Supporters of Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao gather to protest recall effort against her

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
Supporters of Oakland mayor gather to protest recall effort
Dozens of Oakland voters gathered Tuesday to show their support for Mayor Sheng Thao amid a growing possibility of a recall election.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Dozens of Oakland voters gathered on the steps of City Hall Tuesday to show their support for Mayor Sheng Thao.

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Thao, who has led the city since last Jan., is currently facing the possibility of a recall election in the coming months.

Prospect voters here say would be a waste of time, as well as millions of taxpayer dollars.

"That money could be used for the housing crisis. That money could be used for violence prevention. That money could be used for affordable housing," said Saabir Lockett, one of the anti-recall proponents.

MORE: Recall campaign of Oakland Mayor Thao officially launched with notice of intent sent

As for the mayor herself, her chief of staff releasing a statement to ABC7 News, that read in part:

"I have faith that Oaklanders are smarter than this and will resist the urge to be distracted by a desperate attempt for relevance."

Many anti-recall people acknowledge that Oakland has its share of problems right now.

However, they believe that those problems are the fault of former Mayor Libby Schaaf and former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

MORE: Data shows certain violent crimes are rising in Oakland as city nears full year without police chief

That includes perhaps the city's most pressing problem of all: crime.

"The past administration took away the foot patrols out of business corridors. This administration has put back foot patrols in the business corridors," Lockett said.

Many people disagree with that stance however.

That includes former Alameda County Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte, who kicked off the recall effort over the weekend.

MORE: 'A hard moment in time': Mayor Thao responds to spike in Oakland crime

"This mayor has blood on her hands. She has blood on her hands, and she just has not done what she could do and what she should have done," Harbin-Forte said.

But Harbin-Forte says crime isn't the only reason she wants Thao recalled.

She also points to the city having no police chief and missing the deadline for a multi-million dollar state grant to fight retail theft as other reasons.

"We have businesses who are leaving. They're shutting down. We have businesses that have been robbed, sometimes two to three times in a short period of time," she said.

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