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Featured image source: http://libbyschaaf.com/

Our 50th mayor, Libby Schaaf was officially sworn into office on Monday. If you’re like me, you may still be scratching your head a bit when trying to recall what you know about our newest Mayor. Wear Your Voice compiled 8 things you need to know about Mayor Schaaf to keep you in the loop.

Who Is Libby Schaaf?

According to her website, Schaaf’s lived her entire life in Oakland, a graduate of Skyline High. She was formerly on Oakland City Council for District 4 (East of 580, think Montclair, Joaquin Miller Park, Redwood Heights area.) Schaaf holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rollins College and a J.D. from Loyola Law School. Identifing as a woman of Jewish heritage, she was the target of hate crimes when photos of her depicted with swastikas surfaced in the Montclair area. She’s a mother of two, 49, she’s a Scorpio. Also goes by: Girl Scout Barracuda.

1. Rise To Politics

Schaaf’s been involved in public service since she was a child,  volunteering during her days as a Girl Scout, a Ranger Station Aide at Joaquin Miller Park, as well as a volunteer service at Fairyland. Leaving a career as an Attorney at Oakland’s largest law firm in her late twenties, Schaaf, with her mother, co-founded Oakland Cares. Oakland Cares was a community based nonprofit organization, which implemented hundreds of volunteer community improvement projects across the city. Schaaf also worked at implementing centralized volunteer programs for Oakland public schools. In 2010, she was elected to represent Oakland’s District 4, while serving as Chief of Staff to Council President Ignacio De La Fuente, and then as a top aide to Mayor Jerry Brown.

2. Libby’s Take on Pressing Issues

3. Building a 311 system

According to her website, implementing a 311 system will make information more accessible, champion transparency, and engage residents in decision-making.

4. Raising Oakland’s Minimum Wage

Schaaf received a lot of praise and support for declaring to raise the minimum wage in Oakland to $12.25 per hour. Currently, Oakland’s minimum wage is nine dollars an hour. With housing prices on the steady incline, we will all be keeping a close eye on this one to see that Schaff lives up to her campaign words.

5. Made In Oakland

Schaaf wants to make sure that local businesses continue to thrive by growing local manufacturing and providing incentives and assistance to small manufacturing enterprises that hire Oakland residents.

6. Forge Pathways to Jobs/Education

Dedicated to seeing that Oakland youth aren’t left behind in the booming tech industry in the Bay, Schaaf is looking to implement job trainings to Oakland High School graduates to provide them with necessary practical skills for employment. She also intends to close the gap on education disparity, ensuring that all Oakland k-12 students obtain an equitable education, regardless of income or zip code.

7. Schaaf Supports citywide surveillance

One of her more controversial issues, Schaaf has been a strong proponent of the Domain Awareness Center,  a planned surveillance hub which aims to integrate public and private cameras and sensors all over the City of Oakland into one $10.9M mass surveillance system. “It’s our responsibility to take advantage of new tools that become available,” stated Schaaf when speaking with the New York Times.

8. Community Based Policing

“We know that community policing works, that good policing is about preventing crime from being committed in the first place; it’s not about running after someone after they’ve committed a crime and arresting them and throwing them in jail. That requires good relationships in the community. We’ve got to give our police modern tools to be effective and for me that starts with community-based policing.”


(WYV Audience!! We will be interviewing Mayor Libby Schaaf at the end of January, if you have some burning questions for us, this is your time to ask them, send them in to ravneet@wyvmag.com)

Originally from the Bay, I was uprooted from my eclectic surroundings and forced to spend my formative years in conservative San Joaquin County (Stockton) after Loma Prieta. Earthquake central couldn't deter me, and in 2010, I relocated to San Francisco. After a year of not being rich or knowing how to code, I moved to Oakland, where my momma and my momma's momma were born. Oakland has changed A LOT from when I was growing up, and I love getting reacquainted with my roots. Like our city's logo, Oakland grounds me, it's where I've rediscovered myself and unleashed my creativity. If I were a tattoo, I'd be eyes on my eyelids so I can snooze the day without anyone noticing (which I do often.) If I were a street in Oakland, I'd be Skyline Blvd, because, the view. Favorite spot in Oakland? I love it all! But I'd have to say Redwood Regional Park...or Raj Indian in Piedmont.

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