Oakland Mayor Jean Quan
Mayor Jean Quan is facing the toughest fight in her tenure as CEO of Oakland - a recall effort.
But whether the recall movement will gain traction and usher Quan out of office is far from clear.
Although the recall effort has received extensive media coverage, and there were plenty of folks marching with "Recall Quan" signs at the city's hugely popular General Strike last Tuesday, the quest to replace the mayor will be a long process that could carry on well into mid-2012.
Late last month, a group filed a notice of intent to circulate a petition to recall Quan. The petition has 71 signatures, but the minimum number needed is 50. Gene Hazzard, a member of the Oakland Black Caucus, is heading up the drive to recall the mayor.
In the notice, petitioners said that they believe the mayor has been ineffective in dealing with public safety issues and the redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base.
"We have no confidence in her ability to lead, listen or collaborate," the petition states.
But the notice of intent is only the first step in the recall process.
According to Mark Morodomi - a supervising attorney with the Oakland City Attorney's Office - the next step in the process is filing an actual petition with the signature 10 percent of the city's registered voters within 160 days of when the notice of intent was filed. The Alameda County Registrar of Voters website list almost 200,000 registered voters in Oakland.
If all of the recall signatures on the petition are validated by the City Clerk's office, then the Oakland City Council has to certify the results and set an election between 88 and 125 days thereafter.
The election ballot would have two questions - one asking if voters would like to recall the mayor and another question asking who should replace the mayor.
"This process has many steps," Morodomi said.
As part of the process, Quan has exercised her option to file an official response to the complaints listed in the notice of intent. Quan said that during her term, which began in January, she has rehired 35 police officers who were previously laid off and obtained a federal grant to hire 25 more. Quan also noted her work to help redevelop the Oakland Army Base.
The last Oakland mayor who was in the bulls eye of recall chatter was the city's last executive head - Ron Dellums. There was more than one petition circulating the city seeking to unseat Dellums, but ultimately all were unsuccessful.