Oakland, California

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Oakland, California
Seal of California.svg.png
General information
Jean Quan at Lake Merritt during her Campaign for Mayor.jpg
Mayor:Jean Quan
Last mayoral election:2010
Next mayoral election:2014
City council seats:8
2013-2015 FY Budget:$2,000,000,000
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:400,740
Gender:51.5% Female
Race:White 34.5%
African American 28.0%
White Not-Hispanic 25.9%
Asian 16.8%
Native American 0.8%
Pacific Islander 0.6%
Two or More 5.6%
Ethnicity:Hispanic 25.4%
Median household income:$51,683
High school graduation rate:79.7%
College graduation rate:37.9%
Related Oakland offices
California's 9th congressional districtCalifornia's 13th congressional districtCalifornia LegislatureCalifornia state executive offices

Oakland is a city in California. It is the county seat of Alameda County. Based on 2012 statistical data, Oakland is the 45th largest city in the United States.[1] As of July 2012, the population was 400,740.[2]

Office of the Mayor

Jean Quan is the current mayor of Oakland.[3] She is the first woman elected to serve as Oakland's chief executive officer, as well as the first Asian American. Prior to getting elected mayor, Quan served on the Oakland Board of Education for three terms and the Oakland City Council for two terms.[4]

Former mayors

The officeholder previous to Mayor Quan was Ron Dellums. In late 2008, a public records request to the mayoral office for his calendar revealed that Dellums only scheduled himself to work about 25 hours per week.[5]

City Council

The Oakland City Council is the governing body of the city. It has eight members, one from each seven districts and one member at-large, with one member acting as president. The council is in charge of approving the city budget, adopting ordinances to serve citizens and appointing members to city boards and commissions.[6]

The city council meets the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of each month. They begin at 5:30 p.m. with ceremonial presentations and consent items, and at 6:30 p.m. move on to public hearings and discussions. City council members also meet the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month in their council committees. There are six council committees: Finance and Management, Public Works, Community and Economic Development, Life Enrichment/Education Partnership, Public Safety and Rules and Regulations. Four council members serve on each committee, as assigned by the president of the council.[7] The 2014 council and committee meeting and agenda schedule can be found here.

Current members, Oakland City Council
District Councilmember
1 Dan Kalb
2 Patrician Kernighan
3 Lynette Gibson McElhaney
4 Libby Schaaf
5 Noel Gallo
6 Desley Brooks
7 Larry Reid
At-Large Rebecca Kaplan



The city of Oakland, California will hold elections for mayor and city council on November 4, 2014. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was August 8, 2014 (if an incumbent did not file, the deadline was extended to August 13, 2014).[8] Three of the eight city council seats are up for election.



Oakland's budget for the 2013-2015 biennium is available here. Approximately $1 billion is appropriated for both fiscal year 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, bringing the total appropriations for the biennium to $2 billion. Of that number, 40% ($450 million) is appropriated for the General Purpose Fund.[9]

Contact information

Office of the City Clerk
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 1st and 2nd Floors
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 238-3612
Voice Mail: (510) 238-3611
Recorded Agenda: 510-238-2386
Email: cityclerk@oaklandnet.com
Office Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday – Friday

Office of the Mayor
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
phone: (510) 238-3141
fax: (510) 238-4731
TTY: (510) 238-3254


The city employs 25 annuitants, including two department heads. Vitale Troyan currently serves as the city's acting director of Public Works, and Interim Fire Chief Gerald Simon who retired in 2008, but is working for the fire department again. Simon is currently collecting two paychecks for his work, one being his pension, the total coming to over $300,000.[10] It is more than Simon collected when he worked full-time, now he collects this money for working 20 hours a week.

Emergency Services

With the city being forced to cut back services, including police, due to budget constraints, some Oakland neighborhoods have banned together to hire private security forces. In 2010 Oakland laid off 80 officers, despite one of the highest murder rates in the nation. A police spokesman said officers are responding to calls rather than maintaining a regular patrol.[11]

Oakland residents were concerned over the lack of response to neighborhood crimes and turned to private security. The neighborhoods hiring private security tend to be affluent, the Monitor reported.[12]


Main article: California government sector lobbying

For 2007 and 2008, Oakland spent $250,000 on lobbying.[13]

Public pensions

Main article: Public pensions in California

The city of Oakland asked police officers to contribute nine percent of their salaries in 2010 toward their pensions and agree to a later retirement age for new hires. When the union did not agree unless the city gave it a three-year, no-layoff pledge in return, city officials laid off 80 of the city's police officers. The cuts amounted to one tenth of the force.[14]

City officials claim members of the Oakland Police and Fire Retirement System were overpaid by $11.5 million. In August Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo ordered the pension system to shave away the excessive benefits and develop a plan to recover past over payments. The city alleges that in 2008, when the union representing officers agreed to cuts in holiday pay, the change was not reflected in payments to members of the Police and Fire Retirement System. In the city's view, the retirees can't benefit from raises but stand immune from cuts. In 2010, City Auditor Courtney Ruby found that Oakland, on just one of its bond deals, spent $250 million more on the pension than it would have if the city had simply paid into it. In June, the City Council voted to borrow money again to cover the pension bill - $210 million in new pension bonds that will cost an additional $105 million in interest over the next 14 years.[15]

Website evaluation

Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Contracts P
Lobbying P
Public Records P
Local Taxes P

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

See also: Evaluation of California city websites

This website was most recently evaluated Feb 21, 2013.

The good

  • Elected Officials
    • City council members are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[16]
  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 10 years.[17]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.[18]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by Records Management office. This office provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
    • A public records form is provided by the Records Management office.[19]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2003 are available.[20]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[21]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[22]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.
  • Lobbying
    • Information on registered lobbyists within the city is provided.[23]

The bad

  • Public records
    • A fee schedule for documents is not provided.[24]
  • Contracts
    • Approved contract statements are not provided for vendors.[25]
  • Taxes
    • Residents are not able to pay taxes online.
  • Lobbying
    • If the county engaged in lobbying actives or if it's a member of government lobbying associations are not disclosed. Nor is the total cost lobbying activities or membership dues for associations available.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Oakland + California + Jean + Quan"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Oakland, California News Feed

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External links


  1. Info Please, "Top 50 Cities in the U.S. by Population and Rank," accessed February 27, 2014
  2. United States Census Bureau, "State & County QuickFacts: Oakland (city), California," accessed February 27, 2014
  3. City of Oakland, California, "Elected City Officials," accessed February 25, 2014
  4. City of Oakland, California, Office of the Mayor, "Mayor's Profile," accessed February 25, 2014
  5. Oakland's Part-Time Mayor, East Bay Express, December 24, 2008
  6. City of Oakland, California Website, "About the City Council," accessed February 27, 2014
  7. City of Oakland, California Website, "Meeting Schedule," accessed February 27, 2014
  8. City of Oakland, "Municipal Election November 4, 2014," accessed March 10, 2014
  9. City of Oakland, "Fiscal Year 2013-2015 Adopted Policy Budget," accessed March 5, 2014
  10. San Francisco Chronicle, Retire-rehire practice is double-dipping, Oct. 1, 2010
  11. Christian Science Monitor, As cities lay off police, frustrated neighborhoods turn to private cops, April 5, 2013
  12. Christian Science Monitor, As cities lay off police, frustrated neighborhoods turn to private cops, April 5, 2013
  13. State-Level Lobbying and Taxpayers: How Much Do We Really Know?, Pacific Research Institute
  14. San Francisco Chronicle "Public pensions put state, cities in crisis" July 25, 2010
  15. San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland pushes cuts to pension payments, Sept. 28, 2012
  16. City of Oakland, City Council, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  17. City of Oakland, Budget Office, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  18. City of Oakland, Departments, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  19. City of Oakland, Records Management, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  20. City of Oakland, Accounting, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  21. City of Oakland, Planning and Zoning, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  22. City of Oakland, Contracts & Compliance, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  23. City of Oakland, Lobbying, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  24. City of Oakland, Records Management, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013
  25. City of Oakland, Contracts & Compliance, Accessed: Feb, 21, 2013