Born and raised in the Bay Area, Irella Blackwood and her brother were raised by their mother. After a devastating fire destroyed their home, the family relied on public assistance and organizations such as the Red Cross to survive. It was then that Blackwood learned just how critical the role government can play in one’s life.
Blackwood attended St. Joseph’s Notre Dame High School in Alameda and graduated at the top 4 percent of her class as a scholar athlete. Her mother helped her cultivate a love for mathematics and developed a discipline and focus that has helped her in all aspects of her life and career.
She attended UC Berkeley and studied economics, where she graduated with honors and with an emphasis in accounting. At Berkeley, she led the student boycotting of the college republicans for having a racist bake sale on campus. She later marched aside Congresswoman Barbara Lee in Washington D.C for education reform.
After completing her studies at Berkeley, Blackwood earned an MBA in finance from Holy Names University in Oakland.
Blackwood has served as an Auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the #1 auditing firm in the country. She later joined public service in San Francisco where she has served in various executive level positions including Chief Auditor. She uncovered over $5 million dollars in fraud and wasteful spending in government agencies and departments. She is currently in charge of managing the accounting for a multi-billion capital plan for the transportation agency.
Transparency, accountability and fiscal stewardship are the values that Blackwood believes in and wants to bring to the office of Auditor Controller in Alameda County.
She is the only candidate in this race who has the financial educational background and experience necessary for this position. She will make all audits available for the public via the county website, performance audits are the report card that informs the public what we are doing well, what we can do better, best practices and provides a timeline so we can track the changes, says Blackwood.
She has been endorsed by retired Assembly member Sandre Swanson, former Mayor of Oakland Elihu Harris and retired County Treasurer-Tax Collector Don White. Recently she was also endorsed by the firefighters and Senator Corbett (ret.)EBRPD.