Recall Oakland mayor organizers collect enough signatures to move forward

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Monday, May 27, 2024
Effort to recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao moves forward
The group behind efforts to recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao it says they've collected more than the required number of signatures to move forward.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The effort to recall Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao is moving forward. The group behind it says they've collected more than the required number of signatures to get the recall on the November ballot.

"She is toast, we say, Thao is toast," Brenda Harbin-Forte, a retired Alameda County judge and President of OUST said.

The group behind the recall effort known as OUST, or Oakland United to Recall Sheng Thao, says they've collected more than 30,000 signatures in the past three months.

That's 5,000 more than the 25,000 needed by July in order to get the recall on the November ballot.

MORE: Chaos erupts at Oakland news conference as Mayor Thao announces new grant

They want to collect at least 10,000 more before turning them over to the Registrar of Voters.

The extra signatures could be vital. Organizers of the effort to recall Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price gathered more than 123,000 signatures, however just under 75,000 were valid.

"This recall is happening, it is going to be on the November ballot and voters in Oakland will be able to let the mayor know, that we are not pleased with her leadership," Harbin-Forte said.

Harbin-Forte is a retired judge from the Alameda County Superior Court and President of OUST.

MORE: Oakland small businesses consider business tax boycott as efforts to recall mayor ramp up

"I could be doing a lot of other things in my retirement but this is important to me," she said.

Mayor Thao's firing of Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong, the effect of crime forcing some businesses out of the city and a missed deadline for millions of dollars in funding from the state to help fight retail theft are among the recall organizers' top concerns.

But Oakland faith leader, Pastor Jeremy McCants, says with less than two years in office, this group hasn't given Mayor Thao enough time or grace.

"She literally just got into office," McCants said. "It just didn't come out of thin air, it's been past administrations going back eight years that have really neglected the city, and haven't really set the city up for a sustainable future."

MORE: Oakland mayor aims to use Coliseum sale, hiring freeze to balance budget

He calls the recall effort a waste of taxpayer dollars.

"Given what we call, the deck of cards that she has been given, I think she's doing an awesome job," he said. "So some of the positive things, she has secured $2.5 million in funding to recruitment, retention, 911 modernization."

If the recall moves forward, the city council would have 120 days to set a special election for a new mayor.

ABC7 News reached out to Mayor Thao's office but did not hear back.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here