Union leaders said today that they oppose efforts to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan because she’s a strong advocate for labor and they think she’s doing a good job under difficult circumstances.
Josie Camacho, the executive secretary treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council, said she thinks the recall efforts are “a waste of resources and a waste of energy” and will hurt the city during a time of continued economic uncertainty.
Camacho said, “We don’t have time for this” and “we need to give her some slack” because she’s only been in office for less than a year.
Joined by other union leaders at the council’s office, Camacho said Quan is working hard to try to create more high-paying union jobs and said banks and corporations, not Quan, are to blame for the poor economy and high unemployment rate in Oakland and across the country.
Wei-Ling Huber, the president of Unite Here 2850, which represents hotel, food service and gaming workers, said Quan “has always been a great supporter of hotel workers” and she believes Quan is committed to doing a good job as mayor.
Jazy Bonilla of Local 3 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades said, “You can’t single-handedly blame the mayor for the city’s problems. There is plenty of blame to go around.”
Bonilla alleged that the leaders of the efforts to recall Quan are “playing political games to change power.”
Camacho said other unions that oppose the recall efforts and support Quan represent machinists, bakers, electricians, and city employees.
She said, “The Labor Council is committed to fighting the recall efforts as much as we can.”
On Dec. 7, Oakland City Clerk LaTonda Simmons certified a petition by Oakland Post photographer and Oakland Black Caucus member Gene Hazzard to recall Quan.
Hazzard’s group has about 150 days to gather 19,811 signatures from registered voters in Oakland, which represents 10 percent of the city’s voters, to put its proposed recall measure on the ballot.
A second group also filed a notice of intent two weeks ago to recall Quan but its effort hasn’t yet been certified by the City Clerk.
Hazzard, who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment today, said that one of the reasons he wants to recall Quan is that he thinks she has squandered an opportunity to promote a proposed large development project at the former Oakland Army Base in West Oakland and create good jobs there.
But a resolution passed by the Alameda Labor Council that condemns the recall efforts says, “Mayor Quan has worked tirelessly and successfully on the Oakland Army Base project to bring good union jobs to Oakland.”
The resolution also says “the false claim is being made that Mayor Quan is not attending to the issue of public safety.”
It says Quan has “a coherent strategy” to work with police, school officials, prosecutors and probation officials to fight crime in 100 blocks of Oakland where 90 percent of the city’s violent crime occurs.
The resolution says, “A recall would distract attention from the crucial task of confronting this crisis and would only create an additional financial drain on the city.”