Libby Schaaf officially Oakland's 50th mayor

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Libby Schaaf officially Oakland's new mayor
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Oakland's new Mayor Libby Schaaf said Monday she wants to tackle the crime rate in Oakland and plans to engage the police department more.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Libby Schaaf, 49, is now officially Oakland's 50th mayor. The former council member was welcomed by her constituents, other elected officials and protesters outside the Paramount Theater in Oakland.

Right off the bat, Schaaf said she wants to tackle the crime rate in Oakland and that she wants to engage the police department more. She said she will spend her first day in office at the police department from 6 a.m. to until midnight to make sure every officer in Oakland knows what she's about.

Schaaf arrived with her family at her inauguration in a snail car made in Oakland by a supporter of the new mayor. "I think it's a great symbol of Oakland, our vitality, our creativity, our secret sauce," she said.

If ever Oakland needed something or someone to improve its tarnished image, many agree, it's now and it may be Schaaf.

A group of protesters showed up outside Schaaf's inauguration demanding yet again an end to police brutality. "We are here to invite her to do the right thing. We're here to ask her 'which side are you on Libby?' You can make your actions speak and match your words" Mollie Costello said.

"I embrace protests, protesting is part of Oakland's DNA, but vandalism is not," Schaaf said.

Local businesses have been impacted by the violence and looting caused by a few protesters.

Schaaf's goal is to have a better working relationship with police, something former Mayor Jean Quan didn't have.

Abel Guillen was one of three council members sworn in Monday. He believes the city could do more to try to hire more officers. "If we have students coming out of our community colleges or high schools and if they have a direct pipeline to jobs for the city of Oakland into the police department, I think it changes the dynamic," he said.

During her first 30 days, Schaaf says she will also focus on a deal to keep the Oakland Raiders from leaving Oakland and of course the Oakland A's as well. "I will not put public money into the deal, but there are a lot of things that we as a city and the county can do to keep out sports teams, develop and incredible coliseum complex out in the coliseum area. I'm very focused on that right now," she said.

For now, the Raiders appear to stay for at least one year in Oakland while a deal is reached.