It’s Official: Schaaf To Challenge Quan

Oakland Councilmember Libby Schaaf

OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | MAYOR | Councilmember Libby Schaaf made official what everyone in Oakland has known for weeks when she filed campaign papers Monday morning to challenge Mayor Jean Quan in 2014.

Schaaf enters a growing field that also includes university professor Joe Tuman and Port Commissioner Bryan Parker.

In an interview Monday, Schaaf says public safety and job creation will be the focus of her campaign next year.

Schaaf says no single event or moment led her to decide in favor of challenging Oakland’s incumbent mayor. Although, a pair of tragic murders in her council district last summer were particularly upsetting, she said.

“People who have watched me over the past three years on the City Council and before will attest to my relentless attention to public safety,” she said.

She will also keep her focus on government transparency through technology, she said. While calling herself a “nerd” when it comes to data-centered solutions, she added it can be applied to fighting crime and “not just for more police, but for better policing.” She would also strive to attain a “911 system that actually works” and find the underlying roots of crime.

The mayoral next fall has the potential for a bitter clash between two City Hall colleagues. In meetings since reports of Schaaf’s likely entrance into the race first surfaced two weeks ago, she says Quan has not acted any differently towards her.

However, before Monday’s joint meeting with the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Quan and Schaaf never greeted each other, nor did they cross paths. During the meeting which began after Schaaf filed papers for her run next year, Quan appeared stern-faced throughout and once leered in Schaaf’s direction.

“I’m committed to have the campaign be about issues, not people,” Schaaf said. “Hopefully, because of ranked choice voting entering into the equation, the campaign will be positive and constructive.”