Oakland Swears In 1st Asian Woman To Lead Major U.S. City

OAKLAND (KCBS / AP / BCN) — An Oakland native who narrowly won the race to lead the city was sworn in as its 49th mayor late Monday morning in a ceremony at the Fox Theater.

Sixty-one-year-old Jean Quan becomes the first Asian-American woman to take the helm of a major U.S. city.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Before the ceremony, Quan walked around Oakland’s Chinatown to several spots that have historical meaning to the city, and to her career. She stopped at Lincoln School, where she was a one-time board member.

”It’s a huge source of pride, her not only being Asian-American, but also the first woman mayor of Oakland,” said Dan Quigly, who is executive director of the school foundation. “At our school we have a majority Asian population, but we also have Latinos and African Americans, so it means a lot for the diversity of the whole city, and honors the diversity of our school.”

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

As the new mayor, she inherits a $40 million budget deficit and a crime rate that makes Oakland one of the nation’s most dangerous cities.

She said that one of the top items on her agenda is tackling crime.

”I want to talk to, and work with the (police) officers in the city on public safety,” Quan said.

The city councilwoman defeated former State Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata in November, rising to the top through Oakland’s new ranked-choice voting system.

While she didn’t win the most first-choice votes, Quan won enough of the second- and third- choice nods to bump off the other candidates.

Quan, a veteran Oakland politician who served on the city’s school board for 12 years and just completed eight years on the City Council, succeeds Ron Dellums, who served the past four years but decided not to seek re-election.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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