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OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – More than four months after her only son was murdered on a street in Oakland, a mother is criticizing Mayor Jean Quan over a recent newspaper editorial touting her success in fighting crime.
Aya Nakano, a recent graduate from the University of Oregon, was fatally shot following a fender-bender at the 5800 block of Market Street on June 12, 2013. He would have been 23 years old the next day.
For Maria Climaco, Nakano’s mother, the pain of losing her only child remains unbearable. “I can’t begin to tell you how much my son means to me still. You know, he’s everything to me,” she told KPIX 5.
When Climaco saw a recent editorial penned by Quan in the Oakland Tribune, she was taken aback and said she was “insulted.”
The mayor wrote that the media unfairly criticized her and praised her own accomplishments. “We reduced homicides by more than 25 percent year-to-date… Oakland’s overall economy is the strongest it’s been in years: We have a $38 million reserve,” Quan wrote in the editorial.
The self-promotion did not sit well with Climaco. Outraged, she responded in the comments section on the Tribune’s website.
“Leadership is not just about your accomplishments. Actually, it requires some humility on your part,” she said.
According to Climaco, Quan never responded to her over the summer after she reached out to the mayor several times. Once, Climaco went to the mayor’s office and left behind a book containing pictures and stories of her son.
Climaco said all she wanted was assurance from the mayor that something would be done to solve the case. “Mayor Quan, nothing, she was completely silent,” she said.
The Oakland Police Department said no arrests have been made in the homicide case. KPIX 5 asked Mayor Quan for a response. Her office said the mayor wants to send her apologies to the victim’s mother and would soon reach out to the family.
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