They were married at Lake Merritt in Oakland on July 29, 2013, a month after the fall of Proposition 8, which had blocked marriage equality in California.

    Moore, who also worked for the City of Oakland, founded “Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride,” which celebrated the diverse queer women’s community in Oakland with pride and Black lesbian leadership. She was active in Oakland’s East Bay Church of Religious Science. She also worked for the former Mayor of Oakland. Additionally, Moore successfully mobilized Oakland voters to vote “no” on statewide anti-gay ballot measures. Previously, she organized a community dance party by Lake Merritt to encourage people to come together in unity.

    Wood was a former teaching fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Leadership Organizing Action: Leading Change course. She had been a political organizer across California and the nation for the past 20 years. In 2019, she and Moore founded Hope Action Change, a consulting firm focused on organization development and building diverse leadership.

    Their contributions were significant and felt by all, as will be their loss.

    Councilmember At-Large and Council President Rebecca Kaplan, who is the Vice Mayor of Oakland, was elected in 2008 to serve as Oakland’s citywide Councilmember; she was re-elected in 2016 and 2020. She also serves on the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC). Follow Councilmember Kaplan on Twitter @Kaplan4Oakland ( and Facebook (

    Out of the Closet and into City Hall
    Published on June 13, 2024