Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf filed papers today to begin the process of running for mayor in 2014, saying that improving public safety and creating new jobs are two of her top goals.
Schaaf, who was born and raised in Oakland and was elected to the City Council in 2010, said, "I believe Oaklanders deserve to have a police force that responds quickly when they call" for help and promised, "I will have a relentless focus on having a city that is safe."
Speaking to reporters outside the city clerk's office after she filed papers forming a campaign committee, Schaaf said, "I plan to run a positive campaign that focuses on issues, not on people."
But she strongly implied that she's unhappy with the job performance of Mayor Jean Quan, saying that, "Oakland can do better and its residents deserve to have basic services delivered."
Among the other candidates who have said they plan to run for mayor in 2014 are college professor and political commentator Joe Tuman, who finished fourth in the 2010 election that Quan won, and Port of Oakland commissioner Bryan Parker.
Quan has set up a re-election website but she said in a statement, "I have not yet announced my reelection plans and won't be commenting on potential candidates."
Quan said, "Right now I am focused squarely on my priorities as mayor. First and foremost, that means public safety."
Schaaf, who graduated from Skyline High School in Oakland, previously served as chief of staff for former City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, as an aide to former Mayor Jerry Brown and as an executive at the Port of Oakland. She is married and has two young children who attend the same public elementary school that she attended.
Schaaf represents District 4 in East Oakland, which includes the communities of Allendale, Brookdale, Crestmont, Dimond, Estates Drive, High Street, Laurel, Maxwell Park, Melrose, Montclair, Oakmore, Piedmont Pines, Redwood Heights, Shepherd Canyon and Thornhill.
Schaaf cited "the experience I have and my can-do attitude" as qualities that will help her get elected.
Schaaf has largely focused on public safety issues, such as increasing the number of Oakland police officers, during her time on the City Council.
But she said she won't release the details of her campaign platform until early next year, as the filing deadline for mayor isn't until next summer and the election isn't until next November.
Parker admitted today that he probably isn't as well known as Quan, Schaaf and Tuman but said he raised more money that the other candidates as of the most recent reporting period and he believes he will be better known by next November.
Parker said, "I stand apart from the rest of the candidates" because of his business experience as a division manager for DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc., a Denver-based kidney care company.
"None of the others have run a business before or met budgets or put people to work," Parker said.
He said his priorities include reducing poverty and improving public safety and education.
Tuman couldn't be reached for comment today but when he filed papers on July 24 to form a campaign committee he said he will focus on public safety.
In her statement, Quan said, "My administration is hard at work rebuilding our police force, strengthening our community policing and creating jobs for residents."
She said, "We have been turning the tide, funding back-to-back police academies and bringing billions of dollars in grants, investments and commitments to projects like Brooklyn Basin, Coliseum City and the long-dormant Oakland Global project at the old Army Base, which finally broke ground just weeks ago."