“Oakland Can Do Better,” Says Mayoral Candidate Libby Schaaf

Libby Schaaf files papers Monday morning confirming her candidacy for mayor. Photo by Spencer Whitney.

Libby Schaaf files papers Monday morning confirming her candidacy for mayor. Photo by Spencer Whitney.

Ending weeks of speculation, District 4 Councilwoman Libby Schaaf officially filed as a candidate for the 2014 Mayoral race Tuesday morning at the City Clerk’s office.

“I’ve lived in this city my whole life, I’ve worked in Oakland my whole life,” said Schaaf. “I’m very excited to take an optimistic can-do message to the voters of Oakland.”

She previously served as chief of staff for former City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, served an aide to former Mayor Jerry Brown and as an executive at the Port of Oakland. She is married and has two young children who attend an Oakland public elementary school.

When asked if she thought Mayor Jean Quan was getting the job done, she said she did not think so. Oakland deserves “competent leadership,” she said.

“I think Oakland can do better. I think that citizens should be able to get their basic services delivered,” Schaaf added.

Schaaf joins a growing field of candidates. In addition to Quan, attorney and port Commissioner Bryan Parker and political commentator Joe Tuman have already entered the mayoral race.

Schaaf says she will now focus on establishing her committee, and her campaign platform will roll out early next year.

Schaaf would not go into detail about her overall program but emphasized the importance of safety for Oakland residents. She says her leadership will mean “a relentless focus and belief that Oakland can be safe.”

She also said a key part of her campaign will focus on pushing the Hire Oakland policy.

She is also throwing her energies behind a city ordinance to protect circus animals.

“The City of Oakland has spearheaded progressive issues in the United States, however, until today Oakland was woefully behind the California standard on municipal circus regulation,” said Schaaf, speaking Tuesday at a press conference calling for a special event permit specific for circuses that feature and wild animals

If passed by the council, the ordinance will strengthen Oakland’s performing animal welfare regulations and provide public safety information to circus attendees.

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