Elizabeth Beckman "Libby" Schaaf (born November 12, 1965) is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party. She is the mayor of Oakland, California and a former member of the Oakland City Council.[1] Schaaf won the November 4, 2014, Oakland mayoral election in the 14th round in ranked choice voting with 62.79% of the vote.[2]


Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf with California governor Jerry Brown at Schaaf's inaugural celebration (pictured with the art car, the Golden Mean).

Schaaf holds a B.A. in political science from Rollins College and a J.D. from Loyola Law School.[3] In the race for Oakland mayor, Schaaf was endorsed by Governor of California Jerry Brown and US Senator Barbara Boxer.[4][5] She was inaugurated on January 5, 2015.

Prior to her term as mayor, Schaaf was elected in 2010 to represent District 4 on the Oakland City Council.[6][7] She served one term. Before that she served as the top mayoral aide to former Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and as Public Affairs Director for the Port of Oakland.[8][9][10]

Schaaf was an attorney in Oakland, and left her legal career to build and run the first centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Institute.[11]

Schaaf is Jewish.[12][13] She lives in Oakland with her husband, Salvatore Fahey, and her children, Dominic and Lena.[14]

Controversy over freedom of assembly

In May 2015, she instituted a ban on nighttime marches without permits in public roadways in Oakland, citing existing city policies. The first enforcement of this ban was on May 21, during a #SayHerName[15] march, a nationwide coordinated march focused on ending state violence against black women and girls in the US. Demonstrators met at Frank Ogawa Plaza before sunset for a rally. After the rally, demonstrators began to march onto the street. Police officers told them to keep to the sidewalks, and cited California Vehicle Code Section 2800, making it an arrestable offense not to comply with the police order.[16]

On May 25, a follow-up march was held, organized by the women who organized the May 21 march. By the end of the march, 47 protestors were detained and cited for violating state Penal Code 409: unlawful assembly, and five were arrested. At least one was arrested after refusing a police order to move on to the sidewalk. Other protestors were arrested at a police blockade at the intersection between 3rd and Washington after attempting to push through the blockade. Police detonated at least two teargas canisters behind police lines “to deter the demonstrators from continuing to physically push or assault officers,” according to Oakland Police Officer Johnna Watson. Members of the Oakland Police Department, California Highway Patrol, and Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies ran behind protestors in an apparent move to trap and mass arrest them. In response, demonstrators sat down on the street. Some protestors were led away on their feet, while others were carried by officers. Local attorney, journalist, and UC Berkeley lecturer Geoffrey King reported in a tweet[17] that several city police officers appeared to defy the department's policy of wearing body cameras, and that some did not activate the cameras they did wear. He also tweeted that he'd witnessed police officers threaten to arrest journalists.[18]

Enactment of this policy brought harsh criticism and allegations of illegality from some constitutional lawyers, including civil rights attorney and one of the co-authors of Oakland Police Department's Crowd Control and Crowd Management Policy, Rachel Lederman: "My general impression is the police took an unduly aggressive approach that not only violated their own crowd control policy, but also the First Amendment... This was an unreasonable interference with the demonstration given that there had been no serious crimes committed." Other legal experts pointed to similar policies in cities like New York, which have been ruled constitutional.[19]


  1. ^ "Councilwoman Libby Schaaf files to run for Oakland mayor". KTVU. December 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "2014 Mayoral Election Results". OaklandWiki. November 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Questionnaire for Candidates for Oakland City Council" (PDF). East Bay Young Democrats. 2010. 
  4. ^ "Gov. Jerry Brown lends support to ex-aide in Oakland mayor’s race". SFGate.com. San Francisco Chronicle. October 9, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Sen. Boxer endorses Schaaf for Oakland mayor". SFGate.com. San Francisco Chronicle. October 28, 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Ranked-Choice Voting Results - Registrar of Voters - Alameda County". Acgov.org. 2014-11-18. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  7. ^ Gammon, Robert (2010-11-06). "Schaaf and Worthington Win, Cassidy Leads San Leandro Mayor". East Bay Express. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  8. ^ "New America Media". News.newamericamedia.org. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  9. ^ "Latest news at the Port of Oakland, the East Bay transportation hub". Portofoakland.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  10. ^ Said, Carolyn (2008-08-06). "Oakland port to eliminate 100 jobs". SFGate. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  11. ^   (2015-01-05). "Mayor's Bio ~ City of Oakland, California". Oaklandnet.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  12. ^ "California Councilwoman Libby Schaaf Targeted With Swastikas in Oakland". Forward.com. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  13. ^ Griego, Michelle (2014-01-19). "Flyers Of Jewish Councilwoman With Swastika On Her Face Posted In Oakland « CBS San Francisco". Sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  14. ^ https://web.archive.org/20130116041709/http://www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/CityCouncil/o/District4-LibbySchaaf/a/CouncilmemberProfile/index.htm. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "News about #sayhername on Twitter". Twitter. 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  16. ^ Bond Graham, Darwin. "Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Institutes Ban On Nighttime Street Protests". East Bay Express. East Bay Express. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  17. ^ "Geoffrey King on Twitter: "I have seen at least half a dozen OPD officers with no body cams whatsoever. Many more with them off while on the line, moving crowd back."". Twitter. 2015-05-23. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  18. ^ Bond Graham, Darwin. "Hundreds Challenge Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's Nighttime Protest Ban, Planning Commissioner Among Those Detained". East Bay Express. East Bay Express. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 
  19. ^ Barnard, Cornell. "Protests held in Oakland over mayor's new ban on nighttime marches". ABC7 News Bay Area. ABC7. Retrieved 2015-05-24. 

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