Jean Quan

Jean Quan
關麗珍
Jean Quan at Lake Merritt during her Campaign for Mayor.jpg
Mayor Jean Quan at Oakland's Lake Merritt in February 2010
49th Mayor of Oakland
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011[1]
Preceded by Ron Dellums
Member of the Oakland City Council
District 4
In office
January 2003 – January 2011
Succeeded by Libby Schaaf
Member of the Oakland School Board
In office
1991–2003
Personal details
Born (1949-10-21) October 21, 1949 (age 64)[2]
Livermore, California, U.S.[2]
Nationality American
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Floyd Huen
Children William Huen
Lailan Huen
Website Quan for Oakland

Jean Quan (Chinese: 關麗珍; pinyin: Guān Lìzhēn; born October 21, 1949, Birth Name: Lai Jean Quan) is the Democratic mayor of Oakland, California. She previously served as City Council member for Oakland's 4th District.[3] Upon inauguration on January 3, 2011,[4] she became Oakland's first female mayor.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Quan's husband, Dr. Floyd Huen, is a doctor of internal medicine for Alameda County.[6] They met at UC Berkeley as activists on Asian-American issues.[7]

Oakland School Board and City CouncilEdit

Quan was on the Oakland School Board for 12 years,[6] starting in 1990 after organizing a citywide parent organization, Save Our Schools. As a parent leader she helped save the music program in the Oakland Schools.[7][8] She served as chair of the California Urban Schools Association, the Asian Pacific Islanders School Board Members Association (APISBMA), and the Council of Urban Boards Association (the urban caucus of the National School Board Association representing the nation's 100 largest districts). She was appointed by the Clinton Administration to represent School Boards on the Title I Rules Making Committee.[citation needed] In these roles she advocated for more funding for urban and immigrant students, more inclusion of minority community history in textbooks, comprehensive school services and after school programs, and expansion of pre-school and adult education programs.[8]

In 1996 with Quan as president,[9] the school board instituted a program using Standard English Program strategies to teach standard English to African American students. The move created national news with the perception Oakland schools were teaching students "Ebonics" because there was discussion about Ebonics being used as a teaching tool.[9]

In 2002, Jean Quan was elected to her first term as Council Member for Oakland District 4 (Allendale, Brookdale, Crestmont, Dimond, Laurel, Maxwell Park, Melrose, Montclair, and Redwood Heights). During her time on the Council she led several initiatives, including:[8]

“Measure Q”: To prevent the closure of city libraries and increase funding for materials.
“Oakland Wildfire Prevention District”: Funds annual programs of vegetation control, safety inspections and homeowner education, and green waste/composting programs.
“Oakland Cultural Arts Funding”: Hotel Tax to fund the Oakland Zoo, Oakland Museum of California, Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Fund for Arts.
“Measure Y for Public Safety and Measure BB”: These initiatives fund Fire, Police and Violence Prevention Programs. The measure funds 63 police officers including geographically deployed "beat officers" and programs to prevent crimes and violence.

Quan was a past chair of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (StopWaste.org)[10] and the Alameda Recycling Board. She also authored and voted for legislation which banned the use of polystyrene containers for take out foods, now widely adopted in other parts of California.[11]

In July 2010, Quan along with fellow City Council member and mayoral candidate Rebecca Kaplan were investigated by Oakland police for their actions during a protest following the manslaughter verdict of former BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle. Police claimed Quan and Kaplan joined a "human chain" which prevented officers from clearing a street, while the two countered they were acting as "peacekeepers".[12] No charges were filed against the Councilwomen. Quan was the victim of a street robbery in September of the same year, in front of the Dimond neighborhood Safeway supermarket. Quan attributed the crime to lack of employment opportunities in Oakland.[13]

2010 Oakland mayoral electionEdit

Oakland's 2010 election was held under the city's new instant-runoff voting or ranked choice voting ballot system, which allows voters to indicate their first, second, and third choices of candidate. More than 120,000 voters participated in the largest turnout for a Mayor's race in recent memory. Though ranked choice voting is promoted as a way to reduce mud-slinging between the candidates, Quan paid for several negative hit pieces on her closest rival.[14] The top three finishers among a field of 10 candidates were Quan, Don Perata, and Rebecca Kaplan.[15]

In the initial tally on election night, Perata led Quan, 40,342 to 29,266 but did not have a majority of the first-place votes. The votes were then re-tallied by eliminating each candidate at the bottom, until one candidate obtained a majority. After several rounds of candidate elimination, the last candidate to be eliminated was Kaplan, the third-place candidate. Her votes were then allocated according to each voter's wishes to the remaining two candidates, Perata and Quan. The Alameda Registrar of voters then declared Quan the winner with 53,897 votes from 105,769 valid votes (50.96% of the valid votes).[15][16]

Ranked Choice Voting undermines the argument that voting for someone widely believed to have no chance is to throw away one's vote, and thus may increase voter turnout. Such an increase seems evident in the comparison between 2006 and 2010 in Oakland. Still, some suggest Ranked Choice Voting causes difficulty, with some studies suggesting that low-income voters struggled with concepts behind Ranked Choice Voting.[17]

On June 30, 2011, the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division filed a complaint in United States v. Alameda County (N.D. Cal.). The complaint alleges that the Alameda County Registrar of Voters (who administered Oakland's RCV Election) violated Sections 203 of the Voting Rights Act by having failed to provide effective access to the electoral process for citizens speaking Spanish and Chinese who need language assistance and translated materials and information to cast an informed ballot.[18] Only six weeks prior, the US Court of Appeals upheld Ranked Choice Voting as an accepted procedure comparing it to plurality.[19]

Oakland MayorEdit

InitiativesEdit

Within her first six months of office, Mayor Quan met with more than 3,000 residents in eight town hall meetings. The resulting priorities reportedly developed by residents at these sessions were to help focus the city’s and community’s agenda.[20] Her election as Oakland's first woman mayor, and the first Chinese-American woman mayor of a major U.S. city, resulted in high visibility nationally and internationally.[21] Quan capitalized on this visibility by traveling to and meeting with potential trade and business partners for the City and Port of Oakland.[22][dead link]

Quan has increased collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District and the community, introducing a program offering late-night youth services in the East and West Oakland areas in attempts to decrease violence with school-age youth.[23] After a surge in violence in one particular area of Oakland, Quan walked the beat with police in the neighborhood, encouraging residents to join a neighborhood crime prevention council.[24] With gun violence up 30% from before her term, many residents and press see community policing with skepticism; "Even law-abiding citizens with good intentions aren't going to risk life and limb in areas of the city where the police don't feel safe." wrote one reporter.[25] Despite the skepticism, the outreach is making a difference: calls to the drug hotline went from 0 to 103 in the first six months; participation in the local Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council has gone from 5 neighbors to almost two dozen neighbors meeting with police each month and identifying hotspots and priorities; calls to the Public Works Agency for blight, streetlights and other infrastructure complaints increased by 53%, and the number of National Night Out events this past August more than doubled.[26] She has also began helping rebuild the Oakland Police Department's workforce, by hiring more officers.

Board membershipsEdit

She is currently board chair of the Chabot Space & Science Center[27] and serves on the Board of the California League of Cities.

Criticism and praiseEdit

During the second week of Quan's tenure in January 2011, it was discovered Oakland Police chief Anthony Batts was a top-two candidate for the open position of San Jose Police chief.[28] Two weeks later, Quan introduced a plan for the police department which included updating the technological staff and rehiring 10 of the 80 officers who were laid off the previous year.[29] Batts announced his intention to remain in Oakland a few days later, but eventually resigned in October of the same year.[30]

Quan has come under fire due to a relationship with "unpaid legal adviser" Dan Siegel after Siegel represented the "mayor's office on various legal matters, from public records act requests to a private meeting with a judge overseeing a consent decree with the police department", according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oakland City Council issued a demand Siegel not represent the city as an attorney in any capacity, which by law falls under the jurisdiction of the City Attorney's office.[31] Siegel had been considered a controversial figure at City Hall due to his supposed vocal criticism of Oakland Police, and his presence was reported to have exacerbated a feud between Quan and City Attorney John Russo.[31] In June 2011, Russo left his post as Oakland City Attorney to become City Manager for Alameda.[32]

A KPIX/CBS5 poll taken just before Mayor Quan's first 100 days revealed that her job performance "garners the approval of the city's residents by a 2–1 margin."[33] The Capitol Weekly named Mayor Quan one of the top ten "Good" Mayors in the state.[34] A KPIX poll six months later, taken shortly after the resignation of Chief Batts, listed an approval rating of 28 percent, with 69 percent responding with "little or no confidence" the mayor's ability to reduce the city’s crime problem.[35]

On October 26, 2011 it was reported Quan responded to a recall petition by saying she believed the signatories were frustrated with her lack of progress in creating jobs. She went on to KGO radio claiming "I'm too busy. ... I haven't even had a chance to look at the petitions."[36]

But Quan has remained very unpopular in the city of Oakland. A SurveyUSA poll found 60 percent of residents disapprove of her job performance and 65 percent say the city is on the wrong track. Crime is the voters' primary concern. Even though Quan is Oakland first Asian-American mayor, it is the Asian-American community giving her the lowest marks, with 67 percent disapproving of her performance.[37]

2011 Occupy Oakland ProtestEdit

Mayor Quan received widespread national criticism in October 2011 for her handling of the Occupy Oakland protest.[38] On October 11, Mayor Quan visited the protest site.[39] Thirteen days later more than 500 police officers from Oakland, other area police departments, and the State of California were directed to use tear gas and batons to clear the plaza where the protests were being held. Mayor Quan was in Washington, D.C. at the time on city business.[40] Quan issued a statement the next morning commending the police chief "for a generally peaceful resolution to a situation".[41] That night, hundreds of police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and flashbang grenades to subdue and arrest over 100 protesters, though denied the use of rubber bullets and flashbang grenades during the press release. The mayor's office was flooded with demands that protesters be released[42] and her legal adviser opposed the police action and threatened to resign.[43]

One protester, war veteran Scott Olsen, was hospitalized with a fractured skull after being struck in the forehead by police projectiles.[44] On November 2, a second protester-veteran, Kayvan Sabehgi, suffered a ruptured spleen when he was allegedly hit and tackled by Oakland Police in an area away from the protests' center.[45] By November 14, two of Mayor Quan's top advisors, legal advisor Dan Siegel and Deputy Mayor Sharon Cornu, had resigned.[46]

Quan was criticized for apparent insensitivity at an Oakland City Council meeting on March 6, 2013. In a conversation with war veteran Scott Olsen, she accused him of having a "chip on his shoulder". Later, Olsen tweeted, “J.Quan told me she realizes I have a chip on my shoulder. Insulting, more like a broken skull and brain trauma.”[47]

Recall PetitionEdit

On December 7, 2011, Oakland City Clerk's office approved the request by the Committee to Recall Jean Quan to begin collecting signatures to qualify a recall measure for a future ballot.[48] The committee failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for a measure on the November 2012 ballot.[49]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kuruvila, Matthai (January 2, 2011). "Becoming mayor after years of fighting authority". San Francisco Chronicle. p. A – 1. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Cecily Burt (December 28, 2010). "Humble beginnings shaped Jean Quan into a tireless champion for underserved". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  3. ^ Gammon, Robert (November 10, 2010). "Breaking News: Jean Quan Wins Mayor'S Race". East Bay Express. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ Shih, Gerry (January 3, 2011). "Oakland Mayor Jean Quan Takes Long View". The Bay Citizen. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ Hatmaker, Taylor (April 20, 2011). "Jean Quan is Oakland's Mayor". Yahoo News. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Becoming mayor after years of fighting authority". SFgate. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Becoming mayor after years of fighting authority". SFgate. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Full Biography of Jean Quan". League of Women Voters Smart Voter. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Oakland school board amends Ebonics policy". League of Women Voters Smart Voter. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ Email from Jeff Becerra, Communications Manager, StopWaste.org
  11. ^ Zamora, Jim Herron (June 29, 2006). "Oakland/City Council votes to ban Styrofoam for takeout food". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ Matier, Phillip; Ross, Andrew (July 14, 2010). "Oakland cops probing 2 councilwomen at protest". Matier & Ross. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  13. ^ Johnson, Chip (September 21, 2010). "OOakland's problem entrenched crime, not few jobs". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  14. ^ "Quan's Negative Hit Pieces". Docstoc.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Ranked-Choice Voting Results – Registrar of Voters – Alameda County". Alameda County. November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Election Summary Report, DIRECT PRIMARY ELECTION, June 6, 2006" (PDF). Retrieved October 29, 2012. 
  17. ^ Williams, Lance (January 5, 2011). "Low-income voters struggle with RCV". California Watch. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Department of Justice Voting Rights Complaint" (PDF). Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ Lee, Henry K. (May 21, 2011). "Appeals court upholds ranked-choice vote for S.F". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  20. ^ Burt, Cecily (May 24, 2011). "Oakland mayor's second town hall full of people, ideas and cooperation". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved March 5, 2011. 
  21. ^ http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/Mayor/a/MayorsProfile/index.htm
  22. ^ Burt, Cecily (May 24, 2011). "Oakland Mayor Jean Quan heads east to boost trade and business for Port of Oakland". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved May 5, 2011. 
  23. ^ Ward, Jennifer (May 24, 2011). "Mayor Quan, OUSD team up to offer late night youth services". Oakland Local. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Mayor Quan walks Oakland's toughest beat". KGO-TV. May 24, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2011. 
  25. ^ Johnson, Chip (April 26, 2011). "Mayor Jean Quan failing on Oakland crime rate". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  26. ^ "Listening and Organizing Block by Block in East Oakland—Beat 33". Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  27. ^ "Joint Powers Authority Board". Chabot Space & Science Center. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  28. ^ Maher, Sean. Oakland police chief seeking top San Jose job. Oakland Tribune. January 16, 2011.
  29. ^ Bryson, Samantha. Quan rehires 10 laid-off OPD officers, but Batts’ future still vague. OaklandNorth. January 31, 2011.
  30. ^ Lee, Henry K. Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts says he'll stay. San Francisco Chronicle. February 5, 2011.
  31. ^ a b Kuruvila, Matthai (May 20, 2011). "Oakland City Council objects to Quan's lawyer". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  32. ^ Jones, Nicole (June 1, 2011). "John Russo reflects on his time as Oakland City Attorney". Oakland North. Retrieved 2011-06-01. 
  33. ^ "CBS 5 Poll: Oakand Mayor Enjoys Strong Approval Rating". KPIX/ CBS 5. April 13, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Special Section: 10 Good Mayors in California". Capitol Weekly. August 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  35. ^ "CBS 5 Poll: Oakland Mayor Sees Approval Drop After Police Chief Quits". KPIX. October 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  36. ^ Kane, Will (October 26, 2011). "Oakland Mayor Jean Quan brushes off recall attempt". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  37. ^ "SF Gate: Oakland Mayor Quan scores low in poll". SF Gate. March 5, 2013. Retrieved March 5, 2013. 
  38. ^ "Mayor Jean Quan Apologizes to Occupy Oakland Gets Booed Off Stage". SF Weekly. October 28, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  39. ^ "Wide Range of Causes Fuel ‘Occupy Oakland’ Protests". CBS San Francisco. October 11, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  40. ^ Bender, Kristin J. (October 26, 2011). "Occupy Oakland: Clashes last into night after pre-dawn raid on encampment". Inside Bay Area. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Mayor Quan issues statement about Occupy Oakland raid". Oakland North. October 25, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  42. ^ Bender, Kristin J. (October 25, 2011). "Ousted protesters marching back to Frank Ogawa Plaza". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  43. ^ Kuruvila, Matthai (October 27, 2011). "Occupy Oakland: Jean Quan 'I don't know everything'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  44. ^ Gabbatt, Adam (October 26, 2011). "Occupy Oakland: Iraq war veteran in critical condition after police clashes". The Guardian. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  45. ^ Gabbatt, Adam (November 4, 2011). "Occupy Oakland: second Iraq war veteran injured after police clashes". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited). 
  46. ^ Walter, Shoshana (November 14, 2011). "2 Top Quan Aides Resign". The Bay Citizen. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  47. ^ Tavares, Steven (March 8, 2013). "Quan Makes Insensitive Remark To Occupy Oakland Protester Scott Olsen". EBCitizen.com. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  48. ^ Burt, Cecily (December 7, 2011). "Petition drive to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan gets under way". Oakland Tribune (MediaNews Group). Retrieved 2011-12-08. 
  49. ^ Kuruvila, Matthai (June 28, 2012). "Bid to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan fizzles". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Ron Dellums
Mayor of Oakland, California
2011–present
Incumbent
Last modified on 17 April 2014, at 04:49