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My top 3 candidates for Oakland mayor’s race

SF Chronicle, October 27, 2014

With one week until election day, Oakland voters are working out in their minds, on tablets, laptops and on paper, their top three choices for mayor under the city’s ranked-choice voting system.


I’m making Schaaf my first choice for practical reasons: I believe she is the best candidate with a legitimate shot at winning the election.

I have watched Schaaf courageously try to hold the line against ill-conceived proposals. I’ve heard her lay bare false claims made by colleagues. And I’ve seen her cast votes to instill some level of ethics and standards in Oakland government.

Libby Schaaf’s political savvy behind electoral surge

Oakland Tribune, October 26, 2014

A big test of Libby Schaaf's mayoral mettle happened this spring when she invited two entrenched rivals to Oakland City Hall to negotiate a compromise.

On one side was the powerful business lobby that helped elect Schaaf to the City Council in 2010. On the other end, tenant advocates for whom she became a surprise champion.

The result was the strongest renter protections passed by the City Council in more than a decade, slowing displacement of longtime Oaklanders being pushed out by soaring rents and giving Schaaf a concrete political accomplishment in her bid to unseat Mayor Jean Quan next month.

Does Libby Schaaf have the inside track on the Oakland mayor's race?

San Francisco Magazine, October 20, 2014

It’s two weeks before Election Day, and the Oakland mayor’s race could again be decided by the second-choice votes of Rebecca Kaplan and Jean Quan. In 2010, Quan used Kaplan’s second-choice votes to leapfrog over Don Perata, who had the most first-place votes. In 2014, Kaplan seems likely to get the most first-place votes, but needs Quan’s second-choice votes to hold off Libby Schaaf’s increasing momentum.

City celebrates new Kiva-Zip funded local businesses

SFGate Blog/Oakland North, October 17, 2014

Oakland City Council member Libby Schaaf was admiring artwork in Oakland City Hall’s crowded outdoor plaza last week when a man selling bagels cheerfully accosted her.

"Plain, lox or vegetable?" Jason Scott, co-founder of the Authentic Bagel Company, shouted to Schaaf over loud music.

Schaaf chose plain and handed $3 to Scott, who wore a baseball cap and t-shirt. The two chatted like old friends as Schaaf’s bagel disappeared into a revolving toaster oven that Scott had brought to the plaza.

Jason Scott did not bring his toaster to the plaza just to sell bagels. He was one of 12 Oakland-bred business owners being honored that afternoon at a party for a special program that helps entrepreneurs gather zero-interest startup funds through online crowd-funding.

Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland

East Bay Express, October 15, 2014

We think there are four good progressive candidates running for mayor of Oakland in 2014 — Libby Schaaf, Jean Quan, Dan Siegel, and Rebecca Kaplan — and so we wish that Alameda County's ranked-choice voting system allowed us to pick our top four candidates rather than just three. Yet even with this year's solid field, we think one candidate stands out: Councilmember Libby Schaaf. She's extremely smart, has an admirable work ethic, is dedicated to open and transparent government, and has the charisma and communication skills to bring together differing factions in the city in order to find solutions to Oakland's numerous problems.

We also admire Schaaf's courage. She was one of the first of the major candidates to strongly back Measure FF, the Lift Up Oakland ballot measure, which would raise the minimum wage in the city to $12.25 an hour next March.

Gov. Jerry Brown lends support to ex-aide in Oakland mayor’s race

San Francisco Chronicle, October 7, 2014

A candidate in the packed Oakland mayor’s race got what she hopes will be a huge boost on Monday: the endorsement of a previous Oakland mayor, Gov. Jerry Brown.

Libby Schaaf, an Oakland city councilwoman and former aide to Brown, is competing against 13 people to unseat Mayor Jean Quan. Candidates have struggled to gain the attention of voters who have shown little interest in the race except to express their disappointment in the way Quan has run the city. Quan is running second in the polls, but nearly 40 percent of voters are still undecided.

Schaaf is running third.

Brown showed up at Schaaf’s campaign headquarters on Monday hoping to change that. He called her a "down-to-earth person."

Jerry Brown endorses Libby Schaaf for mayor of Oakland

KTVU, October 6, 2014

Governor Jerry Brown jumped into the crowded Oakland mayoral campaign Monday by endorsing City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, who was an aide to him during part of the eight years he served as the city's mayor.

After arriving more than half an hour late at an event at Schaaf's campaign headquarters on Grand Avenue that was attended by about 100 of her supporters, Brown said Schaaf is the best candidate because, "She's a down-to-earth person with a lot of common sense and she's done a good job on the City Council."

Brown, who has lived in Oakland for many years and was the city's mayor from 1999 through 2006, said that if Schaaf is elected over the other 14 candidates in the mayoral election, "Oakland can take the next step forward."

Brown said, "There are a lot of good candidates on the ballot and I'm not her to point fingers" at anyone but he thinks Schaaf is the best person on the job.

It’s Hella Time: Oakland Mayoral Candidate Libby Schaaf adopts unconventional slogan

KPIX, September 23, 2014

A candidate for Oakland mayor is using a certain word that politicians don’t usually say, a word that is unique to the Bay Area.

The ad from Libby Schaaf begins like most others, but it ends like no other ad we’ve ever seen. "Libby Schaaf for mayor, because it’s hella time for leadership in Oakland," an announcer said.

Schaaf reiterated that slogan in an interview with KPIX 5. "It is hella time for leadership in Oakland," she said.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan on PR blitz to obscure early failures

San Francisco Chronicle, September 8, 2014

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's announcement last week that her office is closer to a new stadium deal with the Oakland Raiders couldn't have come at a better time for a big-city mayor in the thick of a tough re-election race.


Quan spent a lot of time catering to the city's municipal unions with raises, and in at least one case handing out signing bonuses, and working twice as hard not to make enemies as she did to make alliances. In the city's last fiscal year, the raises she handed out came at the expense of police officer jobs that were budgeted for but unfilled.

"City records show we were able to pay out the raises because of the shortfall in officers," said Council member Libby Schaaf, one of Quan's opponents in the mayor's race. "It's why I brought full staffing legislation to actually hire the number of police in the budget. The idea that public safety money was going unused was just crazy."

Montclair: Flexible parking district goes into effect

Contra Costa Times, August 20, 2014

City officials gathered in Montclair Village on Tuesday to announce the official kickoff of the flexible parking district.

The district is the first of its kind in the city and features parking rates from $1 an hour to $2.50 an hour, depending on the desirability of the location.

"Today's work is a step in a series of projects to make parking easier in Oakland neighborhoods. The hope is that more people will come and shop in Montclair," Mayor Jean Quan said. The district went into effect on Monday.

Quan thanked District 4 Councilmember Libby Schaaf, who is a mayoral candidate, "for making this happen."

Libby Schaaf Dominates Race for Oakland Mayoral Campaign Cash

East Bay Express, July 31, 2014

Oakland Councilmember Libby Schaaf easily outdistanced her mayoral rivals in campaign fundraising during the first half of 2014, raking in $226,955 through June 30, according to campaign statements filed today. Excluding personal loans and donations that the candidates made to their own campaigns, Mayor Jean Quan finished a distant second to Schaaf with $89,566 in contributions, followed by City Auditor Courtney Ruby with $84,132.

Oakland nonprofits on edge over push for $12.25 minimum wage

San Francisco Chronicle, July 29, 2014

Oakland's Youth Employment Partnership spends roughly $1.8 million a year to give 800 hard-to-employ teens steady minimum-wage jobs that keep them away from vice and encourage them to appreciate a hard day's work.

But the nonprofit could be forced to cut the jobs it offers by 30 percent next year if Oakland voters approve a plan in November to raise the city's minimum wage from $9 to $12.25 an hour starting March 1, its executive director said.


Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, who is running for mayor and backs Lift Up Oakland, said she didn't doubt that a quick increase to the minimum wage would "be disruptive."

"This is a big, bold change that is worth it," she said.

Oakland to Feds: Stop Pot Raids; Feinstein: Keep Raiding

East Bay Express, July 15, 2014

The Oakland City Council threw its support behind efforts to end the three year-long federal medical marijuana crackdown in California. Councilmember Libby Schaaf announced last week that the council had voted unanimously for her resolution to support the policy direction of the Rohrabacher Amendment to end federal raids on state-legal businesses.

The Rohrabacher Amendment defunds the federal war on legal medical marijuana in states like California. US Attorney Melinda Haag has dismantled cultivation regulations in Northern California – leading to unbridled illegal growing and environmental damage.

Safe Oakland forum focuses on school safety, achievement

Oakland Tribune, June 26, 2014

In order to achieve safer Oakland schools, the community must seek out caring teachers and give them the resources to ensure student success.

Those were at least two of the conclusions reached by a panel of nonprofit professionals during a Sunday forum on school safety and achievement. The gathering was organized by Councilmember Libby Schaaf as part of her Safe Oakland Speaker Series.


"Oakland is never going to be safe until we achieve better success with our young people," Schaaf said. "It's an important part of our conversation on safety."

Oakland Animal Services to be reformed, standalone department

Oakland Local, June 25, 2014

The Oakland City Council passed legislation last week to reform Oakland Animal Services and make it independent from the Oakland Police Department.


Schaaf, an owner of two rescued cats from OAS, found that the shelter's volunteers really know the animals and their dispositions, providing them the unique ability to match families with compatible pets.

"The heart of the animal shelter is its volunteers," Schaaf said. "They really drove this very important move - the credit really belongs to them."

Libby Schaaf says Mayor Quan masking Oakland police count

San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 2014

The number of police officers patrolling Oakland's streets has declined since Jean Quan became Oakland's mayor in 2011, and Quan is using budget tricks and campaign half-truths to suggest otherwise, a rival for her mayoral seat wrote in a scathing letter to the mayor on Wednesday.

"You are hiding from the citizens of Oakland the fact that there are fewer officers working today than when you became mayor," wrote Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, who is running to unseat Quan, serving up the first serious swipe against Quan in what could be a testy election year.

Oakland council approves animal shelter overhaul

San Francisco Chronicle, June 18, 2014

The new shelter configuration also frees up at least three police officers for more patrol work. Instead of doing clerical duties at the shelter, as many do now, they'll spend more time in the field responding to animal-related issues like abuse cases, barking dogs and dead animals, as well as regular police work, according to the report.

"My hope is that this will improve public safety and help us move toward our goal of having a no-kill shelter," said City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, who worked on the overhaul with council members Rebecca Kaplan and Noel Gallo. "We've been working on these changes for more than a year, and it's great that we finally have the political will to make this move."

Oakland Animal Services to Face Major Reform Following Euthanasia Controversies, Chronic Vacancies

East Bay Express, June 18, 2014

For months, Oakland Animal Services (OAS) has been plagued by a steady stream of controversies surrounding the shelter's chronic understaffing and repeated accusations of officials unnecessarily euthanizing animals. After an onslaught of negative headlines, a number of city councilmembers in April proposed a substantial restructuring of the city-run shelter - with legislation that the full council approved last night. Most significantly, the passage means OAS, which is currently a part of the Oakland Police Department, is on track to become a standalone city department.

The legislation also sets forth a timeline for filling vacant positions and establishes a so-called "animal services advisory committee" that will give local volunteers an opportunity to provide oversight for the shelter. The hope is that this package of reforms will improve the quality of care at the shelter and allow the city to better meet the demands.

Oakland: L.A. activists tell how crime dropped dramatically in city

San Jose Mercury News, June 11, 2014

Could crime be reduced by as much as 80 perfect in Oakland? It happened in Los Angeles.

Connie Rice and Susan Lee, co-founders of the Advancement Project, Urban Peace Initiative, addressed a crowd of more than 100 people at the Impact Hub on Sunday as part of the Safe Oakland Speaker Series, and explained how Los Angeles dramatically reduced crime in that city under similar circumstances as Oakland.

District 4 Councilwoman Libby Schaaf invited Rice and Lee to come and speak to residents because she believes residents can learn from the experiences and lessons of Los Angeles.

Oakland's Annual Budget Deliberations Start — Can Oakland Finally Establish a Rainy Day Fund?

OakTalk, June 9, 2014

Apparently recognizing that Council is going to pass some modification of the policy, Council Member Schaaf has sought to couple that modification with the first steps toward a "Rainy Day Fund" to protect Oakland against the next economic downturn. Her plan is quite modest, with these elements:

  • Set aside 25% of projected Excess Real Estate Transfer Tax in each budget;
  • Set aside 50% of any year-end surplus following the audit each year;
  • Half of this annual set-aside goes to immediately pay down the most pressing unfunded liabilities or debt;
  • Half of this annual set-aside goes to a Stabilization Reserve (the "Rainy Day Fund"), only to be used to save services in years when revenues have declined.

Safe Oakland Speaker Series returns for summer

Contra Costa Times, June 4, 2014

District 4 Councilmember and Oakland mayoral candidate Libby Schaaf will continue her Safe Oakland Speaker Series with forums scheduled Sunday and June 22 at the Impact Hub in downtown Oakland.

"I really want to continue to have a community dialogue about safety in Oakland," Schaaf said. "We have an incredibly educated citizenry. When we engage them, we will be more effective. All cities have become safer when their leadership has a unified vision."

Oakland proposes splitting animal shelter from police department

Oakland Tribune, June 2, 2014

When animal advocates last pushed for an independent shelter in 2005, the city rejected the proposal, citing the benefits of having police be responsible both for the shelter and handling animal-related 911 calls.

But this time, Chief Sean Whent said he wanted police out of the shelter business and council members Libby Schaaf, Rebecca Kaplan and Noel Gallo pushed for the reform.

"I'm thrilled the administration is supporting making the shelter its own department, where it can receive the full focus that our animals and our caregivers deserve," Schaaf said.

Two Oakland City Council Members Demand Answers for Police Staffing Levels

CBS San Francisco, May 28, 2014

Two members of the Oakland City Council said the police department is significantly below its budgeted staffing level, and they want to make changes to assure staffing levels for the future.

Oakland's current budget calls for the city to have 675 police officers. But Oakland City Council Member and mayor candidate Libby Schaaf said the city had only 611 officers in March.

"This last fiscal year has been a frustrating one because we have remained under our budgeted strength every single month so far in this fiscal year, pretty dramatically," Schaaf said.

Libby Schaaf says Mayor Quan masking Oakland police count

San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 2014

The number of police officers patrolling Oakland's streets has declined since Jean Quan became Oakland's mayor in 2011, and Quan is using budget tricks and campaign half-truths to suggest otherwise, a rival for her mayoral seat wrote in a scathing letter to the mayor on Wednesday.

"You are hiding from the citizens of Oakland the fact that there are fewer officers working today than when you became mayor," wrote Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, who is running to unseat Quan, serving up the first serious swipe against Quan in what could be a testy election year.

Rival challenges Quan's facts on police staffing

Oakland Tribune, April 9, 2014

Misstatements about police matters have dogged Mayor Jean Quan since she took office, and now one of her rivals has seized on another apparent error.

In a bristling letter to the mayor on Wednesday, Councilwoman Libby Schaaf wrote that Quan's recent statements about taking office at a time when Oakland had the lowest number of budgeted police officer jobs was incorrect and created a false perception that the department had grown during her watch.

"The citizens of Oakland deserve honesty and transparency, especially when their public safety is on the line," wrote Schaaf, who is giving up her council seat to challenge Quan in the November election.

Could Gun Tracing Reduce Violent Crime in Oakland?

NBC Bay Area, February 27, 2014

"The proliferation of guns on Oakland streets is a terror," Libby Schaaf said. The Oakland city council member and mayoral candidate co-authored AB 180 [PDF]. The bill would have given Oakland local control over gun registration and licensing. The plan would require gun owners to provide personal information to authorities, something that no other city in California currently requires.

"It would give us more information that would help reveal this illegal gun trafficking, Schaaf said. "Guns are flowing into our city and being used for crime all the time and it has got to stop."

Schaaf, Oakland's 'Girl Scout Barracuda,' to run for mayor

Oakland North, December 5, 2013

Nicknamed the "Girl Scout barracuda" by an unnamed colleague in City Hall, Schaaf can manage to seem disarmingly accessible, but said she doesn't shy away from being aggressive in debates around key issues.

"I do like to keep it positive, but when people need to be held accountable, they need to be held accountable," Schaaf said. "So I can be pretty persistent in a way that not everyone finds pleasant."

A self-proclaimed "data nerd," Schaaf has become known for pushing innovative technological solutions to long-standing Oakland problems, like crime. "She really was determined to figure out how we can add more police to our force," Nosakhare recalls. "That was something she was more aggressive about when it came down to the budget back in June."

Oakland Councilwoman Schaaf running for mayor

San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 2013

"I think that Oaklanders deserve to have the police come when they call, that the city can be safe and that Oakland is looking for some competent, strong leadership," Schaaf said moments after filing her paperwork in City Hall. "I have been very frustrated with the level of services and speed of progress in this city and as a lifelong resident, as a mom and as the daughter of parents that live here, I believe that Oakland can do better."

Schaaf declares Oakland mayoral bid

Oakland Tribune, December 2, 2013

Councilwoman Libby Schaaf made it official Monday. She's running for mayor.

"I'm very excited to take an optimistic, can-do message to the voters," Schaaf said after filing paperwork to raise money for next year's campaign.

Oakland Councilmember Libby Schaaf Files for Mayor's Race

Piedmont Patch, December 2, 2013

Speaking to reporters outside the Oakland city clerk's office late this morning, Schaaf said that reducing police response times and creating jobs will be among her top priorities.

"I'm very frustrated with the level of services and the speed of progress in this city," Schaaf said.

Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf Will Run for Mayor

NBC Bay Area, December 2, 2013

Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf filed papers today to begin the process of running for mayor in 2014, saying that improving public safety and creating new jobs are two of her top goals.

Schaaf, who was born and raised in Oakland and was elected to the City Council in 2010, said, "I believe Oaklanders deserve to have a police force that responds quickly when they call" for help and promised, "I will have a relentless focus on having a city that is safe."

Councilwoman Schaaf says she'll improve public safety if elected mayor

KTVU, December 2, 2013

Speaking to reporters outside the city clerk's office after she filed papers forming a campaign committee, Schaaf said, "I plan to run a positive campaign that focuses on issues, not on people."

But she strongly implied that she's unhappy with the job performance of Mayor Jean Quan, saying that, "Oakland can do better and its residents deserve to have basic services delivered."

Phil Matier: Councilmember Heats Up Oakland Mayor's Race

CBS Bay Area, December 2, 2013

Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland Campaign Kicks Off Today

Oakland Focus, December 2, 2013

Libby Schaaf, my friend and Oakland City Counncil District Four Representative — who so scared the heck out of current Oakland Mayor Jean Quan when Libby openly talked about running that Quan sent supporters to talk her out of it — has officially filed papers to run for Mayor of Oakland.