Oakland, Calif. Elects First Female, Asian-American Mayor
Former City Councilmember Jean Quan hopes to make her office more accessible and transparent.
Former Oakland, Calif., City Councilmember Jean Quan employed an unconventional campaign tactic last year when she was running for mayor. She asked voters who preferred one of the nine other candidates to make her their second choice. “I always ask for the No. 1 [vote],” says Quan, “but I said if you can’t give me your No. 1 vote, please give me your No. 2 vote.”
The 2010 election was the first in which Oakland used ranked-choice voting, or instant runoff. Ranked-choice voting allows voters to cast their first, second and third choices. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, last-place candidates are eliminated and their votes distributed until one candidate reaches a threshold of 50 percent plus one. By asking for second and third place votes, Quan was able to beat frontrunner and former state Senate President Don Perata by a few thousand votes. Her victory immediately set off a debate about ranked-choice voting.
With her election, however, Quan becomes the first woman and first Asian-American to hold the post, as well as the first Asian-American woman to lead a major U.S. city. Oakland is now run mostly by women -- in addition to Quan, six of the eight City Council positions are held by females. What that will mean for Oakland, if anything, remains to be seen. But as mayor, Quan hopes to make her office more accessible and transparent.
We invite you to discuss and comment on this article using social media.
LATEST POLITICS HEADLINES
Monuments Get Legal Protection From Removal in Alabama3 hours ago
Mayor Joins Race to Replace Chaffetz in Congress4 hours ago
Uber, Lyft Are (Probably) Returning to Austin4 hours ago
Kevyn Orr on the New Orleans Mayor: 'I Have Rarely, If Ever, Heard a White Guy Speak With Such Passion' About Race23 hours ago
Advocacy Where Politicians Can't Miss It: On Their Office Doors1 day ago
Maine's New Way of Voting Ruled Unconstitutional2 days ago