Mayoral candidate: Courtney Ruby

on May 21, 2014

Courtney Ruby, 47, is no stranger to politics.  Now in her eighth year as Oakland’s elected city auditor, she’s entered a large crowd of candidates seeking to unseat incumbent Mayor Jean Quan.

“I have proven leadership experience,” she said. “I’ve been under the hood of almost every department, I know what’s broken, and I have the skills to fix it. I have turned a troubled agency into performing model audit organization.”

She is running on the promise of keeping public safety her number one priority, and improving transparency and efficiency of city government.

When first elected as auditor, Ruby said the agency was “ineffective and inefficient” and not meeting auditing benchmarks. Now the department is an award-winning model that meets high standards in government auditing, she said.

If elected as Oakland’s next mayor, Ruby promises to tell it like it is.  The city’s leadership is lacking transparency, she said, adding that she believes the key to revitalizing Oakland is to fix its city government.

“One of the reasons the city of Oakland is failing is because of its failing government,” Ruby said recently from her campaign office in downtown Oakland.

“The city needs a results-driven leader who is willing to fight for the city. We have tough decisions ahead of us. We don’t have enough money, we have an aging infrastructure and we have a public safety crisis,” she said.

“I believe once we have a safe city, then everything really falls in place and we have the economic base to do everything else,” she said. “We have to have a safe city in order to attract high-wage industries here.”

“If we lead in public safety, more dollars will come,” she added.

An Ohio native, Ruby has lived in Oakland since 1999.  She is a graduate of American University and began her accounting career with Deloitte & Touche as a public accountant.

Ruby’s career has included several key leadership roles, including deputy chief financial officer of both the 1996 Democratic National Convention and the Democratic National Committee. She also served as chief financial officer for the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Prior to her tenure as city auditor, Ruby served as vice chair of the budget advisory committee of the city of Oakland. An East Oakland resident, Ruby is the mother of two sons, ages five and six. Wanting to take a break from politics, she came to the West Coast to pursue ministry.

“I determined that I could make a greater difference to a larger number of people by being a political leader versus the minister of one congregation,” she said.  And I’m really driven by public service.”

“I like Oakland’s diversity, our beauty and the level of advocacy and passion of the citizens who really want the best and believe in this city,” she added.   “We have to make sure that we create a city that works for everyone.”

Photo by Basil D Soufi
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