Controversial Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Calif., is touting her opposition to President Trump’s policies against illegal immigration — while mayoral challengers criticize her for the city’s homelessness problem and its high cost of living.
Schaaf, a Democrat who captured headlines earlier this year after tipping off local illegal immigrants to a planned raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, is facing challenges from three other candidates as she seeks re-election Nov. 6.
“I also am proud when we stood up to Donald Trump when he came for people in our community,” Schaaf said, drawing applause, as she debated her election rivals Wednesday, according to the Bay Area’s FOX 2.
“I also am proud when we stood up to Donald Trump when he came for people in our community.”
She boasted that her anti-Trump record and opposition to federal immigration policies made her a target of the administration.
The mayor was widely praised by progressives in February when she posted a warning on her social media page, saying that she “learned from multiple credible sources” about an incoming raid by federal immigration authorities and urged “not to panic our residents but to protect them.”
The mayor said she didn’t know further details of the ICE operation, but claimed she felt it was her “duty and moral obligation as Mayor to give those families fair warning when that threat appears imminent.”
But other mayoral candidates decided to focus instead on issues of greater concern to residents of California’s eighth-largest city, with about 417,000 residents.
“The Oakland that we knew will not be here in two years. We will not survive another two years under Mayor Libby Schaaf,” candidate and civil rights lawyer Pamela Price told the crowd.
“We cannot afford to have development that is not balanced, that does not leave behind and destroy the fabric of this community,” she added on the topic of the technology industry’s domination in the city.
Candidate Marchon Tatman slammed Schaaf for the city’s homelessness problem fueled by unaffordable rents, which he says doubled in the last four years. “Everything doubled in the past four years except wages,” he said.
Oakland activist Cat Brooks, meanwhile, slammed Schaaf from the left, saying the city was “broken” and that Schaaf “disrespects and disregards the voices of our most impacted Oakland community members.”
Schaaf also was accused of ignoring the needs of people in poor neighborhoods when it comes to illegal dumping. “If we can do it in the hills, we can do it in the flats,” she said. “In our mayor’s neighborhood there was not mattresses and piles of garbage and dead rats and needles.”
“If we can do it in the hills, we can do it in the flats. In our mayor’s neighborhood there was not mattresses and piles of garbage and dead rats and needles.”
Schaaf defended her record, saying Oakland was one of the most violent cities in America and lacked basic investment, but under her watch the city improved.
“Oakland was ranked as the second most violent city in America and there was not a single construction crane,” she said. “I am ready to finish the work that I have started and deliver a thriving, equitable city.”