Like so many of us have seen on the news or heard on a radio talk-show program, or maybe just heard through the grapevine, this article is about Libby Schaaf, the Democratic mayor of Oakland, California. I have been researching this individual for a while now and let’s face it, the criticism albeit positive or negative depends on one’s partisan politics.
I would like to say that this is the mayor who, after having “secret” plans with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), local police law enforcement (LE), and the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with all gallantry decided to announce publicly the intended agencies plans for a sweep of our nation’s illegal immigrant populations.
This was taken directly from the New York Times: Libby Schaaf stepped into the middle of the national debate on immigration on Saturday when she warned of imminent raids by federal immigration agents in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The next day the raids began, and the deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Ms. Schaaf’s warning had compromised the safety of agents and allowed targets of the raid to flee.
In a city that for decades had one of California’s highest rates of violent crime, the number of burglaries, murders, and shootings has sharply declined during Ms. Schaaf’s three years as mayor. Yet her tenure has made national headlines for scandal, tragedy and the disappointment of an iconic sports team announcing its plans to move.
A child of Oakland and an advocate for its diversity, Ms. Schaaf, 52, is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal in a city where “Republican” is a dirty word. I, for one, find this kind of reporting offensive. First, it has “Republican” as a dirty word which is clearly no doubt that racial matters will also be discussed.
“Oakland has always been a place for social justice movements,” Ms. Schaaf said in an interview. “We’re a city that is fiercely proud of our diversity, full of artists and unique creative energy, but with a gritty authenticity.” Wait until we read about the “arts and unique creative energy disaster. What diversity?
Ms. Schaaf worked as a lawyer for two years at a prominent law firm in Oakland before turning to politics. She served several years as an aide to other politicians, including Gov. Jerry Brown when he was mayor of Oakland and was elected to the City Council in 2010. Four years later she was elected mayor.
The past few years have been a time of wrenching change for Oakland. The wealth generated by the tech industry across the San Francisco Bay is pushing up housing prices and making many neighborhoods unaffordable to any family not earning six figures. The economic pressures have caused the number of homeless to rise to around 2,800, an increase of more than 25 percent since Ms. Schaaf took office in January 2015.
In the city that gave rise to the Black Panthers, the African-American community has been shrinking dramatically, from 47 percent of the population in the 1980 census to less than one-quarter today. As black residents have moved out, Latinos and Asian-Americans have moved in.
A police scandal rocked the city on her watch. “The Ghost Ship fire” was the worst structural fire in America in more than a decade. The Raiders announced they were leaving Oakland for Las Vegas. A 2016 scandal in the police force — a prostitute said she had sex with many police officers, and at least one of them had tipped her off to police raids — threatened to derail one of Ms. Schaaf’s main campaign promises: reducing crime. Ms. Schaaf stumbled. The city had three police chiefs within the span of a week.
Ms. Schaaf’s political agenda is all over the map. And please try to imagine if this “troubleshooting” or releasing “secret” multiple agency plans during the President Barack Obama years – please forgive me insofar as it did with no consequences!
She is running for re-election in November. It is time to move on from these autonomous politicians.