In her last State of the City address before facing reelection in November, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan painted a picture of Oakland rising from challenges to economic boom by creating new housing and jobs, rebuilding its depleted police force, and maintaining homes for its treasured sports franchises.
The heart of Quan’s speech was the unveiling of her 10K Two plan, a fresh program to attract 10,000 residents with affordable housing units spread all across the city, rather than concentrated in Uptown as occurred during the administration of Mayor-turned-Gov. Jerry Brown.
As the incumbent, Quan is battling to keep her office against at least a dozen challengers including City Councilmember Libby Schaaf, Port Commissioner Bryan Parker, ex-Quan advisor and civil rights attorney Dan Siegel, and San Francisco State University instructor and political commentator Joe Tuman.
In a bid to calm fears of gentrification, Quan said Oakland’s approach to economic development won’t mean pushing people out to attract new blood — in contrast to tension across the San Francisco Bay between nouveau riche techies and low income residents.
With street safety and gun violence topping the list of citizen concerns, she said that continuing to rebuild the city’s eroded police force with up to 100 new academy graduates this year remains a priority.
She defended Oakland as a home for major sports franchises – the A’s, the Warriors and the Raiders – and spoke of multiple efforts to keep the teams in the East Bay, including advancing the Coliseum City project as well as a possible new waterfront stadium near Jack London Square.
Oaklanders took to Twitter to comment on the State of the City address yesterday. Check out a selection of tweets — some supportive, some critical, some sarcastic — below.