Libby Schaaf to be sworn in as Oakland's new mayor

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Monday marks a new day in Oakland as Libby Schaaf is set to be sworn in as mayor after being elected last November. The job holds many challenges, namely reducing crime.

Schaaf says she can't wait to get to work. She's earned the nickname he Girl Scout barracuda from her collegues at city hall and says she wants to get things done for Oakland.

"God, we thank you for the victory you've already given us," Rev. Charley Hames Jr.said.

The pastor at Beebe Memorial Church had Oakland's new mayor in the front pew for Sunday services. Hames Jr. believes the city is in good hands. "I'm confident in the ability skill set of Libby Schaaf to not only bring our city forward, but to unify us," Hames Jr. said.

Schaff likes the endorcement, but knows she's got a big job ahead. "When I set my mind on a goal for Oakland, I'm very serious about it," she said.

Schaaf's first priority is to reduce a rising crime rate. She wants to increase staffing by putting more cops on the street. "We've got to give our police modern tools to be effective and for me that starts with community-based policing," she said.

That means officers forming relationships with people in communities to prevent violence before it happens. "I mean clearly crime is an issue in Oakland," business owner Dana Olsen said.

Olsen owns Good Stock on Piedmont Avenue where many businesses have been robbed. She hopes a new approach to policing will help. "Working with people to help build the communities in Oakland, so that people can feel safe here and want to participate in the city," Olsen said.

Schaaf supports recent marches to protest the killings of unarmed black men, but not vandalism and looting. "I'm very clear about unacceptable behavior and breaking windows and vandalizing small businesses in Oakland is not part of that political protest," she said.

Schaaf also wants to repair aging roads and keep rents and housing prices semi-affordable. "I believe Oakland is ready to have the future it deserves," she said.

Locals have their wish lists too. "More jobs for the community if people had jobs, less likely to commit crime," Oakland resident Alex Gold said.
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