Jean Quan Organizes her way to the Mayor's Office
From the White House to City Hall, citizens are electing community organizers to serve them in public office. Organizers trust the grassroots and they believe in citizen engagement. In many ways, they are the perfect leaders for these times when cynicism about government is so rampant.
Jean Quan brings even stronger organizing credentials to her post as Mayor of Oakland, California than Barack Obama brought to the White House.
From her college days at UC Berkeley organizing for civil rights and for the creation of Ethnic Studies courses, to her years as a National Organizer with SEIU, to her efforts as a parent organizer, fighting to keep arts and music programming in the Oakland Public Schools, Mayor Quan has a lifetime of experience learning how to bring people together to improve their communities and ensure government serves all the people.
Like so many DMOs, Mayor Quan's years as a community activist led her to seek public office, first on the School Board and later as a City Council Member. Over her two terms on the City Council, Quan "built strategic coalitions and led major initiatives to save libraries from closure, give the City new powers to focus on problem properties, bring police staffing to the highest levels in City history, expand programs for youth and partnerships with schools, protect our homes from firestorms and earthquakes, and support our cultural and arts institutions.”
Newly-elected Mayor Quan is wasting no time implementing her campaign promises. In her effort to open government to the people and eliminate "back-room deals,” she publishes her schedule online, allowing her constituents to know with whom she meets.
She hosts town hall meetings in every neighborhood, regularly attends neighborhood meetings, hosts open houses at City Hall, and continues to organize block-by-block. Her campaign volunteers have formed a new organization, the Block by Block Organizing Network, to continue their work of empowering community residents to organize themselves, now with resources from City Hall, to address the challenges of their community.
Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) honors Mayor Quan's commitment to citizen engagement and open government, and we are proud to name her our Democratic Municipal Official of the Month.