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Oakland mayoral candidates grid.

Early candidates for Oakland’s fall mayoral race outline platforms

on May 29, 2014

Oakland elections occupy a complex political landscape, and the upcoming 2014 mayoral contest is no exception.

The wide range of political experience and platforms make for a landmark election year, and the already large roster of candidates will keep growing through August 8.

Incumbent Jean Quan faces daunting polling numbers. Her decline in public support began after the Occupy arrests in 2011 and continues through her vocal support of the Domain Awareness Center. However, her determination to run for a second term could keep her in office.

Councilmember Libby Schaaf, Port Commissioner Bryan Parker, City Auditor Courtney Ruby, Community Policing Advisory Board member Nancy Sidebotham and former Quan advisor Dan Siegel all enjoy the edge that comes with having ties to city government.

Jason Anderson is a former Occupy Oakland spokesperson, and businessman Peter Liu is running on his own dime, keeping his DIY campaign frugal. Joe Tuman, a government and law professor at SFSU, and Larry Young, Jr., a real estate agent, have prior experience running for mayor—they ran in Oakland’s 2010 election. Sam Washington is a technology consultant.

Gregory Wade, Charles Williams, and Margaret Wrigley-Larson are lesser-known contenders. But with the unpredictable nature of Oakland politics and ranked-choice voting, they have almost six months left in which to outline their platforms, and make the case for their candidacy.

Safety is a key issue, as is the surveillance system embodied in the highly-controversial Domain Awareness Center. Candidates also focus on the city’s street improvement, sports franchises, public education, business development and job creation to bolster the city’s economic state.

At Oakland North, we put together this introduction to the 2014 election season, with mini-profiles of some of the higher profile mayoral candidates who have stepped forward to make an early stand in outlining their signature issues.

–Becca Andrews


  1. Anonymous on May 29, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Libby Schaaf please.

    If not, ABQ (anyone but Quan)

    • Bob on May 30, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      It will come down to Libby and Tuman vs. Quan.

      All I want is for basic, intelligently run government services. Balance the budget, increase the police force (while cutting their crazy benefits packages along with the FD), and get our parks & roads fixed.

      We do not need activism, grand plans, or wasted resources. Leave it to us in business to create the jobs. All we need is for our customers to not get robbed and for the basic services to stay in operation. Then all of us citizens can create jobs and volunteer to improve the schools.

      • SnuggleBunny on May 31, 2014 at 7:50 am

        You sound very dismissive of other candidates and racially pro-white. When you speak of “We and Us”, you are only refering to your own selfishness of “All I want is”, you do not represent the diversity of businesses nor our interests. Keep your bigoted comments to yourself.

        • SmoothySilk on May 31, 2014 at 10:54 am

          I agree with you 100%. Liu is my first choice.

        • Warren on June 1, 2014 at 6:16 am

          Thank you SnuggleBunny for your calm and constructive comment. A giant step forward for civil discourse in Oakland.

      • Elipse on May 31, 2014 at 11:29 am

        Bob, you just want Democrats to win. How long have they ruled over Oakland? They failed at every turn. At every major city in America where Democrats had grips for decades, they ruined the cities.

      • PassionV8 on June 1, 2014 at 12:43 pm

        Tuman is a perpetual candidate whose plan is highly questionable and whose hero is Obama. Libby says she quit her former lawyer job to get herself a pay reduction 50% working as a city councilwoman, ulterior motives?? Suspicious?? Yes. Quan, shamelessly lies too much. I am surprised she would run at all, that woman has no guilt. The three Democrats happily do parties and tries to attend gay weddings for photo ops. Not what I would consider grade A candidates.

    • CreamyPie on May 31, 2014 at 11:52 am

      Libby? What has she done? She is mediocre at best. No plans. Nothing but photos. Being pretty won’t solve Oakland’s problems.

      • PassionV8 on June 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        Libby has no plans. All she listed were campaign promises on her website and no direction to achieve any of it.

  2. OaklandVoter on May 30, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I love Liu, he outclass all of them. I got smarter just by reading his website.

    • SnuggleBunny on May 31, 2014 at 7:55 am

      I’ve seen all the other candidates’ websites with all colorful pictures but no substance. Liu stands out, he clearly explained his position and I admire his honesty. He has my vote.

      • Warren on June 1, 2014 at 6:18 am

        See SnuggleBunny’s previous comment.

        • PassionV8 on June 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm

          If you look at other candidates’ website, you’ll see for yourself what Suggles said is true. And Snuggles didn’t use We/Us.

          • Kenny on June 2, 2014 at 8:47 am

            What is “We/Us”? Who is SnuggleBunny anyway?

    • Millenium on May 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      His face book is good too.

  3. SmoothySilk on May 31, 2014 at 10:51 am

    You are so right. He is a hero from the poor streets of Oakland. He deserves our vote.

    • CannibisPro on May 31, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Peter is the youngest, but from what I can tell, he is indeed the brightest of all the candidates.

      • PassionV8 on June 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm

        If I have to bet money on this election, no doubt I’ll put it with Liu.

      • 420Jim on June 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

        Why should cannabis users vote for Peter Liu?
        I did see a photo of him on Liu’s Wiki standing next to former Gov. Schwarzenegger but does that really count as an endorsement of the legalization of cannabis?
        Mr Liu’s statements on his Wiki makes a number of references to being guided by the voice of God. It’s the middle of the twenty-first century, God doesn’t exist. Of course as a private citizen that’s your personal business.

  4. Sunshade on May 31, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Not to denegate others’ qualifications, Liu’s achievements at being 33 years old significantly outweighs others who are in their forties, fifties and even sixties. I wonder what others has accomplished when they were 33. That would be a interesting comparison news feature.

  5. littlefinger on May 31, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Liu will decimate all of them with less than $1,000. That is what a real leader can do.

    • Millenium on May 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Looks that way. He is no ordinary candidate, that’s for sure. He even has pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis with him.

  6. Urbandecay on May 31, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I was going for Libby until I checked out Liu’s website. A clear winner emerged, it will be hard to even put a distant second and third choice, unless someone better comes along.

    • PassionV8 on June 1, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      If there was someone better, it maybe Jesus himself.

  7. MDs on May 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    Liu trashed Tuman’s crime plan on his website FAQ section. Tuman got to come up with something better. I don’t see how a professor running for mayor since 2010 can be so unprepared. These Democrats must find Liu’s weakness or else they’ll be done for.

    • Henry on June 2, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Okay, here is an idea for the Dems to derail Mr. Liu. Let the public know he wants to relax the gun control laws.

      • Ignite on June 2, 2014 at 10:08 am

        Liu is for relaxing gun control because his plan does not involve changing of any law that is already on the books from the State of California. They right to a conceal weapon permit is already decided by court to be “shall issue” in CA, not “may-issue” where you need specific reasons that your life is in peril such due to specific occupation or prior victimization. Oakland police chiefs has not obey the granting of CCW to residents on “shall issue” and that is illegal. Also, Liu is for taking illegal guns away from dangerous criminals. He makes sense. Like what Liu said, the city’s population is being terrorized by gangs and people need to defend against terror. Liu is a hero, liberals are zero.

        • icee on June 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

          Very good point. Look at all the previous police chiefs under Quan, Dellums, Brown, etc., none issued a conceal carry permit to citizens. Good people are literally disarmed and criminals rule the streets. I’ll vote Liu too, we definitely need a war hero with credibility to reign in do what’s right for the people.

        • Jerry on June 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

          No chief of police of any large California city permits concealed carry except in special circumstances.

  8. busybee on May 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    All the candidates get pounded by Liu on his wiki, especially Quan, Parker and Tuman. If I were them, I’d quit the race to save grace. If you lose to Liu, who is way younger and running on less than $1,000 and gain the hearts and minds of the people, then your political career will be hurting bad, practically game over.

    • Millenium on May 31, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      There is rumor by zennie on twitter that Courtney Ruby is quiting the race. Liu is gaining followers on twitter too.

      • PassionV8 on June 1, 2014 at 12:56 pm

        Dan Siegal should quit too. The man is pro occupy rioters. The city will engulf in flames if the man was running it with a bunch of hooligan supporters.

  9. Millenium on May 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Liu is proof that word speak louder than money. Oakland is proud to have him run.

    • Benjamin on May 31, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      True. I am glad to see that. $1,000 goes a long way for Liu. I am tired of seeing Parker spamming ads all over youtube, sfgate, etc.

      • Justice on May 31, 2014 at 8:55 pm

        When Liu wins with less than $1,000…it’ll be like a slap to the faces of those amass nearly $200,000 war chests. Those who donate must be in for a shock. Hehe.

      • PassionV8 on June 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

        Me too, I can’t believe the man will use his dead sister so shamelessly for a political advertisement.

  10. icee on June 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    The bias liberal mass media are promoting only Democrat candidates. They must be afraid of Liu, he challenge the status quo by being successful at getting his message across. He is a fighter deserving of respect.

  11. Utopia on June 2, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    I cried and laughed when I read Liu’s writings. He is the most honest candidate with a clear vision. He has proven himself to be an effective leader and would offer the best chance to turn Oakland around. I have no doubt Liu is the most qualified person because he has the integrity and the will to carry out his mission and people will stand ready to support him.

  12. notaliubot on September 1, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    “What’s your take on domestic violence?
    Domestic violence, on a small scale, without intention to destroy, like slapping the face is tolerable only to a degree.”

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