Activists kicked off a campaign this week to recall Mayor Libby Schaaf, criticizing the mayor for an explosive series of scandals in the police department and concerns over her lack of willingness to counter the dramatic decrease of economic and racial diversity in the city.
To qualify for the ballot, a recall petition must gather over 20,000 signatures, 10 percent of Oakland’s 231,820 registered voters, within 160 days.
According to Cat Brooks, a spokesperson for the Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP), which is circulating the petition, many Oaklanders are unhappy with the mayor’s strong support for developers and landlords.
“The level of discontent is high. The people in the hills are happy, the developers are happy,” but the poor and minority populations of the city “are sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Brooks said in an interview on ABC7 News.
“This is about how we are tired of being murdered on the streets of Oakland,” said Brooks. “We are tired of being pushed out onto the streets of Oakland, and if she can’t stand up and do something for us, then she has got to go.”
Another member of APTP, Leigh Davenport-deBoer, said she suspects the Oakland Police Department sex abuse scandal “is the tip of the iceberg of what we know about at the Oakland Police Department.”
In response to the recall announcement, Schaaf told the media she respects the democratic process and the right of her constituents to question her effectiveness, according to news reports.
“I welcome the opportunity to have my record examined and what I’ve accomplished in Oakland in the past year and a half,” Schaaf said.