Quan sworn in as Oakland's first female mayor

January 4, 2011 12:16:13 AM PST
The city of Oakland has a new mayor. Jean Quan is the first woman and the first Asian-American to take charge at City Hall. With this change of guard there are high hopes for the new mayor and for the city.

"I'm honored to serve as your first woman mayor and first Asian-American mayor of a major American city," Quan said.

Quan was a community activist who rose through the ranks of the school board and city council. She was the underdog who pulled off an election upset thanks to the city's new ranked choice voting system. Now she is Oakland's 49th mayor.

It all started 104 years ago when Quan's Chinese immigrant parents came to a building in Oakland's Chinatown. That was where Quan began her morning, making a ceremonial offering and marching through the city with her supporters.

After all the ceremony came the promises.

"Eighty-five percent of our officers live outside of town, I plan to change that; we need to recruit young people who want to be police officers in this city," Quan said.

Quan plans to focus on young people as a way to bring Oakland's crime rate down. She says she will create an education cabinet. And she is calling on 2,000 volunteers to mentor children.

But in a city with a massive budget deficit and a nationally known crime problem it could be a short honeymoon.

Quan plans to get to work by meeting with Oakland police first thing in the morning.

"My story is just one of the stories in Oakland," Quan said. "Together we're going to create an epic story of a great city."