Mayor, Oakland California
Mayor Libby Schaaf was born and raised in Oakland, which she proudly describes as, “The most unapologetic Sanctuary City in America.” During her tenure, Oakland has undergone an economic revitalization and building boom, as well as cut gun violence in half.
Her “17K/17K Housing Plan” has helped increase Oakland’s affordable housing production, stabilize rents, and decrease evictions. Her innovative public-private partnerships Keep Oakland Housed and Cabin Communities are credited with preventing 1,800 families a year from losing their housing, while resolving some of Oakland’s most unsafe street encampments. In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Mayor Schaaf to California’s first Council of Regional Homeless Advisors.
She created Oakland’s first Department of Transportation, whose equity-based paving plan is the first of its kind in the nation and will make previously underserved neighborhoods safer, while addressing the city’s decades-old infrastructure backlog.
Mayor Schaaf is most proud of launching the Oakland Promise, a bold cradle-to-career initiative to send more low-income Oakland kids to preschool and college. The Oakland Promise has sent more than 1,400 Oakland students (and counting) to college with scholarships and mentors, and will give every baby born into poverty a $500 college savings account at birth.