Fayette County, GA – Libby Schaaf has won a second term as Mayor of Oakland, and withstood a notable challenge from activist Cat Brooks. In doing so, Libby becomes the first Oakland mayor to win re-election in 16 years, or since now California Governor Jerry Brown.
According to the website of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Mayor Schaaf had 31,496 votes (57.13 percent), and her closest challenger is Cat Brooks, who’s at 12,234 votes (22.19 percent), followed by Pamela Price with 6,722 votes (12.19 percent), Saied Kamarooz at 1,101 votes (2 percent), and then Ken Houston, Nancy Sidebotham, Marchon Tatmon, Peter Liu, Cedric Troupe, and Jesse A.J. Smith, and “Write In”, in a range between 962 votes for Houston, and 79 for “Write In”.
In total, Libby scored a series of wins that fit together in series: she not only won re-election, she managed to do so with 57 percent of the vote, thus avoiding the rank choice voting trigger that many believed would turn the race toward Brooks.
In addition, Libby saw Loren Taylor, the man she backed to defeat Oakland District 6 Councilmember Desley Brooks, win his race. A logical outcome, considering he was the top money-getter, but still not a win that was guaranteed.
One would think that with those victories, Libby might want to play personal politics and punish those who didn’t back her and ignore her detractors. And that would be the worst thing Mayor Schaaf could do, and for one simple reason: Oakland is divided and the divisions start right in City Hall.
Consider what someone who works in the building told me two months ago: “I will never work with Loren Taylor,” that person said, and because they don’t like how he treated Desley during the campaign. And the reason I write this is that I didn’t either.
Or consider the ugly mailer that was sent out by Desley Brooks and against Mayor Schaaf? I won’t post it here, but I have to say that it was brought to my attention this week.
The Libby Schaaf – Rebecca Kaplan Oakland Political War Must End
Or what about the many blasts issued toward Mayor Schaaf by Oakland At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan? Rebecca clearly and completely hates Libby, and Libby clearly and completely hates Rebecca. I don’t know the reason this started, but it’s clear and present, and a danger to the very operation of the City of Oakland.
In the weeks leading toward the election, Rebecca launched a new mini-scandal against the Mayor so much, it seemed as if Libby put on a particular style of clothes, Kaplan would figure out a way to say she violated Oakland campaign laws.
The Rebecca vs. Libby war has gone on far too long, and it’s got to stop. Since Libby won, and the perception is her political power is at its zenith, she has to be the one who extends an olive branch to Councilmember Kaplan. If Libby scoffs at this idea, Oakland is in for a long four years.
What about Cat Brooks? She has a coalition, a large one, and is undoubtedly shocked at the outcome of the race. But, what turned it for Brooks was the fact that she was outspent by a ton, and while I’ve not seen the numbers yet, it’s a fair bet to assume Brooks didn’t do well in the Oakland Hills.
Still, she did launch a movement, and it’s an army that Libby has to work to gain the assistance of, rather than warring against. Hopefully, Libby calls Cat and works to make her an ally.
Oakland’s future depends on it.
I could go on and bring up other political divisions, but I’ve made my point for now: Libby has to bring Oakland together, and fast, before its too late.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media