As a child Jamie Dluzak was lucky enough to drink milk squirt directly from the cow's udder on his grandparents farm. His father being the oldest of twelve, worked the farm before school; after school Jamie's dad had a job to pay his school tuition. From the paternal side of his family Jamie learned how to work. Across town, in a modest and ordered three bedroom home, Jamie's maternal grandparents displayed tasteful mementos from Egypt, Greece, and Casablanca. In this home, located on Pillsbury Street in the breadth of the Mojave desert, Jamie found learning and culture.
Jamie Dluzak's grandparents were of that generation called "great." Neither set of grandparents attained college degrees nor held titles of accomplishment, yet they lived lives of humble and personal dignity. A dignity longed for these days.
Jamie Dluzak seeks the East Bay vote to represent citizens in the ninth district of the California State Senate. His duties will be legislative in that he will be asked to consider new laws proposed and vote on those laws. He may even write a law or two; however, be assured that any law he pens will not take from the citizens what the majority does not want to freely give and he will always seek solutions that limit government authority.
Jamie is competent in writing given his graduation from the then top-rated literature program in the nation, U.C. Berkeley. However Jamie began his studies, like many students, at a junior college, achieving a near-perfect GPA. With graduation came the decision between further study or work and work was chosen because he wanted to write and he perceived advanced academia in the arts as deconstructive rather than creative. Thus, as his peers shuffled throughout the country to attend graduate school, Jamie returned to his working roots and began a job as an apprentice carpenter, practicing his creative writing before and after the days labor.
Carpentry brought Jamie into close connection with Latino immigrants and U.C. Berkeley had introduced him to new writers and thinkers so he began studies in Spanish and philosophy. With time and study Jamie made himself fluent in Spanish which was an essential knowledge for acquiring his first teaching position as an adult educator for Oakland Unified. Soon he gained additional employment with Hayward and Berkeley Unified.
During his teaching years Jamie taught citizenship to Latino immigrants in Berkeley, GED to ex-convicts at the Men of Valor Academy and the Salvation Army in Oakland, and writing skills to laid off NUMMI autoworkers in Fremont. For seven-plus years Jamie worked as an itinerant instructor and in that time he realized that the problems that we all want solved can never be solved by government.
What Jamie saw on the streets and what he heard in his classrooms inspired him to assume the self initiative to make a difference by his own effort. In 2016, he established a sole-proprietor publishing business called the East Oakland Times. The intent of Jamie's effort was the "empowerment of the East Oakland citizen." Under the pseudonym "Tio MacDonald," Jamie began by creating a "zine" called "Rehabilitation" (newsarticlehere) that consisted of short stories, poems, and essays by 11 men housed at San Quentin. In time, Jamie created a series of biographical books called the "My Crime" series. As stated in the introduction of the series:
The books of the My Crime series are neither meant to justify nor condemn the inmates on whom they are written. Rather, the books of the My Crime series propose to candidly communicate the upbringing, life experience, and motivations of the incarcerated.
The books of the My Crime series convey the life experiences of a range of persons involved in unlawful activity, from the 16 year old rock-cocaine dealer in East Oakland's Brookfield neighborhood to the perennially addicted suburban kid from Sunnyvale. Further, Jamie's work with inmates brought him into direct contact with persons from both California's male and female death row. He has published three books from death row inmates.
Jamie Dluzak is inspired and down to earth. He understands the real life pains and frustrations of citizens that don't live in the hills but walk the flat lands. He is gifted in having had a broad life experience and cherishes the ever important search for meaning. To the citizens of District 9 and beyond Jamie pledges to create unity in our communities.