OAKLAND (CBS SF) — In a packed auditorium, family at her side Oakland Mayor Jean Quan officially announced she wants to run Oakland again, giving herself the nickname of “chief defender” after four years in office.
“The one thing the mayor has to be is the ‘chief defender’ of the city,” said Quan, “and, if you can’t stand up for the city, you shouldn’t run for the job.”
As chief defender, Mayor Quan told a crowd full of many her own ‘chief defenders’, she’s helped bring 7500 new homes to Oakland. Add to that, “more than 1.3 million square feet of new retail, reformed police pensions, and made the streets safer,” she said.
She said she’s accomplished all if this in three years.
“I came into a city that was financially in really bad shape and now we’re just fighting about where we are putting the surplus,” said Quan. “That’s a big change in three years.”
But with success has come confusion too.
Take the ongoing Oakland A’s saga. A vote was scheduled for this week but two city council members pulled a no show, preventing the authority that oversees the Coliseum from taking a final vote.
The mayor clearly preferred not to talk with KPIX5 about the A’s.
“That was yesterday’s story and we answered that, but I will answer it and say this: we’re in negotiations,” said Quan. “Just because someone says we’re done when we are clearly still negotiating doesn’t mean that we are ready.”
Quan faces a packed field of more than a dozen contenders, all eager to kick her out of office.
That field includes former KPIX political analyst Joe Tuman, City Councilwoman Libby Schaff and Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who threw her name in the hat just this month.
Kaplan criticized Quan for trashed streets, and what she’s calling a lack of basic city services in Oakland.
“She’s not exactly been a major opponent to anything that I’ve done,” said Quan, referring to Kaplan. “I’ll put my record to her any day.”