Political Preseason For District 4

In Oakland, our City Council seat is now up for grabs.  Since District 4 Rep Jean Quan has announced her bid for the mayor’s spot, everyone’s curious about who might replace her.

Although candidates don’t officially file until summer, there’s preseason buzz about the guard change.  This week, Future Oakland mentioned a full line-up of potential candidates including Jill Broadhurst, Floyd Huen, Scott Jackson, Clinton Killian, Libby Schaaf and Melanie Shelby.  And Zennie62 put his support behind Schaaf.

Simply put, the line-up is very impressive.  There are three lawyers, a doctor, a utility exec/consultant and a private sector marketer here.  Two work for the county, while one toils away for the city.  And everyone has been actively involved in civic activities, trying to improve Oakland’s quality-of-life.

We don’t believe anyone has been elected to city offices before.  In 2004, Melanie Shelby ran for the at-large council seat and was beaten by Henry Chang (now filled by Rebecca Kaplan).  Earlier this year, Clinton Killian and Scott Jackson were rumored candidates for the mayoral race as well.

Since half this line-up has Oakland Hills ties, we wanted to introduce people we’ve met before:

  • Jill BroadhurstA leader on our Montclair Safety & Improvement board, Broadhurst brings her private sector skills to improvements like the Pocket Park.  She’s an activist focused on city parks, libraries and fire safety – and has already declared her council seat run.  (More: Campaign)
  • Floyd HuenA public health medical director, Huen heads various Alameda County services today.  He’s also been a civil rights activist through the years.  We see him at assorted events along with his wife, Jean Quan. (More:  KQED, Alameda Cty)
  • Libby SchaafAn inside reformer and attorney, Schaaf provides legislative and development counsel to the City.  She’s advised Mayor Brown and worked as the Port’s public affairs director.  Schaaf also served on the Lighthouse School and MOCHA (museum) boards. (More:  LinkedIn)

While we haven’t met the other possible candidates, they also have nice backgrounds:

  • Scott Jackson – A deputy district attorney for Alameda County, Jackson’s been involved in various cases that matter to Oaklanders.  His press has ranged from retail robberies to preventing deportation for an refugee.  Outside of work, he coaches kids sports teams.  (More:  Tribune)
  • Clinton KillianA private-practice attorney, Killian’s also established a free legal clinic and worked in small claims court.  He’s served on the Planning Commission and AC Transit board.  Killian also has been involved with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and Paramount Theater. (More:  Web Site)
  • Melanie ShelbyA PG&E public affairs exec turned supplier diversity consultant, Shelby has served on Oakland Housing Authority, Health & Human Services Commission, and MOCHA (museum) boards.  (More: LinkedIn, Last Campaign)

When it comes to the District 4 seat, we should smile at all these candidate possibilities.  While their backgrounds vary, the six are smart, well-educated and devoted to Oakland – so there’s no need to pick the lesser of evils.