Vicente Rafael Cruz II was born Vicente Rafael Cruz Junior at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital February 4 1964. He was raised by a single mother who worked with the United Airlines Employees union. Vicente comes from a long labor history, even back to the civil war.
Vicente received his education from teachers such as John Brown, W.E.B. Dubois, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Sister Souljah, Rosa Clemente, and many others. He received his formal GED from the OUSD Adult Program. He completed theatrical lighting programs at Diablo Valley College and Santa Rosa Junior College. Vicente has a desire to retrieve the Spanish he spoke in childhood, and will be attending college to read, write and speak the language.
Vicente has worked in education for 16 years first as Youth/Adult Sports Program Director for the Pleasant Hill/Concord Clayton YMCA, and then 4 years in the Oakland Unified School District with Playworks, formerly Sports 4 Kids. He is well known for applying social justice education into his lesson plans. Also in Vicente’s background is 10 years with Kinko’s, where he started as overnight Shift Supervisor and became a Production Manager; he left the company after becoming disabled.
Vicente has no biological children but has assisted in parenting five children. Two daughters aged 30, and 29 from Maryland, two daughters aged 28 and a son aged 21 in the Bay Area. Vicente has lived in Oakland since 2006, and has been a Bay Area resident since 1979
Since 2000 Vicente has taken a Speak Up Speak Out attitude in the social political community. Doing Legal Observing, Agitator/De-escalator, citizen journalist he has experience with a broad spectrum of the community and has always believed that folks who get elected have to speak for the people.