Vote for Libby Schaaf for City Council

Can you guys believe the election is less than two weeks away? Crazy, huh? Campaign season has gone by so fast!

I really thought would have written a lot more about the elections, but there are just so many races and so many candidates (42!), and it has taken me a really long time to get my head around them all. And since the blog is about, you know, what I think, I felt like I should probably figure out what it is that I think about the elections before writing about them. So even though it ended up taking a lot longer that I had hoped, I’m happy to say that I’m finally where I want to be and my complete list of endorsements will go up on Monday.

Some of these races took me a really long time to figure out, and others were pretty easy. And then there’s one that I could have written about, no problem, months ago — the District 4 City Council election.

Libby Schaaf

With Jean Quan giving up her current job to run for Mayor, we have a rare open Council seat, and seven candidates are vying to take her place: Libby Schaaf, Jill Broadhurst, Daniel Swafford, Ralph Kanz, Clinton Killian, Jason Gillen, and Melanie Shelby. With the exception of Jason Gillen, who I honestly don’t even understand why he’s running, all of these candidates have made impressive contributions to Oakland, are knowledgeable about the City, and have some good ideas. Jill Broadhurst and Daniel Swafford, in particular, stand out as bright, hard-working, and very devoted to improving Oakland. I think that both would grow into capable Councilmembers if elected.

But there is one candidate who just stands head and shoulders above everyone else, and would be a kick-ass Councilmember from day one, and that candidate is Libby Schaaf.

Libby Schaaf

While most of the candidates have impressive records of service to Oakland, Libby’s is downright ridiculous. She has been volunteering her time to make this city a better place literally since she was in kindergarten. She’s devoted her professional life to Oakland as well, serving as Chief of Staff to Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente, then as aide to Mayor Jerry Brown, then as Director of Public Affairs for the Port of Oakland, and then as Senior Policy Advisor for Community and Economic Development to the City Council until she got laid off last year due to budget cuts. She knows the City inside and out, and has a thoughtful platform grounded in four key areas — building a thriving economy, making government more responsive, supporting Oakland’s public schools, and reducing and preventing crime.

And she’s endorsed by like everyone on the planet. Including me. And I hope you’ll indulge me a little bit and let me give you kind of a long winded explanation of why.

Meeting Libby

I first met Libby in Spring of 2006. I had not ever been involved in local politics at all before that. I had never watched a City Council meeting, I had never been inside City Hall — you get the idea. Everything I knew about City government came from reading the newspaper. And one thing I knew for sure was that I did not want Ron Dellums to be Mayor.

I kept telling myself I should go volunteer for Ignacio De La Fuente, and every day, as I walked past his campaign office on the way home from work, I would promise myself I would go in tomorrow. I’m not like this anymore, obviously, but back then I was very intimidated by the idea of going in and volunteering for a campaign. I was afraid I wouldn’t know what to say when I was talking to people, or I would not be persuasive, or just do a bad job in some other way. (I think a lot of people are intimidated about phoning and walking for campaigns. Don’t be! It’s scary the first couple of calls you make or doors you knock on, but it gets easy really quick.)

Anyway. So one day, I force myself to go in. And who greets me but like, the nicest, most welcoming, most enthusiastic woman you could imagine. Ten seconds of talking to Libby, and I just felt instantly at ease and found myself wishing I had done this weeks ago. At one point, dto510 told her about this MySpace page we had set up about how we supported Ignacio, which I totally did not want him to do, because I was afraid she would think it sounded stupid and laugh at us or roll her eyes. But her reaction was the opposite. She was thrilled about it and just so encouraging, and then when we started our blog, which I also didn’t want to tell people about because I thought they would laugh and think it was pointless, she was even more enthusiastic and boosterish about it.

On election day that year, dto510 really wanted to go to Ignacio De La Fuente’s election night party. I did not want to go. I get really nervous being around lots of people, especially people I don’t know, which was going to be like, everyone there. Plus I don’t have very good hearing, so I prefer to avoid places that are really loud. Like big parties. But it was important to him, so I went. And, as I often do when I feel nervous and don’t know who to talk to or what to say at events, I spent most of the night standing outside chain smoking.

Libby also spent much of the night outside, checking election results on her Blackberry and greeting people as they came and went. All I wanted to do was like, hide on the patio and avoid talking to anyone until I could go home. But Libby, who would have been more than justified in ignoring me, instead insisted on introducing me to like every single person who came by. “Oh, hi so and so. Do you know V? No? Oh, you just have to meet V! This is V. She’s a blogger!” She had the funniest tone when she would say it, like a blog was the most exotic thing in the world. Like, “Wow, can you believe you’re actually meeting one of those people you always read about in the newspaper,” as though I were some kind of celebrity. Or maybe a zoo animal.

What I owe Libby

I will forever be grateful to Libby for her kindness on that first day I met her, and on that night. She made me feel like writing this silly little blog that (at that time) nobody read was something worth doing. Something important, even. But of course, that wasn’t the end. She followed up with me after the election was all over and encouraged me to stay involved with the City. It was her prodding that prompted me to get involved with the Measure N library bond campaign, which, although the outcome was sad, was a deeply rewarding experience for me (and also led indirectly and several years later to the job I have now, which, despite all the frustrations that come with dealing with the City every day, is just hands-down the best and most rewarding job I have ever had).

We fell in and out of touch over the years, but every so often, she would pop up somewhere and she was always the same — so nice and encouraging about my blog, always ready with helpful and thoughtful feedback, and always trying to get me involved with this or that good cause.

I know I am well into gushing mode at this point, but I can’t help it. I owe her so much. I can say without hesitation that this blog would not exist if it had not been for Libby Schaaf’s support and encouragement. Without her truly relentless nagging, I would never have joined the League of Women Voters, an organization I just could not be prouder to be a part of. And I am plain a better person because of her. I watch the way she treats people, and I listen to the amazingly kind things she says about me, and even though I think she’s usually being over-generous, it inspires me. I want so badly to be the person Libby tells me I am, and many of my efforts to get more people involved in Oakland are driven in large part by my desire to live up to the image she paints of me, and the example she sets — always trying to bring out the best in people, always trying to show people how they can be involved and making them feel good about it, always trying to find ways to bring people together to find new ways to do good things for Oakland.

Exactly what the Council needs

If Oakland had more people like Libby Schaaf, it would be a much better place. The Council will definitely be much better with her as a member. Her enthusiasm for public input and involvement in government stands in stark contrast to the can’t-be-bothered attitude of so many elected officials, and just for that reason alone she will be a breath of fresh air.

As far as voting goes, Libby absolutely leans to the left of me on a lot of issues, and I know there will be times when I vehemently disagree with her decisions. But I am not too worried about the fact that Libby is a bleeding heart, because 1) she is a thoughtful listener and always willing to hear arguments on the other side of an issue and seriously consider them, and 2) she is also a total policy geek. Early on in Libby’s campaign, I talked to her a couple of times about her platform, and she would just get so ridiculously excited talking about the wonkiest things like stabilizing operational budgets and fiscal policies and regionalized sales tax, and I would be like “You need to take it down a couple of levels. People just want their potholes fixed. They are not going to listen to all of that.” I think she did end up striking a good balance in her issues statements of getting a lot of her ideas across while also keeping it accessible to the average voter.

In addition to being super smart and having an incredible depth of knowledge about the City, Libby is also one of the hardest working people I know. Seriously. I mean, I could count on my fingers the number of people I know who work as hard as she does — I’m always getting e-mails from her at like 3 AM.

Anyway, I’ve probably gone on long enough. There are a number of good candidates in this race, but Libby is by far the best, has the most experience, and is the only one who understands the City and the budget well enough to really start getting things done her first day in office. There’s no learning curve here, and that’s a good thing, because Oakland doesn’t have time for one right now. So if you live in District 4, you really should vote for her. Three cheers for Libby Schaaf!

Libby Schaaf

(Yes, that is her, cheering for Skyline High School.)

See for yourself

And if you don’t want to take my word for it? Hey, that’s cool too. When you watch all the candidates answer questions side by side, it is so clear than Libby is just on a whole other level than the rest of them.

I videorecorded a District 4 candidate forum earlier this month, and so you are of course welcome to watch that.

If the whole thing is too much for you, you can also watch just Libby’s responses to all the questions in the video below:

And if you still have questions after watching that, or just prefer to see things in person, you are fortunate to have an opportunity to do so on Friday! What better way to spend a Friday night than at a candidate forum, right?

The forum, sponsored by the Laurel District Association and Laurel Village Association, will be held from 6 PM to 8 PM this Friday, October 22nd at the Allendale Recreation Center (3711 Sutter St.)

107 thoughts on “Vote for Libby Schaaf for City Council

  1. Dax


    Now for reality.

    What is Libby Schaaf’s specific position on the pensions for all 2,700 “miscellaneous” employees?

    Is she for a two tier system?

    If so, how soon does she want it implemented?

    Will it drop from the current 2.7% rate back to the old sustainable 2.0% rate?

    What contribution rate will the employee be required to make?

    Is she for or against returning city employees to a 40 hour work week from the current 37.5 hour week?

    How much should the city contribute to retirees health care?

    To your knowledge has she given specific answers to any of these questions?

    Nice photos.

    Question– Can you have too many women on the council?
    6 of 8 now, would 7 of 8 be too many, or is it irrelevant and 8 of 8 would be OK?

  2. V Smoothe

    Dax –

    Libby did mention at the forum I attended that pension reform needs to be part of the budget solution. I have not talked to her about that particular issue on great length, since I do not share the same level of interest in the topic as you do, but it’s worth noting that pretty much everyone agrees that two tier is the way to go. If you are really that concerned about the details, I suggest you ask Libby herself. There’s a contact form on her website.

  3. CitizenX

    Think Libby S would make a fine councilmember, so long as she goes her own way and is not unduly influenced by her former boss.

    The 2.0% pension option requires a 7% employee contribution (vs. 8% for the 2.7% option). I believe that a defined contribution plan would be preferable to a second tier defined benefit plan, though I’m not sure this would be allowed by CalPERS and may require legislation (need some research on this).

    A defined contribution plan would be an advantage not only to the City (a known retirement burden going forward), but, I believe, preferable to young people entering the workplace. Studies show that young people today are much less likely than future generations to seek a “job for life”, but rather prefer the flexibility of coming and going as they please. Thirty-five years in the same job, a gold watch and retirement dinner are not in the cards. A 401k or 401k-like plan, that is “portable”, is much more attractive.

  4. Cat

    I’m a District 4 voter and I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to vote for Libby.

    Also, V, I’m sure you’re right about the candidates but Jill Broadhurst really bugs me- anyone who thought the corner of Moraga and Thornhill was “blighted” doesn’t know the first thing about blight, and I wonder about her priorities that she looked around Oakland and found that corner to be such a pressing issue that she needed to focus time and energy on it above any number of other issues (and I say that as someone who lives in Montclair). Not that I’m quibbling with her desire to get involved and work hard, it’s just the work she’s done doesn’t represent my priorities.

  5. Dax

    Not to steer this thread into the pension topic, but regarding

    “The 2.0% pension option requires a 7% employee contribution (vs. 8% for the 2.7% option).”

    That extra 1% contribution is almost a joke in the sense it in no way comes close to paying for the extra .7% per year of service credit.

    I’m a little concerned that Libby is supported by the OPOA and Oakland Firefighters. Normally one would say that’s great, but what does that mean about her ability to deal with their contracts and pensions.

    Per her site-
    “NEWS FLASH: Libby just endorsed by Oakland Police — making me the only D4 candidate endorsed by both Firefighters and Police!”

  6. Helen

    Citizen X: I will say that Libby is her own woman. She has worked for Ignacio for a long time, but she fully understands the difference between working for someone, and knowing her own mind. IDLF will be among the first to tell you that she has her own opinions on many of the matters before the council.

  7. Dax


    “Also, V, I’m sure you’re right about the candidates but Jill Broadhurst really bugs me- anyone who thought the corner of Moraga and Thornhill was “blighted” doesn’t know the first thing about blight,”

    You know, the reason why certain neighborhoods are nicer and remain so, is exactly because they consider fairly minor situations as being “blighted”.

    That first piece of litter is in fact a more important problem than the pile of litter to follow, after everyone neglects the first piece because it isn’t a big deal..

    You clean up that first piece, then you don’t need Don Perata to come around with 40 people every 4 years to pick up the mounds of garbage, or pay a Oakland employee $100,000 per year in total compensation to pick up the same.

  8. Mry

    Okay, am I the only one who has an issue that Libby is renting in district 4? Very recently I might add, and actually owns in another district? If that is in fact true, which I think it is, I sure wish she would have moved to Desley’s district. Also, I’m not sure why she put that on her Facebook, she is not the only one being endorsed by OPD.

  9. Sandra Pohutsky

    I received this from someone I respect and who is not associated with the candidate I am supporting. Personal friendships aside, please take another look at this.

    “Libby represents those who have been running the City for almost 20 years. If you think the City is well run at the moment then Libby is your candidate. She has not lived in the District for over 20 years until she moved back early this year to run for City Council. Shortly after moving she and her husband sold their home in a very nice area of District 1. Her financial support is primarily from Downtown development interests, not the neighborhoods that are suffering. Libby claims to have co-founded the non-profit Oakland Cares. I have obtained copies of all documents the California Secretary of State has on file for Oakland Cares. Libby Schaaf’s name does not appear anywhere on the documents. Libby claims to have left a successful law practice to work for public good. According to the State Bar she was admitted on December 13, 1993 and became inactive on May 6, 1995. She was also active from January 26, 1999 until December 31, 1999. This represents a total of about 28 months as an active lawyer. Libby went to work for Ignacio De La Fuente in 2000. She also worked in Jerry Brown’s office and at the Port of Oakland. At the Port she received a contract for $11,667 per month ($140,000 per year). If elected she would be able to continue adding to her lucrative Public Employee Retirement System benefits.

    Libby claims to have served on three Oakland Commissions. None of these positions are commissions, and they were all positions she filled as part of her job requirements. One was the Oakland Base Reuse Authority where she was an alternate for Ignacio. She did attend meetings as Ignacio’s representative, but she was not an appointed member. The Community Action Partnership is not a commission. The final one she lists is the Port of Oakland Public Art Committee. Again this is not a commission, and Libby was staff to this committee as an employee of the Port, and served at one meeting after being appointed.

    I have never seen or heard of Libby attending a public meeting and speaking for herself as a resident of the City. We have no idea what she might do as an elected official because she has always been an employee in performance of her duties.”

  10. I Jacobs

    Mry, Are you saying that Libby just recently moved into district 4? That’s not what her mailings say.

  11. amiorlyoded

    V – please stop, you don’t live in the D4 and don’t pretend to know D4 voters. Anyways, Nov 2 will answer these questions. So stop talking about fictional percentages.

    Lawn signs – funny, can’t even see the yellow and white name on it. At night they’re useless. Also, perhaps you haven’t noticed all the Jill Broadhurst signs about. Daniel S. has plenty of signs as well. I put Libby in 3rd in signs displayed on private property. You don’t live in D4 so I know you haven’t noticed.

    But keep cheerleading, that’s your choice. Hurts your fine blog, but that’s your choice as well.

    Libby is carpet bagging and I guess that is an admirable quality to you.

  12. amiorlyoded

    This site does not support comments of opposing views. V deletes them. Libby must not be all that strong.

  13. V Smoothe Post author

    I know there are supporters of other D4 candidates who, not being able to attack Libby on her record or her platform, have settled on this “carpet bagger” thing, but I just don’t see how you can call someone a carpet bagger for moving two miles to a Council District they’ve lived in for half their life. It just sounds silly. The whole “D4 loyalty” thing is just, frankly, totally bizarre to me. Who do you know who lives their lives according to Council District lines? Hell, they change every 10 years!

  14. I Jacobs

    You’re accusing her of being a carpetbagger and opportunist. But it doesn’t sound right. If she has lived her entire adult life outside of district 4 until recently, ok she would not be very knowledgeable about the needs of this community. But I don’t think she would be making such a big deal out of growing up here if that were true, as that would be more than just carpetbagging and political opportunism. That would be deceptive.

  15. Cat


    Agreed that the way to keep up a neighborhood is to constantly keep it up, but I’ve been making that left turn on to Thornhill for all 37 years of my life and can honestly say I never considered it “blighted” or “potentially blighted” or even something to think twice about. And I really don’t see how raising thousands of dollars for an ugly sign changed much. Again, I applaud Broadhurst’s impulse to get involved, she just doesn’t share my priorities. Which is why my Montclair vote is going to Libby.

  16. V Smoothe Post author

    No, amiorlyoded, I haven’t deleted any comments. Perhaps you thought you posted something, but actually didn’t. I recommend trying again.

  17. amiorlyoded

    Libby has spend her adult life outside of D4, moving back several months ago to run for this open seat. Yes, she was born and bred in Oakland, true (as you previously deleted my comment). But as an adult she lived elsewhere. V does not consider this carpet bagging, I do, as do others. Libby spend a considerable amount of her money on a mailer highlighting her oakland roots. Why? Because she’s nervous that people will find out she just recently rented a home in D4. This is why she so much money on such a silly mailer.

    I ask that you not delete this V, although I realize I have no control over that.

  18. V Smoothe Post author

    Oh, I think I see the problem now, amiorlyoded! You think that District 4 and Oakland are the same thing. That’s okay, don’t feel bad – it’s an honest mistake. A lot of people don’t know all the details about Council Districts and boundaries, and so on. There are seven Council Districts, all in the City of Oakland. Libby has, in fact, lived her entire adult life in Oakland – in various parts of the City, as most of us have. She moved to Oakmore like a year ago, but before that, she didn’t live outside of Oakland – she lived 2 miles away from her current home.

  19. amiorlyoded

    I know how to post.
    Libby is carpet bagging and you are cheer leading.

    The establishment, which Libby is very much a part of, does this all the time. They do not like democracy and try to drown out district candidates with endorsements, money, carpet bagging, etc. IDL, Jerry Brown, Chan and Carson do not get to select our D4 representative.

    Problem for Libby is that she is running a wonderful campaign, assuming it’s the year 2000, but it’s not. It’s 2010. And all those insider endorsements (IDL, Brown, Chan, Carson, unions, unions, unions) are campaign killers today. Everyone (maybe not Libby and perhaps V) sees establishment candidates across the state and nation failing despite all their established advantages. Libby is next. D4 has several excellent non-Libby candidates to choose from on Nov 2 (and earlier for PAV). Drive through D4 and you see Libby losing the lawn-sign wars to two other candidates. That speaks volumes. (side note: Libby’s signs are next to useless because you can only read the white on yellow during the day when driving very slow. At night you can’t see anything.)

    I’m sure Libby is a fine person (I think all the candidates are good people), but she represents City Hall, plain and simple. If you like City Hall and how the Council has managed for the last decade, then vote for Libby.

  20. amiorlyoded

    Huh, we all understand districts and understand Oakland is made up of many districts. Libby has been an oakland resident her entire life (I think). But lived outside of D4 her adult life. She moved to D4 about 7 months ago to run for office. On her own street few know who she is. That is carpet bagging, V. Sorry to disappoint you.

  21. V Smoothe Post author

    Well, I’m not quite sure when Libby moved into her new house, amiorlyoded, but I know it was more than seven months ago, because I had dinner there at the beginning of January.

    In any case, like I said, people move all the time, and nobody lives their lives around boundaries of Council Districts. But if the fact that she used to live a short walk outside the District 4 border and now lives inside it bothers you that much, then I would say yes, you should probably vote for someone else. I think most people would prefer to vote for the person who is going to be the best Councilmember, but you are of course free to use any criteria you like when casting your ballot.

  22. I Jacobs

    That’s carpetbagging in my book, too. Her campaign adds are deceptive. She will not get my vote.

  23. Jim T

    Nice post, V. I always appreciate your voice.

    And I gotta side with not a carpetbagger. It’s kinda laughable to suggest otherwise. I mean, this was a term coined to describe Northerners who traveled across the US to the deep South, post Civil War, for chrissakes. How can we describe a lifelong Oaklander as a carpetbagger for moving districts? Do we really see our city as so deeply fractionated? I don’t.

    I’d rather see us debate some real topic, rather than this strawman.

  24. amiorlyoded

    Jim, appreciate your opinion, but I disagree. If Oakland didn’t consider districts with defined borders to be important then they wouldn’t exist. The 8 seats would be At Large in that case, but they are not. There are different needs and priorities (and similar ones as well) in each district. Libby has not lived in D4 for over a decade and is being politically opportunistic in moving into (carpet bagging) D4.

  25. Jim T

    Amiorlyoded, I guess I see the districts as being a way for our Councilmembers to be responsive to and responsible for a focused area of the city, in addition to responsibilities that involve the city as a whole. Whether they have recently moved to their district or not doesn’t matter deeply to me, so long as they have lived in Oakland for some time (and therefore may have competency in city matters). I mean, you think Ms Schaaf would fail to respresent D4 adequately because she only lived there as a child and for the past year? It seems to me you have other issues with her. I’d rather hear about those. (Frankly, I’m undecided on my vote, but this kind of argument doesn’t sway me in the least)

  26. MichelleMix

    I’m still trying to figure out who to cast my vote for. I now understand RCV which is good. Nice post on Libby, but if she did just move into this district then that would be a big problem for me.

  27. amiorlyoded

    Jim, good point. I’m not trying to sway who you should vote for, just explaining one of my issues with Schaaf as a candidate. I have others as well, her strong union backing is a big No for me.
    But my larger issue is she is from City Hall. I can not endorse a candidate who has been part of City Hall for over a decade. She’s part of the problem, not the solution. With that said, I’m sure Libby is nice (as are the other candidates of D4), I do not have anything personal against her.

    But bottom line for me, she is too establishment, the carpet bagging just closes the door on my voting for her.

  28. livegreen

    V, I made a post and it disappeared. It was after the Mry, Sandra, I Jacobs and then your post which said something to the affect of “well if the worst people who attack Libby can say is that she moved to a bigger house” and that “she had a 2nd baby”.

    My reply addressed elements of posts by all 3 authors mentioned, and a PS. which said that was NOT the worst that Sandra’s forwarded message said, and I couldn’t see where anybody said anything about Libby’s baby?

    Both your and my comments disappeared. What gives?
    (There was also a period of about 1/2 hour when I couldn’t get onto your blog, when I was able to surf other sites fine).

    PS. Please don’t let differing POV (especially the nutty ones) get to you. I know, at least from me, it’s not personal if mine is different from yours. I still learn from our give-and-take.

  29. Paul

    I was considering her for one of my choices. That all changed when I was robocalled from a Colorado area code for a house party. That’s an instant disqualification in my book — it shows that the candidate has more money than sense and is willing to skirt california state law.

    But no matter, there are other qualified candidates I can feel happy voting for.

  30. V Smoothe Post author

    I never saw that comment, livegreen. It appears that my hosting company was having some problems earlier this evening, you must have posted during that period and it got lost in the tubes. Sorry!

  31. livegreen

    What’s weird is your comment I in part responded to also got lost in the tubes.

    Maybe the other poster who thought you were deleting things experienced something similar.

  32. Livegreen

    Here is your comment that disappeared. It had been in between
    Annalee and I Jacobs 2nd post, which like mine after, also disappeared:

    V Smoothe says:
    OCTOBER 21, 2010 AT 4:33 PM
    When the worst thing you opponents can find to attack you over is that after you had your second baby, your family could no longer fit in your tiny house and you had to move to a bigger one, you know you’re doing something right.

  33. amiorlyoded

    V Smoothe says: October 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm “Weird.”

    It’s not “Weird” V Smoothe. The application is working as advertised. When you hit ‘Delete’ next to comments which have a different POV, it actually deletes the comments. Strange?

    Funny how the initial ‘Libby is a carpetbagger’ thread of comments were deleted. Comments by myself, Livegreen, another commenter, and even V Smoothe responses to those comments ended up missing. Did you not notice your comments were gone? Odd how none of the ‘I love Libby’ comments disappeared.


  34. ralph

    What is weird is people think there is some great conspiracy to delete comments.

    @Paul, the robocall you think you received may not be the robocall you actually received

  35. MichelleMix

    Montclarion Endorses Jill Broadhurst

    Interesting, no real comment on it, but for those who are still undecided in the District 4 race, the Montclarion has endorsed Jill Broadhurst. Link below, I hope it works :-)


    Quick summary of the endorsement.
    - Known well among the residents
    - Degree in Business
    - Fresh perspectives
    - Bilingual in Spanish
    - Energy and dedication

  36. UpperDimonder

    As I read your post, I get this impression:
    – Libby was nice to you
    – This blog wouldn’t exist without her encouragement
    – She’s told you a lot of great things that she’s done.

    That’s just not enough for me. I met Libby in June at a meet-and-greet. I asked her about Oakland schools. She said she was concerned because her children go to public school. The school her children would go to in Joaquin Miller — not a school in need. There are a lot of lesser schools in D4 she seems unaware of.

    She seems oblivious to what’s going on around her. At the debate, Clinton Killian pointed out how Oakland made no effort to get AAA to move to Oakland. Five minutes later, Libby proudly touted her accomplishments on the committee that should have made an effort to coax AAA to Oakland.

    In the closing arguments, she described all of the state-wide organizations that endorse her. Both Jill and Melanie made fun of her (she had done the same in the previous debate) and pointed out their local supporters.

    Face it, Libby is part of the establishment, but you have been charmed by her. It happens. Politicians do that. In my case, her charm backfired and I get hives when she delivers her message. But go out and meet the rest of the candidates. See what they’ve done recently.

    I agree with the poster above — if you like the current situation with Oakland’s city government, vote for her. If you realize what a mess our city is in, look for a change. Go out and meet the other candidates. Look past their charm, check out their accomplishments, and see what they plan to do.

    The only thing I feel that Libby plans to do is use this position to go into state politics, riding on Don Perata’s machine.

  37. UpperDimonder

    Ah, I didn’t complete one thought. In the closing arguments, Jill and Melanie made fun of her state-wide organization support. While this was going on, Libby was smiling out at the audience like she was posing for photos. She should at least have the awareness or acumen to pay attention to what is being said and not act like it doesn’t exist.

    I live five blocks from her current residence, and she has yet to knock on our door. Her organization did, however, leave a big sign on the door of a clearly unoccupied house so the whole street could see.

  38. Annalee Allen

    As a long time Oakland resident, community activist (and yes…horrors…a city employee) I am beginning to be offended by the comments by people who paint all city workers with a broad brush. My experience inside and outside city government is that there are some unbelievably hard working, dedicated city staffers who are giving it their all each and every day. We have just observed the 21st – earthquake – and 19th – firestorm – anniversaries of two of the most devastating disasters any city in this country has ever experienced. I am reminded every day how far we have come since then. So, can we please keep things in perspective?

  39. Dax

    Annalee, Painting all city workers with a broad brush is certainly wrong, however painting the city’s total compensation packages, and city staffing, as being excessive may be entirely correct.

    You can have a hard working, excellent city worker in position X, Y, or Z, who is still overpaid, over benefited, and on track to receive a excessive pension at a unnecessarily early age.

    Sometimes people mix up the two points.

  40. ken o

    Hey Annalee- I work for SF city government and see a whole range of work ethic: from slackers to 9-to-5ers to anal retentive perfectionist hard-workers. Most people seem to be somewhat hardworking and trying their best. My dept isn’t that large.

    There are definitely “enough” people taking mad vacations and doing the bare minimum though that compared to my much longer stints in private sector I would say govt is inefficient and a largely unanswerable job creation machine (same goes for the school system– try reading “Oakland: The Story of a City”by Beth Bagwell and you’ll see it’s ALWAYS been this way). That is what will change over the next few decades… not by changing much, but by people being more serious, pay cuts, pension cuts (mostly by inflation, somewhat by bankruptcy).

    More jobs will be cut to answer each new crisis or crises which pop up on our way down to lower (50%?) living standards.

    Nobody’s going to give up their special privs and bennies without a fight!

  41. amiorlyoded

    Sorry Annalee, but City Hall has failed. Especially City Council and their staff, which Libby was a big part of. People are angry at City Hall and that it is justifiable. That is not a knock against public employees, it’s a knock against failed government and those ‘leaders’ who are in charge.

    Of course there are excellent public servants in Oakland, but there are many more who are not. And no employee of City Hall should try and lump themselves together with the brave first responders to the earthquake and firestorm which Oakland suffered.

    Incompetence at City Hall and a city government, that by and large, treats their positions as entitled are NOT equal to first responders. I have no idea what you do for the city, you may be great (thank you), but it is not fair to lump City Hall Council staff in with the first responders.

  42. ken o

    The most frustrating thing in my dept is not knowing what certain people do… and knowing that they are paid a lot.

    Other people are pricks or unliked but at least they seem to be doing SOMEthing… and yet I never figured out what these people do either.

    If my little department is like this, then other departments probably have similar issues… stuff I’ve heard about (some) Oakland city employees (simply from being an activist resident of Oakland) is legendary in my mind of waste and the word IDLF used… “nepotism”

  43. annalee allen

    with all due respect to our brave first responders, there is much more involved regarding healing a city after back to back disasters, I am certain we can all agree on that. As for what I do (for those who don’t know) I work with volunteers who offer free walking tours of our downtown districts. We also offer tours to school groups so students can learn more about, and develop pride in their city. And btw, reading (and rereading) Beth Bagwell’s excellent book is a requirement to becoming a city tour guide. Any volunteers out there?

  44. Max Allstadt

    I wholeheartedly agree with this endorsement. Libby is bright, kind, hard working, and probably has a deeper understanding of our local government than half of the sitting council members.

    My second choice would be Jill Broadhurst, who is clearly dedicated to the district, and is similarly bright, and hard working, with very pure motivations. It’s only Libby’s ex

  45. Max Allstadt

    I wholeheartedly agree with this endorsement. Libby is bright, kind, hard working, and probably has a deeper understanding of our local government than half of the sitting council members.

    My second choice would be Jill Broadhurst, who is clearly dedicated to the district, and is similarly bright, and hard working, with very pure motivations.

    It’s Libby’s expertise which makes her the clear first choice. That’s the major distinction.

  46. livegreen

    Daniel Swafford is the best choice for District 4 because he has implemented the most real change IN the District, including:

    -Leading Beat 22X NCPC with other community activists that was consistently among the most active in the City (often 50 to 100 or more people attending). They increased the coordination between different groups, with the City, with the local schools, and with OPD.

    -Worked with the Dimond Improvement Association (DIA), the City of Oakland, and volunteers to recruit Farmer Joe’s as an anchor merchant for Dimond, and then to bring in La Farine, Peet’s and numerous restaurants (& in addition to those already there).

    -Founded Oaktoberfest, which attracted about 10,000 visitors last year from across many Oakland neighborhoods, Berkeley and the East Bay.

    Other politicians rightly speak about merchant retention, attraction and growth. Daniel, along with partners & volunteers, have actually done it. WITH the community.

  47. amiorlyoded

    Thanks for your feedback Livegreen.
    Swafford is perhaps the least qualified. Swafford has no family or children. He has no tanglable understanding of the challenges of raising children in any neighborhood. Also, Swafford has no business background, although he claims to a business consultant. Swafford has NO business license and has no reportable income according to his own filings. So if he is a “business consultant”, he is practicing illegally and is not successful. Zero income means no success. Additionally, he has raised close to zero in this campaign, he has little neighborhood support.

    Floyd (Quan’s husband) has created the fiction of Swafford’s success.

    No family, no business license. no income, not a home owner. The accomplishments listed above are real, just Swafford had nothing to do with them.

    Livegreen, I think you have excellent intetions in your recommendation, but you (and the rest of us) have been told a half truth, at best, regarding Swafford.

  48. Max Allstadt

    I gotta say, as much as I don’t think Swafford is right choice in this race, the fact that he has no family is a silly reason to denounce him.

    Procreation is not an achievement, it’s rather easy. And not having kids does not mean you don’t understand what a challenge it is to have kids.

    Floyd Huen’s endorsement, and let’s not kid ourselves here, it’s really Jean Quan’s proxy endorsement… That’s a reason enough in and of itself not to vote for him.

  49. Livegreen

    Well, if u can’t attack on the issues, then learn from the Republicans and make it personal. All of Daniel’s accomplishments are real, they have been difficult to achieve and they are tangible.

    Furthermore they could not have happened without buy-in from hundreds of volunteers. Exactly how Daniel works, WITH the 22X and District 4 community.

  50. Max Allstadt

    Re: comment deletions,

    I’m currently very much in disagreement with Vsmoothe about a couple things, and actually quit angry at her. But I’ve known her for two years, and I can say conclusively that she would never ever EVER delete a comment because she disagreed with it.

    V states her opinion in her posts, and her list of news article links to the left is currently comprised of articles she thinks will be favorable to her candidates of choice (for instance, none of the five newspaper endorsements for Rebecca Kaplan are there, but the one endorsement for Perata is, because V is supporting Perata), but that’s where the opinion ends. It’s rather transparent, and not at all unfair to commenters.

    V has deleted hardcore racist comments and spam in the past, but nothing else. I am absolutely certain that she’s committed to open discourse on this site, and anyone who thinks otherwise is very much mistaken.

  51. amiorlyoded

    Max and Livegreen – Different opinions are OK. Calling me a Republican is just silly.

    Procreation may not be an achievment, but raising a family is. Raising a family is difficult, challenging, rewarding, costly, beautiful and at times frustrating.

    Not having kids is not a bad thing, but someone w/o children does not understand the challenges of raising children.

    I do not think highly of Schaaf, but she has held a job for many years, while raising children and that is very difficult. Very very difficult. She, and the other candidates with children have a much better sense of what family needs are.

    I did not ‘attack’ Swafford, but I did comment on actual issues. He says he is a business consultant, but he is not. He does not earn an income. He does not have a business license. This is from his own campaign filings. That is relevant.

    But you are correct, the accomplishments of 22X took the efforts of hundreds of people. Swafford is walking around telling others it is his accomplishment. The board of 22X is highly upset with Swafford for taking credit for results of the retired Chair of 22X accomplished.

    These are facts and if this makes me a Republican in your eyes, sorry.

    But I do appreciate your (Livegreen) passion for Swafford and if he is your vote, go for it.

  52. Dax

    Worst voting criteria of the year…

    “Swafford is perhaps the least qualified. Swafford has no family or children.”

    Oh, I see.

    Exit Jerry Brown when running for his first dozen or so elections.
    Reason, no family, no children, and for many of those elections, no job.

    Yet include candidates with children who are long term “guests” of state facilities.

  53. livegreen


    First, I did NOT call you a Republican. Don’t misquote me.

    Second, your attacks ARE personal and not issue based. I agree with you raising a family is hard. But as DAX says it doesn’t disqualify candidates. And it also doesn’t mean they don’t have empathy and understanding, or become involved in their communities.

    On the professional side, Daniel says he “consulted”. That’s past tense. So you’re both misquoting what he actually says, and you haven’t proven at all that it is even true, much less relevant to the Issues of District 4.

    Re. community accomplishments, he has not said they’re his. He said he chaired some of the organizations, co-chaired others, and played a leadership roll. Well, he did.

    On his website he details this and ALSO acknowledges the work and input of many by repeatedly using words like “a dynamic community”, “residents”, and “volunteer”. Daniel’s the first to acknowledge he did not and could not have done this alone.

    Finally, you say the Board of 22X is highly upset at him. Well, it’s easy to claim that, but how do we know that’s true, and why should we take your word for it? Let’s see, a look at his website…A member of the 22X board endorses him.

    So your claims are at the most half-truths and (without validating your claim) might not be true at all. In addition we haven’t even begun to start talking about other community volunteers (like Dimond Improvement-DIA- members, merchants, other Beat 22x volunteers, past & present) many of whom also support him.

    BTW, if you have his filing info, then it’s quite probable you are actively participating in somebody’s campaign. Are you, and if so, who’s?

  54. livegreen

    BTW, looking at Jill Broadhurst’s website, I see Carlos Plazola endorses her. Now Carlos might or might not now live in and be a “Community Leader” in District 4, but it’s interesting that as a former co-worker of Libby’s (in Ignacio’s office) that he’s not endorsing her.

    What’s up with that?

  55. amiorlyoded

    Dax, let’s not be dramatic. It’s OK.
    What about the more important criteria of honesty. Swafford claims to be a business consultant which he clearly is not.

    No business license = No business.
    No income = No business.
    No business = Not a business consultant!

    This is fact. This is from Swafford’s campaign filings.

    Swafford’s claims regarding 22X are clearly false as well. If Swafford has accomplishments he should share what they are, not continue to tell a bunch of falsehoods about his role at 22X and what he has done regarding Octoberfest in the Dimond.

    I consider this critique of Swafford a real ‘issue’, you may not, but that’s OK.

    Not sure what you meant re ‘guests’ of State faicilities?

    Appreciate the dialogue – I mean that!

  56. amiorlyoded

    You do not have to work on a campaign to review candidate filings. True!

    Campaign filings are public information. Anyone here can view all the financials of every candidate, which ‘have’ to be submitted by certain dates throughout the campaign season. I put the ‘have’ in quotes because some candidates have filed late or not all – Oakland doesn’t seem to care about that, which I find strange, but I admit is off topic.

    For people here, I recommend looking at candidate filings, it’s free to cheap and informative.

  57. Dax

    Some current “family men” serving in elected Oakland positions have children who are “guests” in government facilities where their departure is severely constrained for a designated period of time, due to prior behavioral issues that were at variance with the laws of our state.

    Thus, having a “family” or being a “parent” is not really a primary criteria I would use for evaluating, or discriminating between candidates.

    You know, some people can’t have children.

    As I said, Jerry Brown was 67 before he first got married, and I’m inclined to think that the lovely couple won’t be having any children.

  58. V Smoothe Post author

    Thank you, Max. I just want to point out one thing – the reason the Chronicle’s endorsement of Perata appears on the news feed is because it’s newer than Rebecca’s endorsements. When the Trib endorsement came out, I linked to that, and I did the same with the Bay Area Reporter endorsement. They have since fallen off the list, because all the articles appear in the order they were added. I have a pretty long-standing policy of not linking to Express. I don’t know about the other two newspapers you’re referring to, it’s possible I missed them. Feel free to send me the links.

  59. amiorlyoded

    Dax, I hear what you are saying re families. Brown is an excellent example. But at the district level, I would like someone to represent D4 who understands, intimately, what it means to raise children. I know it’s OK that I want that. It’s not the only qualification, to say the least. It doesn’t mean those w/o children are not empathetic to children and families.

    I respect that a candidate having children is of no concern to you when evaluating a candidate. You can also respect that it is one of the things I look for in a candidate at the district level. Not so much at the State or Fed level. Or even at the Mayoral level.

    I listed it first above, I should have listed last when critiquing Swafford.

    BTW, in the voter Swafford describes himself:

    “My occupation for the past five years has been Business Management Consultant, Educator, Laney College.”

    He also repeatedly describes himself as a business consultant.

    The first is not true, you can not be a business consultant w/o a business license. An expired one does not exist either. I cannot comment on the Laney College portion.

  60. Max Allstadt

    Hey, V, at least you got a photo credit!

    @Dax and Amiorlyoded:


    Business Consultant + No Business License = Tax Evading Business Consultant

    I mean, he can still be offering business consulting services and getting paid for them, it’s just that if he doesn’t have a business license, he isn’t paying business tax to the City of Oakland, which is not really OK for an active politician.

    Full Disclosure: I owe the City of Oakland a few hundred dollars in back taxes. But at least I have a business license, even though I’m a lowly self-employed carpenter. And believe me, that debt will be paid off long before I ever run for office, should I decide to do so.

  61. RdwithCypress

    DAX, on the Kilian finding on Renwick, Knowing where to look is what makes an auditor worth his or her salt. Seeing in 3 places where these contractors were getting most of the contracts was enough of a threat to let everyone know where to look. Both Ruby and City Council knew something was up and knew the numbers and did absolutely nothing. Kilian isn’t doesn’t even work in the City yet he saw the contractor numbers and that was enough for him to know where to investigate. That is the point! He is a real auditor!

  62. Cathy Sharp

    As a parent of a child in the Oakland Unified School District I am looking at the candidates for City Council from District 4 from a concerned parents perspective. Jill Broadhurst is the only candidate in the race with a child in OUSD. She knows first-hand the challenges our schools face as all parents do. I would like our schools to have a concerned ear and voice on Oakland City Council. If elected, she would be the only member of Oakland City Council with a child in public school from any district. Not to say other candidates are not “concerned” but no others have a personal investment in Oakland public education.

  63. jstory

    Does anyone know who the Rental Housing Association of Northern Alameda County Political Action Committee really is? They have pumped not less than $60-70,000 into Jill Broadhurst’s campaign, with mailings almost daily for the past several weeks. The cost of each is set forth on the mailer. Is this a tea party type group? To whom will Jill be beholden for these very substantial campaign contributions if elected?

  64. Mimi Rohr

    The Rental Housing Association is a group that represents primarily mom and pop rental property owners in the East Bay. They are strongly backing Jill because of Jill’s background. Jill’s mom and dad were immigrants to America in the 1960’s (father from England, mother from Ecuador). They were blue color workers who put their small investment into a rental property, and over time came to own three such small properties. Jill has managed the properties for her parents as they aged. Jill also has a background in finance and economics so she understands how to balance budgets. Because of Jill’s understanding of business, balancing budgets in the private sector, and understanding the experience of being small property owners, the Rental Housing Association board members, themselves small rental property owners, chose to endorse and strongly support, Jill. Not because they expect anything, but because they look forward to having a council member who understands private business and what it means to ACTUALLY balance a budget.

  65. Mry

    After watching the video above, it confirms how I feel. When asked the question about the problems district 4 faces, her reply is that we face the same problems as the rest of the city??? Uh, if she had lived here for more than a few months, she would know that is not the case. V, I agree with you on all of your other posts, but she is way too reminiscent of what I’m hoping to get rid of. Jill Broadhurst has my support.

  66. V Smoothe Post author

    Mry, if you watch the video where all the candidates answer that question, you will see that they all said that District 4′s issues are the same as those of the rest of the City (except for Clinton Killian, who said that people outside of the District don’t use D4′s parks enough). Libby was actually the only one out of all the candidates to tie her response back into District 4, explaining how badly District 4 has been hurt by the starvation of the capital improvement budget.

  67. Mry

    Thank you V, I actually could not find the videos that showed the candidates one by one, like Libby’s, but I’ll take your word for it.

  68. livegreen

    The rental property is a better reason to support Jill than any of the others I’ve heard so far (though that much money, my bet is there’s more than just understanding).

    I have heard no other good reasons. For example, it’s stated that she’s the only one who has a child in OUSD. First that is just plain false, since Libby does too.

    2nd, I agree with Upper Dimond’s previous post about Joaquin Miller not being exactly a school in need. Neither is Montclair.

    Just being a parent at an OUSD school does not mean understanding all parents or understand-ing all schools, especially schools that have less resources than two of the wealthiest ones in the City.

  69. Clara

    Jill has my #1 vote. I just voted!
    I met Jill for the first time by her knocking on my door months ago and introducing herself to me as a candidate for council. She actually walked door-to-door campaigning, I thought that was amazing and she was great. Seems like many of the people I know in our district met her in a similar fashion.

  70. Barry K

    Jill has my #1 vote too! Libby “carpetbagger” Schaaf does not get #2 or #3 from me. Perhaps she should consider moving back to District 1 for the next election.

  71. Peggy Ferrando

    I agree – Jill has my vote! She has spent her own time volunteering for everything listed on her mailings … Libby’s list lengthy because she was PAID by our tax dollars to attend or be on those boards/committees/etc. It was part of Libby’s job. And honestly, why would we want to elect someone who has endorsements from so many people inside of our very broken city hall? Jill is the best choice, she owes no one at city hall.

  72. I Jacobs

    I’m voting for Jill Broadhurst as well. The part about Libby moving into the district just to run for office is a big turnoff for me. I’ts not just the opportunism or the carpetbagging or the fact that she’s so connected to our current dysfunctional council. Its not even the “deep roots” deception. I just don’t think she knows enough about whats going on in district 4 to do a good job.

  73. MichelleMix

    My husband and I just cast our votes for Jill Broadhurst last night! In the end my gut tells me she is the most honest and most representative of our district.

  74. Steven

    Jill Broadhurst #1. Ralph Kanz #2. That’s it.

    Jill has been very active in our community as a volunteer and works to improve Oakland for everyone. She’ll be a refreshing change.
    And, I appreciate her position of “NO” on Measure BB (step-child of Measure Y).

    Libby Schaaf: If the best you can do is ask us to look at your paid “time” in Brown and DeLaFuente’s offices, I don’t need to look any further.

  75. Barry K

    Libby’s Campaign funded by 40+ developers:

    Posted by Wayne on October 28, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    “Here are a few: Collin Mbanugo (Oakland Hills Developer), Susan Smart (Uptown Development), Central Station Land, LLC, John Protopappas (Madison Park Financial), Scott Shephard (CHOC Inc. Real Estate Development), Anthony Batarse, Dan Gray (Gray and Reynolds), Michael Ghielmetti (Oak to Ninth), Jeff Wilcox (Wilcox and Company), Valjit Singh, Mark Borsuk (Borsuk Real Estate), Jim Falashi (Jack London Partners), Hensel Phelps, Peter Sullivan (PSAI Realty Partners), John Reynolds (Reynolds and Brown), Eddie Orton (Orton Development), Charlie Hahn, Arthur Evans (A.F. Evans), Wayne Jordan (Jordan Real Estate).

    This list is not exhaustive, there are many more.”

  76. amiorlyoded

    Jill Broadhurst’s campaign has raised about $40,000. She is taking zero is public financing.

    Libby Schaaf has raised about $100,000, from developers, lawyers and City Hall. Libby has decided that taking public funds from the City of Oakland for her campaign is OK. So she is taking $14,111 (per the Public Ethics Commission). Why, is not $100,000 enough?

    That $14,111 could go towards police, infrastructure, children, etc. But Libby, in true City Hall insider fashion, feels that this seat and our money is hers. City Hall entitlement at it’s worst.

    Broadhurst is running an incredibly effective campaign w/o any insider, establishment assistance. A real grass roots effort.

    Libby has run a good & well organized campaign as well, except she expected no real challengers and has spent her money early and poorly. Now she needs public money to bail her out.

    Good governance starts with respecting tax payers money.

    List of District 4 candidates taking public money:

    Libby Schaaf: $14,111
    Daniel Swafford: $7,758
    Broadhurst: $0
    Killian: $0
    Kanz: $0
    Shelby: unknown
    Gillen: unknown

    All the data is based public information.

  77. skeptical

    Mom and pop rental owners who have no agenda — like the SF developer who contributed $47,500, not to Jill Broadhurst’s campaign, but to the Rental Housing Association PAC set up to promote her campaign and to avoid disclosure of the source? PLEASE, I may be naive, but not THAT naive.

  78. Chris Kidd

    What’s worse: having a wide range of donations to your campaign that happen to include some developers? Or being beholden to a single developer who bankrolled your last minute blitzkrieg of mailers.


  79. Cliff

    Libby sought, received and accepted all of her contributions. That combined with her career at City Hall make her beholden to many.

    RHANAC mailings supporting Jill is independent of a campaign. A candidate can neither ‘accept’ nor ‘decline’ because the actions of a PAC are independent. They need no candidate blessing.

    Libby’s contributions, all of them, have her blessing.

  80. Jasper

    I love it: Libby raises private money, so she’s bad; Libby takes public money, so she’s bad. How, exactly, are you supposed to pay for a campaign anyway?

    What does Jill do for money now, anyway?

  81. Jasper

    The Rental Housing Association of Northern Alameda County is the landlord lobbying group in town. Despite claims that RHNAC is just another small business association, it has been, in fact, the single most powerful interest against reasonable rent controls and reasonable protections for Oakland families from arbitrary evictions.

    So, Jill is being supported by the landlords.

  82. Jonathan Klein

    Hi all,

    This is my first comment on ABO. First, a thank you to V and the community that participates in this dialogue.

    I’m an Oakland dad, D4 homeowner, and colleague of Libby Schaaf.

    I’ve been reading and benefiting from your posts and commentary for some time now and write to share about Libby Schaaf’s deep commitment to supporting quality Oakland public schools for all children.

    I’ve worked with her for 3 years on the board of the Oakland Schools Foundation (OSF) — a nonprofit organization that helps bring resources to Oakland public schools serving a majority of low-income students. At OSF, Libby has worked hard, listened, and done her homework to understand and provide leadership on issues from diverse perspectives.

    Libby has been working with and in public schools throughout the city for almost two decades. She left her law practice to develop a citywide school volunteer program for the Marcus Foster Education Fund and currently serves as an advocate for arts education on the board of the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA).

    Libby also helped start Oakland’s Lighthouse Community Charter School — a K-12 school providing quality educational opportunities for Oakland students.

    These nonprofit board activities are volunteer roles to which Libby has dedicated significant time to ensure the success of MOCHA, Lighthouse and OSF.

    Libby knows how the city works and has the perspective and relationships to help align city and school resources in support of students and public schools.

    She cares deeply for Oakland and I have no doubt that she will be a strong leader for District 4 on day one.

    Thanks for considering my post in making your decision on Tuesday.

    Jonathan Klein

  83. Jonathan Klein

    Reading through this thread again, I wanted to add that Libby is a graduate of Oakland public schools and that she has a strong personal stake in OUSD as her two young children will attend their neighborhood school — Joaquin Miller Elementary where Libby went to elementary school — when they are kindergarten age.

  84. MJH

    I was born and raised in Oakland and I have lived in four of Oakland’s seven council districts in the last seven years. Between 2007 and June 2010, I had the tremendous opportunity to work with residents trying to create a better Oakland as an employee of the City.

    Having watched this Council race closely, I join many individuals who have commented here already when I say that District 4 is incredibly fortunate to have a handful of very accomplished, talented, and committed candidates who want nothing more than to improve the quality of life for their district through strong citywide policies and improved constituent services.

    I also join A Better Oakland as I encourage District 4 voters to support Libby Schaaf in this election.

    Not only is she a District 4 native, Libby also has a proven track record of creating lasting partnerships to address systemic problems, has experience with policy analysis as well as implementation, and brings unparalleled intellect and enthusiasm to each and every issue or project that comes her way.

    Every district in Oakland would benefit by having a person like Libby representing their concerns and advocating for their ideas.

  85. Montclarion

    I was born and raised in D4, knew Libby then, and have kept up with her life and career ever since. I agree with the majority of the posts above that the notion of Libby as “carpetbagger” is laughable. (Please don’t feed the trolls!) I left the neighborhood after high school and would love to have been able to afford to move back before now, as would most of my Skyline classmates, I’d wager. Congratulations Libby on managing to do it, on your committment to your district 4 roots, the public schools, and to the whole town.

  86. Len Selig

    I too have worked with Libby Schaaf in and around City Hall for the past 15 years. I agree there are many good candidates running in district 4 this season. I can not include Ms. Schaaf in that list.

    - Fired from the Port of Oakland.

    - Fired as an aid to Jerry Brown. Yes, I know he endorsed her and that sounds strange, but that’s the way this city works. Strange politics. At City Hall when people are fired, they always protect their own give them another job elsewhere.

    - Libby’s entire career for 20 years at beeb at City Hall. Voters will decide if that is an asset or a liability. I vote the later.

    - Schaaf has not lived in district 4 for 20 years.

    - Schaaf moved into the district a few months prior to the filing period.

    Tomatoe, TomAtoe.

    Districts are unique, which is why Oakland has distinct district boundries vs 8 at large council seats. The voters I speak with here, in district 4, do not like the carpet bagging (call it something else if you don’t like that term) and really do not like the establishment of City Hall, which Libby Schaaf clearly represents.

    The other candidates is this race (well,most of them) offer a positive alternative. For example, I did not vote for Shelby, but if she does win I will be pleased that she is part of this district, lives in this district.

    Schaaf feels entitled to have a Council seat, by time served at City Hall. The voters will have the final say.

  87. Len Selig

    One more small add. Libby has raised more money than all the candidates combined. About $110,000. Nothing wrong with that. She is taking $14,000 from us tax payers in public funding, I do have a problem with that.

    But I find her tears about others campaign funding, with all her establishment advantages when it comes to raising money and endorsements, very desperate.

  88. V Smoothe Post author

    Len –

    None of the things you say are true. Libby was not fired from her job with Jerry Brown, nor was she fired from her job at the Port of Oakland, nor has Libby been uninvolved with District 4 (see testimony to the contrary from Dick Spees). It is also not true that Libby moved to the District “a few months” before the filing period. She has been living there for a year and was looking for a house for over two years before that.

    As for the matching funds, the voters and the City Council have made public assistance to campaigns a priority, and reaffirmed the importance of this tool over and over and over again, including as recently as last spring. I don’t see how it’s reasonable to criticize anyone for following the law — in fact, Jill Broadhurst’s recent nastiness on the subject, combined with the extreme nastiness that her supporters have displayed on this blog as well as local listservs, have convinced me that my initial assessment that she could grow into a capable Councilmember was wrong. I cannot see how anyone who inspires, and appears to condone, such vitriol could possibly add anything productive to our civic discourse. The often toxic nature of the political environment in Oakland is so discouraging to people who want to get engaged, and we certainly cannot afford someone who is going to make things worse.

  89. Len Selig

    Yes V, you know Libby better than me, a 15 year ‘peer’. Libby has failed at City Hall, she was fired from the Port and she was fired by Brown. These are facts no matter how much you want Schaaf to win.

    Libby has no base in D4, look at the street where she just moved into to (I won’t state her street because that’s a private matter), no one knows her, no Libby signs. These are facts.

    V, you are essentially a Libby volunteer and I understand and appreciate how disheartened Schaaf’s campaign must be feeling right now. Really.

    This is not a good year for establishment candidates anywhere, so much of this is beyond Schaaf’s control.

  90. Len Selig

    Both Swafford and Broadhurst have a nice base which is proven by the neighborhoods which they reside. I can’t comment on the other candidates base support.

  91. len raphael

    Len S: “not a good year for establishment candidates anywhere” , apart from your views on District 4 race, it looks to me like that is not an accurate summary of the Bay Area voters. and probably not even most of CA.

    Brown, Newsom, Lee looking quite good for incumbents and old faces in this state.