Libby Schaaf
Libby Schaaf (34490283036).jpg
50th Mayor of Oakland
Assumed office
January 5, 2015
Preceded byJean Quan
Member of the Oakland City Council
from 4th district
In office
January 2011 – January 2015
Preceded byJean Quan
Succeeded byAnnie Campbell Washington
Personal details
Elizabeth Beckman Schaaf

(1965-11-12) November 12, 1965 (age 56)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationRollins College (BA)
Loyola Marymount University (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Elizabeth Beckman Schaaf (born November 12, 1965) is an American politician who has been mayor of Oakland, California since 2015. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served on the Oakland City Council.[1]

Schaaf won the November 4, 2014 Oakland mayoral election in the 14th round in ranked choice voting with 62.79% of the vote.[2][3] Schaaf won re-election in 2018 with a 27% margin.[4][5]

Early life and education

Schaaf was born in Oakland, California, on November 12, 1965. Her mother was a flight attendant.[6] Growing up in Oakland's District 4, Schaaf attended Head-Royce School and Skyline High School, both in Oakland. She holds a B.A. in political science from Rollins College and a J.D. from Loyola Law School.[7]

Career before politics

Before starting her political career, Schaaf was an attorney in Oakland at the law firm of Reed Smith LLP.[8] She then became the program director[9] for the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute in 1995, creating and running a new volunteer program for the Oakland Unified School District.

Schaaf's first roles in local government were as legislative aide to Oakland City Council president Ignacio De La Fuente[10] and special assistant to Oakland mayor Jerry Brown.[11]

In 2006, Schaaf joined the Port of Oakland as the Director of Public Affairs,[12] helping to secure state and federal funding for the city of Oakland, as well as directing all strategic communications for the port. In 2009, Schaaf graduated from Emerge California, a training program for women who aspire to elected office.[13]

Before joining the Oakland City Council in 2010, Schaaf served as the Economic Policy Advisor for the council for a year.

Oakland City Council

In 2010, Schaaf was elected to represent her home district, District 4, on the Oakland City Council.[14]

During her tenure on the city council, Schaaf fought to raise the minimum wage,[15] voicing her support for Measure FF,[16][17] also known as Lift Up Oakland, a $12.25 minimum wage ballot initiative which passed in a landslide on November 4, 2014. Schaaf also strove to increase government transparency and efficiency, build a safer city, and strengthen Oakland neighborhoods in her time on city council. She worked extensively on Oakland Police Department reform, hiring more civilian staff and pushing through a plan to coordinate the Oakland Police Department with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, to increase the number of officers patrolling Oakland.[18]

Mayor of Oakland

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf with California governor Jerry Brown at Schaaf's inaugural celebration (pictured with the art car, the Golden Mean).
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf with California governor Jerry Brown at Schaaf's inaugural celebration (pictured with the art car, the Golden Mean).

In the race for Oakland mayor, Schaaf was endorsed by Governor of California Jerry Brown[19][20] and US Senator Barbara Boxer.[21]

Department of Transportation

In June 2015, Mayor Schaaf announced the formation of Oakland's first Department of Transportation. The Department of Transportation assumed some responsibilities formerly held by Oakland Public Works, such as road design, resurfacing and maintenance.[22][23][24] In her announcement,[25] Mayor Schaaf said that the focus will be on, "sustainable strategies that can bring needed change quickly to city streets."[25]

The Department of Transportation consists of 300 employees, previously working in the Department of Public Works and Oakland Police Department's Parking Enforcement operations.[26]

Funding for the Department of Transportation came from many public resources, including Measure BB,[27] a sales tax approved in November 2014 to fund transportation projects in Alameda County. Schaaf hired Matt Nichols as her Policy Director[22][28] for Transportation and Infrastructure in March 2015. Jeff Tumlin was named Interim Director[25] of the department in June 2016.

Controversy over freedom of assembly

In May 2015, Mayor Schaaf instituted a ban on un-permitted nighttime marches on public roadways in Oakland, citing existing city policies. The first enforcement of this ban was on May 21, during a #SayHerName[29] march, a nationwide coordinated march focused on ending state violence against black women and girls in the US. Demonstrators met at Frank Ogawa Plaza before sunset for a rally. After the rally, demonstrators began to march onto the street. Police officers told them to keep to the sidewalks, and cited California Vehicle Code Section 2800, making it an arrestable offense not to comply with the police order.[30]

Schaaf with Senator Kamala Harris in 2020
Schaaf with Senator Kamala Harris in 2020

Enactment of this policy brought harsh criticism and allegations of illegality from some constitutional lawyers, including civil rights attorney and one of the co-authors of Oakland Police Department's Crowd Control and Crowd Management Policy, Rachel Lederman: "My general impression is the police took an unduly aggressive approach that not only violated their own crowd control policy, but also the First Amendment... This was an unreasonable interference with the demonstration given that there had been no serious crimes committed." Other legal experts pointed to similar policies in cities like New York, which have been ruled constitutional.[31]

ICE alert

Schaaf alerted city residents to imminent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in February 2018, earning criticism from some federal authorities.[32][33] She responded, "I was sharing information in a way that was legal and was not obstructing justice, and it was an opportunity to ensure that people were aware of their rights." ICE’s acting director Thomas Homan stated that ICE failed to arrest around 800 people because of the alert.[34][35]

Guaranteed income for minority residents

In March 2021, Schaaf announced that non-white, low-income residents of Oakland would receive $500 per month "guaranteed income" for 18 months.[36] According to the project's website, the income is funded by private philanthropic donations.[37]

Personal life

Schaaf is Jewish.[38][39][40] She lives in Oakland with her husband Salvatore Fahey. They have two children, Dominic and Lena.[41]

Charitable work

Schaaf co-founded the nonprofit Oakland Cares, which organized and implemented hundreds of volunteer community improvement projects across the city. She also built and ran the first centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Institute. She serves on the Leadership Council at Kiva, a non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to low-income entrepreneurs and students in over 80 countries.[42]

Electoral history

Since 2010, Oakland elections have utilized ranked choice voting.[43]

City Council

2010 Oakland City Council district 4 election vote count by round[44]
Candidate Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6
Libby Schaaf 8,756 8,758 8,835 9,001 9,249 10,439
Jill Broadhurst 4,807 4,809 4,878 5,062 5,286 5,828
Melanie Shelby 2,463 2,466 2,552 2,652 3,017 3,404
Daniel Swafford 2,348 2,351 2,444 2,741 2,886
Clinton Killian 1,138 1,143 1,203 1,273
Ralph Kanz 883 885 936
Jason Gillen 530 531
Write-in 69
Continuing votes 20,994 20,943 20,848 20,729 20,438 19,671
Exhausted ballots 0 51 145 262 549 1,309
Over Votes 46 46 47 49 53 60
Under Votes 2,844 2,844 2,844 2,844 2,844 2,844
Total 23,884 23,884 23,884 23,884 23,884 23,884



Main article: 2014 Oakland mayoral election


2018 Oakland mayoral election[45][46]
Candidate Votes %
Libby Schaaf (incumbent) 84,314 53.19
Cat Brooks 40,688 25.67
Pamela Price 20,685 13.05
Saied Karamooz 2,981 1.88
Ken Houston 2,616 1.65
Marchon Tatmon 2,087 1.32
Nancy Sidebotham 1,733 1.09
Peter Yuan Liu 1,156 0.73
Cedric A. Troupe 1,116 0.70
Jesse A.J. Smith 730 0.46
Write-in 415 0.26

See also


  1. ^ "Councilwoman Libby Schaaf files to run for Oakland mayor". KTVU. December 2, 2013. Archived from the original on December 6, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  2. ^ "2014 Mayoral Election Results". OaklandWiki. November 4, 2014.
  3. ^ "Mayor Libby Schaaf: Official Biodata". January 5, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf wins re-election". ABC7 San Francisco. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  5. ^ "Mayoral election in Oakland, California (2018)". Ballotpedia. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  6. ^ "Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Is Our East Bay Person of the Year". Oakland Magazine. Archived from the original on August 18, 2018. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  7. ^ Tavares, Steven (January 8, 2016). "Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Is Our East Bay Person of the Year". Oakland Magazine. Archived from the original on April 21, 2016. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Oakland's Libby Schaaf vs. the Feds". Capitol Weekly. March 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "Libby Schaaf". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "De La Fuente to challenge Schaaf for Oakland mayor in 2018". San Francisco Chronicle. October 8, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Libby Schaaf profile". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  12. ^ "Mayor-elect Schaaf: Now is 'Oakland's time'". December 26, 2014.
  13. ^ Libby Schaaf. "Libby Schaaf profile". Emerge America. Emerge America. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  14. ^ Schaaf, Libby. "Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland". Archived from the original on August 13, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Vote Libby Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland". East Bay Express. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  16. ^ ""Fair Wage Food Tastes Better": Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Talks Minimum Wage Hike". Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  17. ^ "Oakland voters approve two tax measures, minimum wage hike". Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  18. ^ "Full Biography for Libby Schaaf".
  19. ^ "Gov. Jerry Brown lends support to ex-aide in Oakland mayor's race". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  20. ^ Anthony, Laura (October 6, 2014). "Gov. Brown endorses candidate in Oakland mayor's race". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  21. ^ "Sen. Boxer endorses Schaaf in Oakland Mayoral Race". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Oakland Launches New Transportation Department". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  23. ^ "City Of Oakland Starts New Transportation Department". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  24. ^ "Advocates hope Oakland's new Department of Transportation will transform city's streets". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c "Media Advisory: Mayor Libby Schaaf Launches Oakland's First Transportation Department". Office of the Mayor Libby Schaaf. June 8, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  26. ^ Weeks, Allison; KRON (June 9, 2016). "City of Oakland starts new transportation department". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  27. ^ "Measure BB: Alameda CTC". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  28. ^ Levin, Sam. "Mayor Libby Schaaf Hires Oakland's First Transportation Policy Director". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  29. ^ "News about #sayhername on Twitter". Twitter. January 16, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  30. ^ Bond Graham, Darwin. "Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Institutes Ban On Nighttime Street Protests". East Bay Express. East Bay Express. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  31. ^ Barnard, Cornell. "Protests held in Oakland over mayor's new ban on nighttime marches". ABC7 News Bay Area. ABC7. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  32. ^ Julie Hirschfeld Davis (May 16, 2018). "Trump Calls Some Unauthorized Immigrants 'Animals' in Rant". NYT. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  33. ^ David Nakamura and Jenna Johnson (May 16, 2018). "Trump suggests Justice Department investigate Oakland's Democratic mayor for tipping off immigrants". Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  34. ^ "Oakland Mayor Criticized For Warning People Of Pending Immigration Sweeps". February 26, 2018.
  35. ^ "Jewish mayor of Oakland defends decision to tip off community to immigration raid". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  36. ^ "Oakland will give low-income families of color $500 per month, no strings attached". Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  37. ^ "FAQs 2". Oakland Resilient Families. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  38. ^ "California Councilwoman Libby Schaaf Targeted With Swastikas in Oakland". January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  39. ^ Griego, Michelle (January 19, 2014). "Flyers Of Jewish Councilwoman With Swastika On Her Face Posted In Oakland". Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  40. ^ "Jewish Oakland mayor defends decision to warn community of immigration raid". March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  41. ^ "Councilmember Profile". Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
  42. ^ "Leadership | Kiva". Kiva. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  43. ^ "Oakland". FairVote California. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  44. ^ "RCV Results Report" (PDF). Alameda County. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  45. ^ "Mayor - Oakland (RCV) Vote for One (1) Only". Alameda County. December 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  46. ^ "Ranked-Choice Voting Accumulated Results - Mayor - Oakland". Alameda County. December 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
Political offices Preceded byJean Quan Mayor of Oakland 2015–present Incumbent