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I previously blogged about Jennifer Pae running for Oakland city council, but what I didn’t realize was that Jean Quan was running for mayor. Just the other night, I received a Facebook invitation for a fundraiser for her. Jean Quan was Oakland’s first Asian American woman city council member.
If Quan wins, she’ll not only be the first Asian American to be Oakland mayor, but the first woman to accomplish that feat as well. Quan has a major opponent in former California State Senate leader Don Perata, who is better funded and I have to believe, more well known.
Quan’s background, and those similar to hers, fascinates me:
“Oakland is my home. My family has been part of this city for over a century, since my great-grandfather, grandfather and his two brothers took the ferry to Oakland after the 1906 earthquake to become a part of the new Chinatown.”
Before moving to California, I had known about the Chinese who immigrated to the United States who helped build the railroads. But I had never actually ever met or known anyone whose families preceded the 1960s with immigration reform until I met Evan Low.
Personally, much like the governorship of California, I am not sure why anybody would want to be the mayor of Oakland. The problems there just seem so intractable. Whoever does eventually win to become mayor, I wish him or her the best of luck!
There might be a time in the near future that both San Francisco and Oakland both have Asian American mayors. Now that would really change the literal face of government in Northern California. Imagine all three major cities – San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose – in the Bay Area had Asian American mayors. Then I’m sure Hollywood would be making Red Dawn III: Invasion from Within.