Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was the subject
recently of at least three profiles published
by national publications.
In 2014, the New York Times proclaimed Oakland as “Brooklyn by the Bay.” Former Mayor Jean Quan loved the New York Times’ portrayal of the city as a burgeoning mecca for foodies so much that she seemingly couldn’t go a single week without trumpeting the news article.
It’s clear the editors of the venerable “Grey Lady” have an affinity for Oakland, but over the weekend, it also became clear they don’t have the same level of awareness for its politics.
In the wake of the Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf‘s act of defiance toward the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and by extension, President Trump, the Times described her as a “Bay Area liberal standard-bearer.“
It’s a dubious description when noting Schaaf’s liberal accolades, but Schaaf, isn’t even close to the most liberal member of her own City Council. Despite her antics, Councilmember Desley Brooks might be more deserving of the term. Others might go with Councilmember Dan Kalb.
A profile the next day in The New York Times called Schaaf “a dye-in-the-wool liberal in a city where Republican is a dirty word.” In addition, the Washington Post last week published a fawning profile on Schaaf.
The view from 10,000 feet above the East Bay would knock Schaaf further down the ladder of liberalism in Oakland and the East Bay. Assemblymember Rob Bonta is clearly one of the most liberal elected officials in the area, although most around the East Bay prefer progressive over liberal.
But if there is only one elected official anyone in East Bay politics calls the “Bay Area liberal standard-bearer,” most every response would be Rep. Barbara Lee, routinely listed as one of the most progressive members of Congress.
Lee is not only the clear standard-bearer for the entire region, she is also the measuring stick everyone uses to compare their own level of progressive activism.